Thursday, 1 March 2012


This is really something special! We were so very fortunate to have the weather conditions we had, this is special! 
We drove from Captieux to the reserve at Arjuzanx, forbidden access! and were lucky enough to bump into Xavier, senior reserve warden, who seemed to understand our following of the Cranes, and all the places we have been thus far to see them. He arranged a rendezvous for the following morning at 7am, to go with him and Nathalie to a special hide deep in the reserve.
The Cranes come to this area to roost for the night from all the surrounding areas and numbers may be swelled by the migrators coming from Spain and Africa. In recent years, many Cranes have not migrated further south but stayed here. During the winter here they counted 20,000 Cranes in the Landes. 
Alarm call!! and off we go, to meet up at the information centre in freezing fog! We go with our guides in one of their vehicles to the hide, situated high above the Lac de Grue.
We climb higher and higher up the observation hide in dense fog.... then dawn breaks around us, and we see the most spectacular sunrise ever, over drifting fog, the trees thrusting through the swirling mist! 

The most breathtaking sunrise ever, breaking over low mist, with trees in stark silhouette.

 We can hear the Cranes calling, but cannot see them.

The mist is all around us shrouding all..... and then....

We see them, rising out of the mist, calling, like specters all around us, some close to, some still hidden from view.

This, was for us, the most dramatic, the most mystical moment to experience!

The sun is now coming up fully and catches the tops of the trees.

Now the Cranes are picking up the light of the sunrise.

   As the Cranes pass on their journey, we watch in awe as the last ones pass over the rising sun.

 We would like to thank Xavier, Nathalie and all the wonderful people at the
Reserve nationale d'Arjuzanx.

We wish the Cranes safe passage north and look forward to their return!

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