Saturday, September 22, 2012

Parc Ornithologique Du Teich

Parc Ornithologique Du Teich
The Bassin d'Arcachon is ornithologically one of the most important areas of France and the Parc Ornithologique du Teich, a 120ha reserve within this area, is one of the best birding localities in western France. The reserve consists of large expanses of shallow, brackish water many of which are managed specifically for birds.

Little Egret
Open to the public since 1972, the Teich Bird Reserve is around a 30 minute drive from Bordeaux and is the property of the municipality of Teich, which, with technical assistance from the Parc Naturel Régional des Landes de Gascogne, manages the reserve. The lands on which the reserve has been created were reclaimed from the sea during the 18th century in order to create a form of fish farming known locally as ‘fish reservoirs’ ("réservoirs à poissons"). For me this is a birders paradise where you can spend literally the whole day visiting the 20 bird hides.

Black-tailed Godwit
Dee and I decided to take in the reserve on our way back north from our 'Gite' at Leon and arrived mid morning just as the temperature hit a scorching 30C. Our timing wasn't perfect as the tide was on the turn and heading out but there were still many waders on site. Worth passing on that the Parc charges 7.60euro each for entry, worth every cent but if you show your RSPB membership cards the reserve are happy to offer a 5euro discount

Some of the hides and indeed pathways offer a chance to get real close to the birds and thus photographic opportunities arise around every corner. The first several hides produced good numbers of Greenshank, Little Egret and the amazing sight of over 100 Spoonbills feeding on the far side of the lagoon.

Temmick's Stint
Once again Dee and I spent hours touring this amazing place, which I have to say is one of the best reserves I've visited during my birding breaks in France. Common Crane winter here but our visit was a little too early. We bombed on a few species on site today which included Bluethroat and Night Heron but ended up with a species count of 72 which included of note:

White Wagtail (3), Wheatear (2), Tree Sparrow (1), Willow Warbler (8), Chiffchaff (2), House Martin (15), Swallow (50+), Teal (75), Pintail (3), Shoveler (32), Great-crested Grebe (3), Grey Heron (15), Little Egret (11), Great Egret (4), White Stork (4), Spoonbill (104), Sparrowhawk (1), Hobby (2), Water Rail (3), Little-ringed Plover (2), Ringed Plover (33), Grey Plover (17), Black Winged Stilt (2), Red Knot (50+), Little Stint (2), Temmick's Stint (1), Curlew Sandpiper (2), Dunlin (300+), Snipe (4), Black-tailed Godwit (300+), Bar-tailed Godwit (48), Whimbrel (6), Curlew (15), Spotted Redshank (22), Common Redshank (8), Greenshank (17), Common Sandpiper (1), Sanderling (6)

A big thank you to Eric one of the reserves warden's who pointed us in the right direction, in particular the Temmick's!!