© Découverte du Parc ornithologique du Marquenterre en Baie de Somme | CRTC Hauts-de-France - Anne-Sophie FLAMENT

A spot of bird watching in Marquenterre Park

Eurasian wigeons, northern lapwings, greylag and white-fronted geese, barnacle geese, spotted crake, egrets, purple herons… your mini Attenboroughs won’t be able to take their eyes off the many species of migrating birds that stop off at Marquenterre park, the north’s version of the Camargue. Nestled on France’s northern coast, this special area is right in the heart of the bay of Somme’s nature reserve where Man meets Mother Nature. Let our experienced guides take you on a migratory adventure suitable for all the family!

Northern France _ Bay of Somme _ Saint-Quentin-en-Tourmont _ Marquenterre _Bird Reserve © CRTC Hauts-de-France_Anne-Sophie FlamentNorthern France _ Bay of Somme _ Saint-Quentin-en-Tourmont _ Marquenterre _Bird Reserve © CRTC Hauts-de-France_Anne-Sophie Flament
©Northern France, Bay of Somme, Saint-Quentin-en-Tourmont, Marquenterre, Bird Reserve |CRTC Hauts-de-France_Anne-Sophie Flament

Whet the children’s curiosity

With a pair of sturdy shoes on your feet (essential for the dunes, marshes and reeds) and a pair of binoculars around your neck, the expedition begins! Your little explorers will be in their element as they roam this vast preserve where thousands of birds come to rest on their way to Scandinavia or West Africa depending on the season.

Watching 300 bird species at Marquenterre park

Through a landscape of whites, blues, greens and greys, the three signposted routes will give you the chance to see all the various species in their natural glory and at your own leisure. Enjoy the captivating spectacle as you watch them building their nest, brooding, hatching or raising their nestlings, all accompanied by the insightful commentary of a naturalist and ornithological expert who will guide you along the way. Did you know, for example, that the white stork is more loyal to its nest than its partner, but that the greylag goose stay together for life?

The park’s heronry is home to six species of waders, including Eurasian spoonbills, grey herons, cattle egrets, little egrets and the elegant pied avocet, whose long and thin curved beaks will leave you as speechless as the peaceful surroundings. If luck is on your side, you might go home with a few carefully taken and well-timed photos for the family album.

Local's tip

Arnaud LengignonArnaud Lengignon
Animals hidden in the sand

 

Cockles, small crabs and sand worms… I love the look on children’s faces when they dig around in the sand and discover all the animals that live there. It’s palpable, they can touch it with their own hands which helps them remember. I think it’s a great present to give them: take them out into the bay (with a guide, to be safe) where the fauna is really varied and let them have a feel, taste the plants, breathe in the salty air and see farther, much farther, than you can ever usually see. It awakens all their senses and they’ll never forget it!

Arnaud LENGIGNON, resident and guide, Expert in nature walks in the bay of Somme
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