Birdwatching at Sandboys


photo by Alex Burson

Among many good reasons why you might choose the Baie De Somme area for a holiday, is the fact that it’s one of the best places in France for ornithology.  Hundreds of different species of birds can be seen in the Bay, in the Marquenterre Bird Reserve, and even on the lake that’s only a hundred metres or so from our holiday apartments, The Pines, and The West Wing.

Recent visitors, the Burson family, spent a couple of evenings enjoying the view of birds from the hide overlooking this lake, within a short stroll of their front door, where egrets, spoonbill and various types of cormorant can be spotted along with geese, ducks and other wild birds.


photo by Alex Burson

We were fortunate that young Alex Burson, who is both a keen naturalist and a talented photographer, sent us a few of his photos, which we are very happy and proud to publish here, (and soon in other parts of our website). We particularly liked his photo of an inquisitive seal, one of the colony on the sands of the Authie Bay between Berck and Fort Mahon, which we are publishing in another post.

The Marquenterre Bird reserve is only a 10 minute drive from any of our gites, and the Somme Bay, with its marshes, sand banks, bird life and seascapes, as well as the delightful old towns of St Valery and Le Crotoy is reachable in 20 minutes or so.

For more information on bird and seal watching in the area use the links below.

The Independent

Marquenterre Bird Reserve


free bird watching hide, northen France, Baie De Somme

Evening view from the birdwatchers’ hide at The Pines ~ photo Alex Burson


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An unusual tourist hits the beach

wild boar on beachVisitors to Sandboys holiday houses at Fort Mahon may be lucky enough to see some of the wild deer that live in the woods and dunes surrounding the town, but the families of wild boar who also live there usually come out only at night and are rarely seen in daylight hours.

Still, our visitors have reported the occasional sighting – one cyclist enjoyed the rare sight of a whole family of boar crossing the road and paddling in the waters of the Authie river.  Another sighting took place at dusk in fields on the edge of town.  Golfers searching for errant balls on the famous Belle-Dune golf course occasionally spot a few of these shy animals resting in the shade of trees and bushes at a safe distance from even the worst mis-hit drive, but it’s very rare indeed to see wild boar on the beach.

This early morning visitor may have just been trying out the temperature of the water!



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