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Wildlife Wetlands and City Farms in Southern France

Updated on March 5, 2020
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To me, all life is precious; even garden pests, until they start munching too much veg. I find nothing is more wondrous than nature itself.

Ornithological Park in Teich
Ornithological Park in Teich

Wildlife Wetlands and City Farms

My Holiday Review

Parc Ornithologique du Teich in southern France near Bordeaux is the main holiday review feature in this article, although I also showcase the ‘city farms’ at Parc Floral et Tropical and Le Cheval Parc. Parc Ornithologique is a most wonderful bird wildlife park well worth visiting, especially if you enjoy wildlife wetlands like Slimbridge in Gloucestershire, England.

City Farms

City Farms in Europe are open to the public and run like small farmsteads specifically for the educational benefit of people who live in cities; giving them an opportunity to see first-hand and get close to farm animals.

Wildlife Bird Parks and City Farms Reviewed in This Article

Parc Ornithologique:
Parc Ornithologique du Teich, Rue du Port, 33470 Le Teich, France

get directions

Fantastic Bird Park, worth an afternoon to meander the public footpaths and stopping at the hides and viewpoints for great photography opportunities.

Parc Floral et Tropical:
Parc Floral de la Court d'Aron, La Cour d'Aron, 85540 Saint-Cyr-en-Talmondais, France

get directions

Ideal place for a visit and spend a tranquil day meandering around the flora and fauna, viewing the wildlife; finishing with a tour of the city farm.

Le Cheval Parc:
Les 4 moulins, 85300 Sallertaine, France

get directions

Horse Park with regular shows; also incorporates a city farm for tourists to view farm animals between the shows.

Wetland Birds: Habitat Resources and Conservation Implications
Wetland Birds: Habitat Resources and Conservation Implications
This book gives insight into the ecology of wetland birds, identifying their patterns of habitat, food and choice of breeding sites; giving a greater understanding of the potential and limits of wetlands as bird habitats as wetlands continue to decline.

Parc Ornithologique du Teich

Wildlife Wetland Bird Park

One of the places we visited during our holiday in southern France was Ornithological Park du Teich, Bassin D'Arcachon near Bordeaux.

It was a great day out which I would recommend to anyone who loves birds, wildlife and nature. As with Slimbridge in England, Parc Ornithologique du Teich is a wildlife wetlands open to tourist which provides natural habitat for indigenous and migratory birds and other natural wildlife.

Below is a short video I made of our visit to this most wonderful natural bird park.

Brief Intro to the Bird Park at Teich in France

And What You Might Expect To See

The Ornithological Park in Teich is part of Arcachon, not far from Bordeaux in southern France; and if you've been to the Wetlands for Wildlife bird sanctuary in Slimbridge, Gloucestershire it's quite similar. The park in Teich which has been open to the public since 1972 is a well preserved natural environment ideal for the 300 species of birds that thrive there. The wetlands of the bird park which consists of swamps, mud-flats, humid meadows, and ancient fishponds is an important migratory route for these European birds.

Slowly walking the park stopping off at the numerous hides and other observation spots en-route can be a pleasurable well spent half-day out. To full walk is about three miles return for the less ambitious there is a shorter route of about a mile distance.

In your walk you are likely to observe the usual array of birds typically seen in a wildlife bird sanctuary such as storks , ducks, swans, herons, the Black-winged Stilt or Common Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) and the Little Egret (Egretta garzetta

Storks Nesting in French Bird Park at Teich

Great Photography Opportunities of Birds and Other Wildlife

Near the start of the walk you can see the storks nesting in the trees, there are several good observation points for this, and being the south of France you are almost guaranteed good weather making it a good opportunity for photography.

For a bit of Latin the storks belong to the Ciconiiformes family and are exclusive to the Ciconiidae sub group; and in laypersons terms storks are large wading birds with long legs. They have long necks and long stout bills.

Storks populate most of the world; preferring drier habitats to other closely related birds such as the herons, spoonbills and ibises. However, unlike other birds they don't have a syrinx and are therefore mute; making bill-clattering an important part of their communication at the nest site.

Most Stork species are migratory and on their return they do like to reuse the same nests, some of which can be huge; and they also tend to be monogamous. They generally soar using thermal air currents, or glide, rather than fly to conserves energy; and their diet mostly consists of insects, earthworms, frogs, fish, small birds and small mammals.

Nesting Storks in France
Nesting Storks in France

Close up of Storks Nesting at Parc Ornithologique Du Teich

Fantastic Video Opportunities of Birds and Other Wildlife

On the day we visited the Bird Park storks were nesting, and from a suitable vantage point I was able to set up my camera to briefly film them, as shown below, before we continued exploring the rest of the Park. Anyone with a good camera will be in for a treat exploring this Natural Bird Park and will be sure to get some fantastic photos or video footage.

Birds of Parc Ornithologique Du Teich

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Storks nesting in treesThree storks in their nestSwan flapping its wingsDucks on the lakeBird on a poll
Storks nesting in trees
Storks nesting in trees
Three storks in their nest
Three storks in their nest
Swan flapping its wings
Swan flapping its wings
Ducks on the lake
Ducks on the lake
Bird on a poll
Bird on a poll

Parc Floral et Tropical

A Park of Natural Beauty

Another Park we visited on holiday in southern France is the Parc Floral et Tropical. This is a Floral and Tropical garden Park, which attracts a lot of wildlife including fantastic dragonflies and for a rare treat the resident black swans. This spectacular park , in the Vendee is further north than Parc Ornithologique Du Teich so if on your holidays you don’t get as far down as Bordeaux to see the Bird Park in du Teich but happen to be staying on the Vendee coast then this is a good park to visit as shown in the video below which I filmed during one of our holidays in the area.

Dragonfly at Parc Floral et Tropical, France
Dragonfly at Parc Floral et Tropical, France

Farm Animals at Parc Floral et Tropical

A Park of Diversity

Although the Parc Floral et Tropical in the Vendee is primarily a Floral and Tropical garden park, which naturally attracts wildlife it has a number of diverse areas for visiting tourist to explore, one being the Farm at Parc Floral et Tropical. This farm is run as a ‘city farm’, similar in principle to the ‘city farm’ in Bristol which is open to the public and is run primarily to educate the public and to give the public first-hand experience of farm animals and farming techniques. Except that the Farm at Parc Floral et Tropical specialises in bringing farm animals in close contact with the public; enabling you to be in there with the animals, to touch them and to feed them, bringing a unique experience to the visit. During our visit to Parc Floral et Tropical, after wandering around the gardens and other attractions we managed to also squeeze the ‘city farm’ in and see many of the farm animals, as shown in this short video clip made by me.

Farm Animals (City Farm) at Le Cheval Parc

The Horse Park near Challans, Vendee, France

The great thing about city farms is you get the opportunity to see farm animals close up and, dependant on the ‘city farm’, sometimes e.g. as with the ‘city farm’ at Parc Floral et Tropical have an opportunity to get in amongst the animals, to touch them and feed them.

The city farm at Le Cheval Parc is primarily a horse park in the Vendee so there is less opportunity to be interactive with the farm animals as you are at other ‘city farm’. Nevertheless, if you happen to be on holiday in the Vendee Coast and want a day out the farm animals are a side attraction, the main event being horses and riders performing to the public so it stills makes for a great day out as this video made be me shows.

Do You Frequent Wildlife Parks

Whether they be bird sanctuaries like Slimbridge or wildlife parks like Longleat do you visit wildlife parks when you get an opportunity.

How Often Do You Visit Wildlife Parks?

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Lagoons for Laypeople - Wetland Wildlife
Lagoons for Laypeople - Wetland Wildlife
DVD with stunning cinematography, straightforward narration and on-screen notes provides a great understanding and insight into wetland wildlife of Lagoons, what makes these lagoons work and the importance to protect and preserve them.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Arthur Russ


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