Friday, 7 October 2011

Lac du der Chantecoq lakes east of Paris (Sea eagles and Cranes)

Christmas 1982 I joined Wing spans tour for a long weekend in France,the group met at Terminal 1 at Heathrow early on Wednesday morning,our BA flight was at 0830hrs and arrived at Charles de Gaulle Paris at 1030hrs local time.
A volkswagen 9 seater micro bus had been booked for our use,we collected it from Europa car and left the airport for our journey east.The local sign posts were a headache as we journeyed east.
We stopped for lunch at Beton- Bazoches,a small village with a good restaurant which introduced us to
Provence style cuisine.
We continued to Sezanne and Vitry le France to Lac du der Chantecoq,we saw our first raptors as we approached the lake,at dusk we made our way to the watch point and soon heard the trumpeting of the Cranes we counted a 161 the first evening.
It was dark when we arrived at our hotel, "Le Cheval Blanc lu Lac",Madamme la Fevre,la patronne served an excellent four course meal. It was bitterly cold next morning as we took the bus to the lake.
There was a 100c Bean geese present on the waters edge and a variety of wildfowl,this was eclipsed by a White tailed Eagle flying towards its favourite  on an old tree,we scoped it at some distance and its obvious white tail made it an adult.
One of our party called Andy had a hankering for local cheese(I met Andy at Stockers 10 years later).
We walked west after lunch towards Estang  des Landres,where we had super views of Great Grey Shrike,however that evening  we counted 659  Cranes which was phenomenal,a meal of steak in garlic
 ensued after a bitter cold day near the Ardennes border.On Friday we headed south west to the Lac Foret D' Orient a mist hanged over the lake which kept viewing down so we walked the peninsula,we heard Black Woodpecker but only Myra saw it,the commoner woodpeckers obliged  as did Hawfinch.
The meal that evening  was Guinea fowl with it's head intact trust the French ,Happy New Year.
The New year started  cold and misty we drove back to Lac Foret D'Orient it was all quiet on the Western Front apart from 14 Common Eiders,however the yacht basin held Red necked and Black necked Grebes.
The last day we saw the White tailed Eagle being  mobbed by Hooded gulls and 14 Smew was the final touch.After lunch  we drove to Paris to conclude a long weekend in France.

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