Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Réserve Ornithologique du Teich, Arcachon, France

Réserve Ornithologique du Teich, Arcachon, France
18 July 2014

     As mentioned in my trip report we spend a very fine day at Le Teich and enjoyed some great birding. I could very easily spend three or four days there if ever the opportunity presented itself.
     White Stork Ciconia ciconia, the bird that delivers babies in folkloric myth, was quite common, with many nests. It is stately and grand to say the least.

     The introduced Mute Swan Cygnus olor seems to have established a presence there, and there were several families with healthy youngsters. With such large parents, fearless in defence of their young, it is easy to see why they do well.

     The following picture is not very good, and was taken at some distance from the bird, but it does show a Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus still in breeding plumage.

     Little Egret Egretta garzetta seems to be spreading all over Europe, but I suspect that this species was a fixture at Le Teich long before its recent expansion. By any standards, it is a handsome bird.

     It seems that Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ribundus could easily lay claim to the name Brown-Headed Gull!

     The design of Le Teich has been very well done and includes many loafing areas for gulls, terns and cormorants.

     This Grey Heron Ardea cinerea looks a little windswept.

     As far as I can remember this Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa was the first I had ever seen in breeding plumage and while the photograph is not of sterling quality, we are happy to have it.

     The identification of the following shorebird eludes me. I have searched all of my reference books but cannot pin a name on it. I probably have missed something obvious, but if anyone more familiar than me with European shorebirds  can help, it would be much appreciated. (14 August - see comments from Richard Pegler and Phil Slade. The bird is a Ruff Philomachus pugnax).

     This Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos is much easier!

     Black Kite Milvus migrans was very common throughout the region, but it was pleasing to see this juvenile bird nevertheless.

     Based on advance reading about the species that might be present in the reserve we were not surprised to locate Common Shelduck Tadornis tadorna, but the Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea alongside it was unexpected.

     I certainly spent a wonderful day birding at Le Teich and I would love to return there one day.


  1. An interesting post. You were lucky to see so many species, especially the Spotted Redshank - a bird I'd love to see in breeding plumage like that. Can you give any hints about size and leg colour for your mystery bird?

  2. Beautiful array of birds David.
    The name of the bird on the picture 10 I am also not known.
    I thought maybe this is a young Bar-Tailed Godwit.
    Best regards, Irma

  3. From these great images, David, I can fully understand your statement that you'd like to spend far longer in this place!

    Having recently told you that I'm hopeless at wader identification, you might want to ignore my next statement, but I'm thinking that the inidentified wader maight be a male Ruff of the white-ruffed type, in 'intermediate' plumage (i.e passing from breeding plumage into winter plumage).

    Best wishes - - - Richard

    1. Thanks for this, Richard. You may well be right. There were Ruffs present but more advanced into definitive basic plumage and I hadn't considered a Ruff in intermediate plumage. Maybe Phil Slade can weigh in on this one.

  4. Some familiar species there David. You could almost be in the UK apart from the White Storks and the Black Kite.

    A Ruff it is, an adult moulting from summer plumage. The breeding adults can be so variable that the next one you saw could be quite different, although there may have been a few juvs around as well in July.

    1. Thanks for the i.d. help, Phil. Now I want to see a breeding plumaged bird even more!

  5. When you come to Spain ??? :-))) Lots of variety of beautiful birds and wildlife .. Very beautiful images of these beloved birds ... Greetings

  6. Photos are very great.Your blog is amazing.

  7. What a wonderful variety of birds and photos.. I love the Storks and the Ruff! Have a great weekend!

  8. Great place, you had a nice day at the park:-) You should often come to the old continent:-)


  9. Excelente entrada, buen blog, me hago amigo y seguidor. Un abrazo desde España.

  10. Lovely series of all these different birds.
    Greetings Tinie

  11. What a rich bird blog David! Wonderful to see the ooieveaars on the nest. Also you great egret I find really great as the blue heron. Ruffs, a sandpiper and sure enough one black Kite. What a wonderfull bird of prey that is. A truly enjoys blog.

  12. Quite a familiar place and birds I remember!
    Well done for the Spotted Redshank, I didn't see this one!!!
    So did we... have a wonderful time with the two of you!!
    Who knows, maybe we'll still be here next year and could go there again with you?!!