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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 and have sluices to control water levels.
About 80 species breed including herons and egrets and this area is of huge importance as a migration stopover point and wintering area. Grey Heron and Black-crowned Night Heron and Little Egret breed in good numbers as well as White Stork, Kentish Plover, Common Shelduck and Common Kingfisher.
Eurasian Spoonbill is regular in winter and on passage and a wide range of waders occurs. Wintering grebes include Great Crested Grebe, Red-necked Grebe and Black-necked Grebe and the Bassin d'Arcachon area attracts large numbers of Dark-bellied Brent Goose in winter.
Around 280 species are recorded each year and rarities have been reported including a Semipalmated Sandpiper in September 2002.
Birds you can see here include:
Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Red-necked Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Great Cormorant, Black-crowned Night Heron, Little Egret, Grey Heron, White Stork, Eurasian Spoonbill, Mute Swan, Greylag Goose, Dark-bellied Brent Goose, Common Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall, Common Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Black Kite, Short-toed Eagle, Western Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Water Rail, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Pied Avocet, Ringed Plover, Kentish Plover, European Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Northern Lapwing, Red Knot, Sanderling, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Jack Snipe, Common Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Common Kingfisher, Eurasian Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtail, Bluethroat, Eurasian Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Common Grasshopper Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Common Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Dartford Warbler, Bearded Tit, Penduline Tit, Common Magpie, Carrion Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch
History and Use
Areas of Interest
Access and Facilities
The Bassin d'Arcachon lies on the Biscay coast of France west of Bordeaux. To reach Teich Bird Reserve leave Bordeaux towards Bayonne on the A63, turning off at Exit 22 heading for Teich and the reserve car-park.
There is a small bird collection close to the entrance, hence the small entrance fee, but beyond this follow the footpath to the Bassin d'Arcachon. The hedge-lined causeway has 11 hides overlooking the shallow waters and the heronries.
The reserve is open all-year from 10.00 until 18.00 except July and August when it stays open until 22.00.
Content and images originally posted by Steve