Frédéric Thélinge, emeritus nature animator
Passionate about the Berruyer marshes for more than twenty years, Frédéric Thélinge is an erudite guide who makes the discovery of nature fun in order to raise public awareness of its fragility.
It reveals to us the vast variety of animals, terrestrial and aquatic, which inhabit the marshes.
In the marshes, the birds are discreet, but we have the privilege of hearing the piercing song of the swift chiffchaff, a small species of approximately 10 cm, with brown and beige plumage. Frédéric teaches us a curiosity: birds have a different accent depending on their geographical origin! At the bend of the trails, we also saw a blackbird and wood pigeon. Marshes are home to many other species, such as great tit, swifts, robins, swallows, kestrel, tawny owl, as well as the elegant gray herons, woodpeckers and great spotted woodpeckers.
The Marais de Bourges, crossed by the Yèvre, are the kingdom of aquatic birds. Among these, we obviously find the ducks which in spring adorn themselves with beautiful colors to seduce females, Canes, and attract predators away from them and their ducklings. “You should know,” Frederic Thélinge tells us, “that at the end of summer they return to more sober colors for about four months, and are then almost identical to the females. To differentiate them, you must observe their beaks, blue-green in males and black and beige in females, as well as their rounded patterned plumage in males and pointed in females. In January, they regain their beautiful colors to seduce females again. »
Near the ducks, we also observed coots, recognizable by their beak decorated with a white mask and their semi-webbed feet which allow them to glide gracefully on the water.
Cousins of the coots, the water hens are never very far away. We recognize them by their small size, their black feathers, their yellow beak and their long legs adapted to walking in vegetation.
A little further on, we see “a little ball of feather” as our guide calls it. It's a little grebe. Usually hidden in vegetation, in marshes, we are lucky to be able to observe it quite closely. The little grebe, unlike ducks, only feeds on small fish and insects. Furthermore, when her young hatch, the mother carries them on her back so that they do not sink due to lack of fat.
Frédéric Thélinge explains to us that “a fairly rare fact: the male and the female live their whole life together but they “divorce” to feed the babies if there are too many. Then they meet again once the babies are old enough to fend for themselves.”
Finally, the majestic swan, symbol of grace and elegance, does not go unnoticed.
Among the aquatic plants of marshes, fry, the “baby fish”, hide, safe from predators. We discover the chubs, white fish that can reach a nice size. Yèvre is also home to bream, also called “mullets”, they belong to the cyprinidae family, just like carp. THE let's keep, recognizable by their red fins and green back, the perch, pike and minnows also populate these waters.
Nicknamed “water spiders”, gerrids play an essential role in cleaning the water surface of larvae and dead insects. On the banks, the dragonflies, such as the calopterix that we were able to observe, add color to the marshes. We differentiate males from females by their colors, since the male is blue with opaque wings, while the female is green with transparent wings.
Dragonflies are valuable because their larvae feed on those of mosquitoes. Other predators, such as fish, bats and swallows, also help regulate mosquito populations, highlighting the importance of preserving this ecosystem. And let's not forget the butterflies, which add their touch of grace to the color palette of the marshes.
Although we did not encounter any during our visit, a wide variety of mammals live in the marshes. According to Frédéric Thélinge, the chat reigns supreme in these places, but you can also find nutria, muskrats, hedgehogs, foxes, roe deer and, as mentioned previously, Bats.
Reptiles & amphibians
The marshes, sheltering species protected in France, are home to some grass snakes and viper snakes, non-venomous, let’s reassure visitors! You can also spot slow worms, a species of legless lizard. And finally, the little ones green frogs, with their tadpoles, complete this fascinating picture of marsh fauna.
18 “the stone”
18340 St Germain des Bois
Visit on order at 06 88 56 92 23
Pottery teepaper wander
Discover the world of mushrooms
Discover the world of insects
Visit to the Marais de Bourges
Edible wild plants