FAUNA AND FLORA OF THE MARSHES

Plant species of the marshes

Kingcup
From the same family as tall buttercup, kingcups shine since the beginning of spring with an extraordinary golden yellow. It’s a sign that sunny days have come. They are found in humid places like ditches. You cannot miss them!

Observation: March to May

Jersey orchid
Jersey orchids are usually found in humid meadows. Even a reduced cutting activity made before half-June is very useful to help them reproduce. Together with broad-leaved helleborine, it is one of the two types of orchids frequently found in the marshes. It may grow in large quantities and groups made of several hundreds of stems are also found.

Observation: May to July

Marsh mallow
Have you noticed this silky plant whose flower oddly looks like the hollyhock? It’s the Marsh mallow. They are both close cousins belonging to the Mallow family.
At the beginning, the sugar-based confectionery known as “marshmallow” was produced with the mucilage extracted from its roots. Replaced by animal gelatin for economic reasons, this plant is not involved in the production process of these sweets anymore.

Observation: July to September

Giant hogweed
This perennial species is abundantly found in in natural areas. It belongs to the same family as carrot and hemlock. The remarkable difference is that it may be 4 m high!
This species is a danger for the indigenous flora, as it has large leaves, sometimes larger than 1m2, that prevent other species from growing. It is also toxic: it may cause blisters or burns on the skin, if it is then exposed to sunlight. It is strongly recommended to follow the paths open to the public, as this plant is not found there.

Observation: July to October

 

Animal species of the marshes

Grey heron
Grey herons are regular visitors of the area. They fly, glide above the meadows or stand still, waiting for preys. They may be seen all year long here. They feed on pastures or along the marshes, hunting frogs or field mouse.

Observation: all year long

White stork
Often found in the Alsatian region, the white storks have colonized other regions, and Normandy is one of their favourite destinations. Several hundreds of couples nest here: one of them has been nesting in the marshes since 2012. It gave birth to three storks in the same year, two of which flew to Spain. Their parents remained faithful to their reproduction site instead.

Observation: April to July

Eurasian bittern
The Eurasian bitterns are more reserved than herons or storks. They have mimetic feathers helping them to hide along reed beds. They just pass by in winter. For the moment, the reed beds are not large enough to make them nest! Funny curiosity: their deep sighing reminds that of a cow mooing.

Observation: November to March

European tree frog
Have you ever seen a frog climbing a tree? It happens in Normandy too. Actually, the European tree frogs are not rare, but reserved. Anyway, you can enjoy their love singing while walking around the "parcelle aux cigognes" in the milder evenings of Spring. In this period, male frogs sing together to produce a stronger sound and manage to attract female frogs.

Observation: April to October