Lake Hornborgasjön is not the only site where the crane’s mating dance takes place in the spring. In north-eastern Skåne, several hundred, sometimes over a thousand, cranes gather at specific sites to dance and rest before the final stage of their journey to the bogs and fenland further north. A specially-adapted rubber dinghy and an expert guide ensure that you see as much as possible of the spring spectacle in Kristianstads Vattenrike (the Water Kingdom).
At the end of March, the Skåne spring is full of birdsong and mating cries, and vegetation bursts into life. The sky is filled with the warble of the song lark, while lapwings lay claim to their territory with sophisticated acrobatics. All over the area the trumpeting of spring’s most famous messenger – the crane – can be heard.
It is not only at Lake Hornborgasjön where the cranes perform their mating dance. Thousands of cranes also pass, rest and dance in different parts of Kristianstads Vattenrike. Using a stable, silent rubber dinghy and an expert local guide, the half-day trip gives you new perspectives on one of southern Sweden’s most famous wetland areas and the chance to see cranes close-up. Vattenriket also offers many other welcome signs of spring, such as breeding curlews, black-tailed godwits and snipes. The many lakes attract widgeons, teals and other types of duck, and some of the area’s breeding storks fly over the wetlands.
Kristianstads Vattenrike in north-eastern Skåne comprises shallow lowland lakes and the county’s largest river, the River Helge. On its journey out to Hanöbukten Bay, the river annually floods over meadows, marshy woodland and fields, forming an 8,000-hectare internationally renowned wetland area. Here, intensive nature conservation measures have been applied for many years, and Kristianstads Vattenrike is now one of Sweden’s first biosphere areas protected by UNESCO, on account of its great and varied natural and cultural values.
The spring tide means that the water level in Vattenriket varies by almost two metres, so every safari is tailored to the conditions on that particular day.