Nature Notes

February 16, 2017

Birding La Brenne, France

Filed under: Birds,France — Tags: , , — Harold Stiver @ 6:00 am
Purple Heron

Purple Heron

The Parc naturel régional de la Brenne is a large area in central France which includes some important wetlands, woodlands and grasslands, as well as many small villages and agricultural areas.

Driving the tree shaded back roads, you will encounter Common Wood-Pigeon, Eurasian Turtle-Dove, the strange and wonderful Hoopoe, Yellowhammer and Eurasian Jay, and common birds like the Chaffinch, Eurasian Blackbird and European Goldfinch.

More open fields host Red-legged Partridge, Red-backed Shrike, Black Kite and Eurasian Buzzard.

There is a visiter center near Saint-Michel-en-Brenne which has a boardwalk over the marsh as well as a number of hides in the area. You may see Black-headed Gull, Great-crested, Eared and Little Grebes, Eurasian Coot, Eurasian Reed-Warbler, Long-tailed Tit, Gray Heron and Purple Heron,  and Little Egret.

I would recommend it as a fine way to spend a day.

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  1. Very interested to see your comments about La Brenne. I live in Issoudun which is quite close.
    I used to go birdwatching, when I lived in the U.K., at least once a week but have not done so in France, particularly because I have lost one of my legs and walking any distance is very tiring for me.
    It’s a shame because I used to love just walking around a particular area seeing what birds might pop up. In the past I have been as far north as John o’Groats and as far south as the Camargue.
    Is there wheelchair access to any of the hides, do you know? Mind you, I’ve got to buy a car first!

    Comment by John Hodgson — April 12, 2009 @ 11:43 am

  2. Hi John:

    Yes, I believe the visitor center at Saint-Michel-en-Brenne has wheelchair access to the hide. It also has a boardwalk through the marsh area which I think you would find useful too.

    If you get your car sorted, you will find the whole area is excellent to bird from your vehicle.

    All the best, Harold

    Comment by Harold — April 13, 2009 @ 8:33 pm

  3. Hi Harold, just found your link about La Brenne, I am going there in a couple of weeks hoping to photograph the Black necked Grebe.( (Eared Grebe) is there local information when you get to the area on where the best places to find the birds..? I have tried to contact the visitor centre but have received no reply so far, thanks regards Mark

    Comment by Mark — June 1, 2009 @ 4:54 am

  4. Hi Mark:

    I didn’t ask any questions at the Visitor’s Center, so I can’t tell you how helpful they are. I suspect you can get good information there.

    As far as Black-necked Grebe, they were easy to see from the Marsh boardwalk at the Visitor Center ( near Saint-Michel-en-Brenne). They should still be with young birds in a couple of weeks and I expect you will have some some good photography opportunities.

    Regards, Harold

    Comment by Harold — June 1, 2009 @ 8:12 am

  5. Bonjour or hello are there any English birders living in the creuse, that would like to get together for birding trips or just pass on bird sightings etc.
    I live near la souterraine/ gueret and would like the company of a fellow birder.
    I am 67yrs old retired, and visit the Brenne quite often. Deep joy John

    Comment by john clayden — April 3, 2014 @ 9:50 am

  6. Hi John,

    Sorry I can’t help you with that. I was only a visitor there for a couple of weeks.

    Cheers, Harold

    Comment by Harold — April 3, 2014 @ 6:38 pm

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