Common Crane (Grus grus)
The Common Crane (Grus grus)!! One of my biggest birding dreams! Experiencing the cranes migration in Lac du Der was one of the best birding moments I have ever had. Coming from Northern Europe, these long distance migrating birds stop at Lac du Der in fall before heading south towards their wintering grounds, mainly Extremadura region in Spain and northern Africa. They stop again there on their way back up in spring.
For 3 days I enjoyed watching them. From sunrise, when they fly from the lake to the neighboring fields to feed, until sunset, when they come back to the lake to spend the night. These birds weigh up to 6kg and have a 2.4 meters wingspan! Imagine what it looks like when you can see hundreds of them flying in the sky at the same time! Their loud trumpeting call is also amazing. It can be heard from a huge distance.