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The Marais du Verdier is one of these great birdwatching areas in the Camargue. Because of the varied habitats, many birds can be seen here.
The Verdier marshes cover four ancient fishing basins of 120 hectares. The area has many different habitats: reedbeds, freshwater and salt marshes, lagoons and Tamarix groves. It’s a haven for waterbirds. An observation platform and hide provide convenient viewing points.
All year round you can see: Glossy Ibis, Purple Swamphen, Moustached Warbler, Great Bittern. In summer: Collared Pratincole, Great Reed Warbler, Little Bittern, Stone-curlew. In winter: Penduline Tit, Bluethroat, Red-crested Pochard, Common Teal. During migration: Spoonbill, Black-winged Stilt, Bearded Tit, Little Crake. For more birds you can observe here, see the extended list below.
The Marais du Verdier is located in Camargue on the commune of Arles (Bouches-du-Rhône), between Arles and Salin de Giraud, in direct proximity to the hamlet of Sambuc. The site covers 120 hectares, it is free to access. The area is open to walking or cycling.
Access to the site can be: directly from the village square and along the stadium from the right. A footbridge marks the entrance to the site. Or go to "Cabanon" along Departmental Highway 36, where there is a car park with place for a dozen vehicles. Click on a P in the map to get directions.
Two observatories are located on the site: one on the South Seawall of the West Marsh for bird watching; the other is a platform near the "Cabanon", it gives views on the Pesquier pond, the rice fields and the nearby marshes. There are 3 marked trails of 1,6, 2,5 or 4,4 km. If you walk all the trails (see the map) you walk about 6 km in total.