Through the seasons

Through the seasons

Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus) © J. Sudraud
Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus).

Over 140 species of birds are spotted every year at the "Michel Brosselin" reserve. In terms of diversity and quantity, every time of year is different and unique. To witness this daily flurry, all you need to do is spend some time at the observatory.

A wide variety in spring and summertime

Illustration d'Échasse blanche - Benoit Perrotin
Black-winged Stilt © Benoit Perrotin

The migration periods, from late February to May and from late June to October, are synonymous with abundance. Most water birds flying to for their summer or winter homes fly along the shoreline and stop to rest in the more propitious areas of the marshlands. The reserve is therefore an area of perfect tranquillity, giving visitors the opportunity to see the following, for example:

  • Spoonbill
  • Black-Tailed Godwit
  • Black-Winged Stilt
  • Ruff

And a great many other migratory birds species like Redshanks, Green Sandpipers, Little Stints, Curlew Sandpipers, Little ringed Plovers or even various birds of prey... Between 40 and 50 different species (excluding passerines) can be identified during these periods on a single day.

In autumn, the birds abandon the area

Little by little, the water covered zones dry out and the area becomes temporarily less attractive, at least until the next rainfall.

Cranes (Grus grus) © C. Tomasson - LPO Champagne-Ardennes
Crane is increasingly present in the reserve between October and March.

Winter, the season of prosperity

With the bad weather, wintering birds from Northern Europe, Scandinavia, and even Siberia take possession of the wet meadows which are once again full of water. Depending on the harshness of the climate, there is a larger or smaller number of birds but generally speaking, they are in their hundreds or thousands, including:

  • Greylag Goose
  • Wigeon
  • Teal
  • Crane

These birds are accompanied, amongst others, by Short-eared Owl, Hen Harrier, Peregrine and Merlin or Golden Plover... Even though there are fewer species (about 30 per day) than in the migratory period, the show is something else and is definitely worth the visit.