Ornithological outingat the Marais de Sougeal
©Aurélien Bellanger©Aurélien Bellanger
©©Aurélien Bellanger

Ornithological trip to the Sougeal Marsh

In search of the great outdoors and shades of green… I still have plenty of memories!

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In search of the great outdoors and shades of green... I still have plenty of memories!

Remarkable Site of Brittany

Ornithological outing

A green escapade in the land of birds in a site classified as a Remarkable Area of Brittany!

Once upon a time, at a certain time of the year, more precisely in February, there was a story of hundreds of migratory birds crossing continents in search of the most perfect of stopovers: the Sougeal Marsh! A tourist getaway nestled in the heart of the Mont-Saint-Michel Bay for these 60 different species. Just like a visiting tourist, they come to take a healthy break, to regain their strength in order to continue their journey, their migration. But why this break? They come here mainly to feed, this stopover can last a few days, or weeks!”

“When appetite goes, everything goes”

As far as I’m concerned, like them I needed this break, a break from home. This little jaunt into known, but almost unknown, territory. Like everyone else, I see the birds in the sky, on the trees, on the roofs of the houses, but during this break, I took the time to observe them, to learn why they come to make their annual break at home.This winter migration, it is the prenuptial migration, it is the aerial romance par excellence. These birds come from the north of Africa to Sweden and even to Siberia. Different destinations, but a common goal, the search for food. Their internal compass leads them, their sense of smell locates them, all this guides them to find the right path! Without forgetting their already increased knowledge of geography and yes these birds learned from their youngest age the coasts, the rivers of the various countries which they cross. Like me, like you… it’s quite funny isn’t it!

Let's move on to observation

Let’s go to the observation, now that I know where they go, why they go there and how they go there! Long sight in place, Marion, our guide, animator of the heritage, shows to my companions of observation and me, the different species of ducks, the difference between male and female. Because mother duck, is not like father duck, she has paler colors, less visible. Beyond the fact that it is necessary to escape predators and hunters, it is Mrs. duck which chooses the most beautiful male and not the opposite. I take breaks out of the long view to take the time to observe with my eyes all this green expanse, to admire the flight of the great egret, the calm and the plenitude of this place. I confess to you not having retained the name of all the species of birds met during this small escapade but I saw swans, a great egret, crested lapwings and obviously seagulls! The ecstasy of this moment arrives at its paroxysm, when the crested lapwings fly away in a scintillation caused by the light which dances on their wings, it is quite simply the amazement of all the group. I find my childish soul, my mouth and eyes wide open, observing this aerial ballet. An open-air show! One of the persons of the group compares that to a fireworks, the nature invented everything, leaving us the inspiration.then, we return on earth, finally on the marsh, and we discover big white birds, geese? gulls? No, swans… Here, a family of swans has taken up residence. Mr. and Mrs. swan settled here some time ago and 4 babies swans were born… A pink notebook moment!

Here we replay Swan Lake or rather Swan Swamp!”

I learned that the swans so magnificent on the water, took a long time to learn to fly and when they do, it is not famous. A heavy and slow flight. The grace of their swimming is completely forgotten when we see them flying! Too bad, a myth that flies away, but they are still beautiful. In addition to the migration of these hundreds of birds in the 175 hectares of the marsh of Sougeal, there are also 8 species of amphibians, 360 species of flora and pikes … It is moreover the place of reproduction of the pikes. They are more precocious than the others but the marsh of Sougeal is the ideal place for the captain pike, madam and his friends to fertilize their eggs and give birth to many baby pikes! The marsh allows the young to grow up quietly and can then go up the marsh’s channels for the love of the open sea.

Our guide Marion takes us into the world of biodiversity!

Final accomplishment of this walk, when one of my companions of stroll, breathes in large and expresses the fact of being rested and relaxed… And me thus, I am ready to set out again with the adventure, to make discover this small green corner with all those which wish a nature escapade and to take time to observe the fauna and the flora of our Destination.

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