In anticipation of an upcoming workshop in north western Scotland in February with Simon Baxter (https://baxter.photos) Linda and I made a short trip with our motorhome to the Brenne in France.
With all the campsites closed this time of year we were lucky enough that the owner of the campersite at La Gabrière allowed us to stay although he was also closed. We had marvelous weather with incredible sunrises and sunsets. But the lakes that are plentiful there were empty of birds apart from one exception. Water levels were very low and so the birds far away. Hunting pressure is extremely high; they were chasing en masse wild boar that do a lot of damage in the area.
After 3 days we decided to leave the Brenne and head for the Forêt d'Orient which is also a marvelous birding and woodland area with beautiful broadleaved forest. In that way we also could circumnavigate Paris and avoid the inevitable traffic jams. The Lac d'Orient was full of birds and there was en masse migration going on. But with water levels low and thus birds far away I concentrated on the forest for photography, trying to find interesting shapes and structures and images that 'work'.
The next stop on our way back home was inevitably Lac du Der, very well know among birders (and among other people nowadays too) for migrating cranes. There were only a few thousands around now which is quite normal (you can see pics from this area here: https://www.lac-du-der.julienherremansphotography.com).
From Lac du Der it is still over 400km back home, so we decide to look for a good spot on the way and cut the driving in two. Bouillon proved to be a good choice with an excellent campersite on the bank of the Semois. Here I also found the most incredible tree monuments in walking distance from the camper.
Satisfied with the images, but as always a photographer wants to go back for other light conditions. Life continues. Be busy and stay young!
More images here: https://www.recent-work.julienherremansphotography.com (32 images).