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Barrages de l'Eau d'Heure

Hainaut  >  Belgium

Built in the seventies, this network of hydroelectric dams doubles as a popular tourist resort. In the winter, dozens of species of waterfowl can be found here.

Added by Jeremy Jaegers

Description

The artificial lakes produced by the dams cover a large superficy (several square kilometres). The entire area is surrounded by trails and there are many excellent vantage points looking over the various lakes. Furthermore, there are many parking areas, bicycle rentals, and several restaurants around the lakes.

The largest and deepest lake is the westernmost Plate Taille, which in the winter frequently harbours uncommon species such as the Black-necked Grebe, Great Northern Diver (Common Loon), Black-throated Diver (Arctic Loon), or Velvet Scoter. Hundreds of birds of more common species are present on the water at most hours of the day, such as Common TealTufted Duck, and Eurasian Wigeon.

The southernmost lake Falemprise is commonly occupied in the winter by Common Goldeneye, Common Pochard, and occasionnally small groups of Whooper Swan.

The "middle" lake, l'Eau d'Heure proper, may have in addition to the above species stray individuals of the species Greater Scaup, Smew, Goosander or occasionally geese such as Greylag Goose and Greater White-fronted Goose.

The woods surrounding the entire area are also quite rich in species, including notably Siskin, Eurasian Bullfinch, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, and Eurasian Nuthatch.

The entire site is also replete with seagulls of various species and common waterfowl such as Mallard, Tufted Duck, Eurasian Coot, Gadwall and Tufted Duck.

Unfortunately because of the important disturbances by high tourism in the spring and summer, there is little to observe at those seasons.

Details

Access

It is a half hour drive from Charleroi, most notably through route de Philippeville and the N5. The entire site is surrounded by large paved paths that can be travelled on by foot or by bicycle, and numerous small parking areas allow travel by car between distant areas of the lake for easier observation.

Terrain and Habitat

Forest, Grassland, Valley, Plateau, Lake, River, Agriculture

Conditions

Hilly, Flat, Open landscape

Circular trail

Yes

Is a telescope useful?

Yes

Good birding season

Winter

Best time to visit

Winter

Route

Paved road, Wide path

Difficulty walking trail

Easy

Accessible by

Foot, Bicycle, Wheelchair, Car

Birdwatching hide / platform

No

Links

Birdingplaces Near

Les étangs de Roly is about a quarter of an hour away from there, although they are a private area it is still possible to observe the ponds from the side of the road as long as one doesn't enter the main path.

L'étang de Virelles is also about twenty minutes away to the south and is a well known birding area with great species diversity all year round.

View birdingplaces in the area that are published on Birdingplaces.eu

Map

Top 5 birds

Other birds you can see here

Comments

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