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Colline de Sion - Saxon-Sion, Meurthe-et-Moselle (54)
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Site descriptions

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Natural surroundings of the watchpoint 

The hill of Sion is located in the middle of the plains of Saintois, 30 km south of Nancy. It provides an outstanding 360° panoramic view and on a good visibility day, the Vosges Mountains can be seen. The isolated hill attracts quite a few migratory birds. During autumn migration many of them follow a narrow wooded valley running from north to south. Here, passerines take shelter from the wind and raptors find favorable thermals.  Beyond the watchpoint, the birds continue towards the south/southwest. Viewing conditions are good and bird numbers depend on wind force and direction.

History of the survey

Local birders had already noticed the passage of migratory birds at the hill of Sion but precise counts are lacking. During an autumn survey in 2009 more than 80 000 birds were counted. There is a willingness to create a migratory camp in Lorraine and during the next two or three years several sites will be tested to select a permanent watchpoint. In 2010, Lorraine Association Nature will do the first spring survey in this region. This will fill a gap in the national migration network. We are using the « Transpyr » observation protocol, developed and thoroughly tested in the Aquitaine region (Pyrenees and Gironde). During 2,5 months, several migration watchers will monitor migration from sunrise to 15h00 GMT.

Ornithological interest

Without previous data, the data collected in 2010 will be the measuring stick for future findings. During autumn 2009, however, we already observed some nice thermals with Black and Red Kites, Honey Buzzards and Common Swifts.


In 2010, the spring survey runs from February to mid-May, during weekends.  Visitors are welcome. Mind, however, that we will try out several watchpoints. If you want to meet us in the field, please contact us in advance.


The migration camp can be easily reached by car from Nancy:

- take the motorway A330.

- follow the N57/E 23 next.

- take the exit and continue along the D913 to Vézelise

- cross the village of Ceintrey and follow the D50D to Praye

- cross Praye and take the D58 to Chaouilley

- cross Chaouilley and take the D53 to Vaudémont

At Vaudémont, watch out for the cone-shaped monument

Here you are, this is the Barrès monument and the “colline de Sion” watchpoint.

Places to stay and to eat

There is a restaurant near the migration watchpoint. Sauvoy Restaurant (2,74 km), 1 rue Notre Dame, 54 330 SAXION SION, Phone: 03 83 52 39 98. It is open all days at noon. Website : Another nearby restaurant is Auberge de la Tour, 1, rue de l’Eglise, 54330 VAUDEMONT. Phone: 03 83 25 17 96.


Lorraine Association Nature

Phone: 06 27 04 91 13 and 06 22 87 61 39

E-mail : 

Website :

HIRRUS (ringing at colline de Sion):

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