Birding at Bagnas – Marseillan's little gem of a Nature Reserve
Thanks to the network of shallow marshbeds, threaded with intricate secret waterways, the National Natural Reserve of Bagnas, on the outskirts of Marseillan, is a haven for more than 260 species of birds. It was created in 1983, funded by public donations, to preserve the unique flora and fauna of the area.
Rather like humans, the visiting birds change with the seasons; in Spring and Summer certain species come here to breed and raise their young. Others prefer to avoid the intense heat of Summer, and instead come in Spring and Autumn; following their habitual migration routes. Yet others are attracted by the milder temperatures of Southern France, and choose it as a fine place to settle down and pass the Winter months. And then there are the resident birds; those who stay all year round and who have adapted to the seasonal fluctuations and made this place their permanent home.
We are confident that a visit to Bagnas Nature Reserve will be an interesting and rewarding part of your stay in Marseillan. The Reserve is managed by ADENA, an association of passionate and knowledgeable experts, offering a variety of specialised walks on seasonal topics such as edible vegetation, the geology of volcanic Mont Saint Loup, insects, bees and bats.
Access to the Reserve itself is regulated to preserve the best, tranquil conditions for the wildlife. Guided walks are scheduled throughout the year, generally on a Saturday morning at a cost of 6 euros per person. Visits to the Reserve are also available for small groups with an English speaking host if pre-booked. Please click on this link to the Bagnas Reserve website, and call them directly to book the tour of your choice. We are happy to provide an Early Bird's Breakfast Pack for you to take with you – so you won't go hungry!
In addition to the guided walks within the Reserve itself, there are a number of paths in close proximity to Bagnas Reserve where you are free to wander at any time, on foot or by bicycle. For those with limited mobility, or simply less time, there's even a dedicated Observation Point with views over the Bagnas Lake; particularly glorious at dawn and dusk.
At Rue Galilee we are happy to support and assist you in making the most of the natural beauty of this region; with all the comforts of our B&B to return to at the end of the day. For bookings of two nights or more, we offer a 10% reduction against our usual room rate – please quote our promotional code BIRD19 when making your reservations.
Just bring your enthusiasm, and a pair of binoculars, and we'll do the rest!
Spring and Summer Birds include: Purple Heron, Common Tern, Marsh Harrier, Common Shelduck, Little Egret, Great White Egret, Western Swamphen, Mallard, Black-winged Stilt, Avocet and Cetti's Warbler.
Autumn and Winter Birds include: Great cormorant, Yellow-legged Gull, Grey Heron, Black-headed Gull, Greater Flamingo, Osprey, Common Pochard, Shoveler, Great crested Grebe, Eurasian coot, Little Grebe, European Penduline Tit and Common Kingfisher.