Tours for Birdwatching, Butterflyspotting and general Wildlife
Enjoy a leisurely and informative wildlife trip in a comfortable vehicle to the best wildlife sites in Dordogne. Sit back and enjoy the beautiful countryside and pretty villages on route. Most stops involve short, easy walks or observation of the area around the vehicle. Les Magnolias works closely with David Simpson who has lived in Dordogne for over 15 years and is the author of ‘Birding Dordogne’ and the ‘Crossbill (Wildlife) Guide to Dordogne’. The trips are led by David Simpson, he will be pleased to answer your questions about the wildlife, the local area and living in Dordogne
The wide range of habitats around Les Magnolias and through Dordogne in general, means that there is a great diversity of fauna and flora. Deer regularly visit our meadows whilst Red Squirrels are common. Beech and Pine Martin are found throughout the forests and near the river there are populations of Genet.
In wet weather in spring and autumn, amphibians are active at night and locally there are populations of such species as Midwife Toad, Marbled Newt, Stripeless Tree Frog and Fire Salamander. Wall Lizards are very common with Green Lizard widespread, whilst snakes such as Western Whip-snake and Grass Snake are present.
Apart from butterflies there is a good range of moths with over 500 species recorded here, including the Giant Peacock Moth, Clifden Nonpareil, Hummingbird and Bee Hawk-moths and Tau Emperor. Dragonflies are also notable with around 50 species recorded locally including specialities such as the Western Spectre and Orange Spotted Emerald. Other invertebrates are similarly diverse.
In spring from late March there is a beautiful display of orchids and wild flowers including the orchids: Lady, Sombre Bee, Woodcock, Lizard, Red Helleborine and Violet Limodore. Unusual wild flowers include the lavendar-like Staelelina dubia and Swallow-wort.
Birdwatching in Dordogne is surprisingly rewarding for an inland French département. In the summertime around most villages one can find the classic rural French mix of hoopoe, golden oriole, serin, cirl bunting, black redstart, cuckoo and turtle dove. Searching a little further can reveal red-backed and woodchat shrike, honey buzzard, short-toed eagle and hen harrier, to name but a few. On the dry farming zones there are crested lark, Scops owl, rock sparrow, quail and stone curlew and if you are really lucky, maybe one of the last little bustard. At migration times a vast array of birds pass through the region including osprey, purple heron, booted eagle, bee-eater and large numbers of pied flycatchers. Local reservoirs and the main river are good spots to search for waders, waterbirds and raptors.
Winter is the time to search for some of the Dordogne’s most elusive species. Resident black and middle spotted woodpeckers are active, as are eagle owls. Around the cliffs, wallcreeper and alpine accentor can be found, whilst in the countryside you may come across water pipit and rock bunting.
In fact you never quite know what may turn up. We have recorded well over 100 species around Lalinde.
Les Magnolias is located directly on the riverbanks and offers a good base for birdwatching and butterflyspotting. Short walks along the river, canal or through our local fields in spring or early summer will introduce you to a range of the rich local wildlife. On our grounds you will find butterflies , orchids and lots of birds like swans, firecrest, kingfishers and cormorants. Badgers, Foxes and Red Squirrels are also common locally.
Our package includes:
- at least 2 nights at Les Magnolias including breakfast.
- Period: April to October. For wildlife the area is probably best visited between April and June but there is interest throughout the year.
Tour prices :
€150 for one person, which includes guiding, transport and insurance. €200 for 2 persons and 250 euros from 3 to a maximum of 8 people. Normally we have a light lunch in a local restaurant which costs around 15-25 euros, although it is possible to bring your own picnics.
Tours for guests at Les Magnolias are available on request and when the guide is available.