Montier-en-Der Photo Festival

Montier-en-Der Photo Festival

Our stand at Montier in the main chapiteau.

Last week Spatia Wildlife took part in the Montier photo festival in France. It is a very big event devoted to nature and wildlife photography but birdwatching, natural history and nature conservation are also included.

This festival, unlike the Birdfair which is 3 days, takes 4 days. As an exhibitor it is much better: I have had the time to go and see all the expositions. There were really wonderful expositions presented, covering topics from the Red Fox in Kamchatka to the global forest destruction and the life of the nomad communities in Yakutia (Russia) and Tibet. Most of the commercial exhibitors are situated in a nice chapiteau (tent) but many of the photo exhibitions were held in various old and beautiful buildings around, including the big church at the center. Some were placed in the open spaces in front of it and in the village garden.

The small village of Montier, where the festival takes place, is situated a 5 km drive from the lake du Der - the largest artificial lake in France. At this time of the year it is an important stop over for the migrating cranes on their way from Scandinavia to Spain. At the time of the festival there were about 38 000 of them - it was wonderful to watch the flocks early in the morning flying to their feeding grounds in the wheat fields around. In fact many were flying just over the little house we have rented for the time of the festival. The lake supports many other bird species but we did not have time for something more than pre-breakfast birding. In the area there are also 12 wooden churches dating from the 16th century which are well worth a visit.

Add to this the excellent French food offered at the festival during the day and in the restaurants in the evening, not to mention the really delightful handmade chocolate shop and it is clear why we are looking forward to return next year.

Indeed, it is a great idea for a weekend for anybody interested in wildlife photography, nature and birdwatching at this time of the year and if you find the time I can strongly recommend it.

Thank you very much Patrick and Brigitte for all your help and company during the festival days.