France - SE Bretagne & Vendée 29 April - 7 May 2007
Birding trip report John van der Woude  -  www.jvanderw.nl  

From a cottage along the river Villaine we visited several birding areas mentioned in the new Where to watch birds in France (Dubois 2006). We got a nice array of bird species, both coastal and inland species. We had hoped to see lots of migrating waders in the estuaries etc. but in general this is not comparable to Holland where the numbers are far higher. The weather was generally good, the sunny climate of SW France starts about here.

Map of the northern part of the area, from Google Maps. Numbers refer to the sites of the photos below.


Same for southern part of the area. Same scale.

(1
on map above) A first glance at the Golfe de Morbihan, N of Sarzeau.

(2) Marsh reserve at the Chateau de Suscinio, S of Sarzeau. Bluethroat, Cetti's Warbler.


(3) View from Sissable in the Guérande salt marsh area.


(4) View at the Atlantic ocean from the Pointe de Croisic. Many Wheatear having a stopover.


(5) The Grande Brière inland marsh area. Whiskered Tern.


(5) Grande Brière just before a thunderstorm.


(6) Tidal mudflats along the old causeway to the Noirmoutier island. Mostly Dunlin.


(7) Gull colony in the Sébastopol polder reserve on the Noirmoutier island. Here, a Slender-billed Gull was paired to a Mediterranean Gull. Many Med Gulls.


(8) At the Pointe de l'Herbaudière in the NW corner of the Noirmoutier island. Turnstones.


(9) Good polder area E of Noirmoutier island although June is a bit late for this habitat.

(10) Back in the Golfe de Morbihan, at the Séné marsh reserve.


(11) Wet meadow along the Vilaine, near our village Béganne. Fan-tailed Warbler.


On the way back home, a short visit to the seabird colony of Cap Fréhel along the North coast of Bretagne. We also had our only Dartford Warbler here.


Further North, a view of the scenery of inland Normandy, near Pont-d'Ouilly.

Species list:

Great Crested Grebe
Fulmar
Cormorant
Shag
Cattle Egret
Little Egret
Grey Heron
Sacred Ibis
Spoonbill
Mute Swan
Greylag Goose
Shelduck
Gadwall
Teal
Mallard
Garganey
Shoveler
Tufted Duck
Black Kite
Marsh Harrier
Hen Harrier
Montagu's Harrier
Buzzard
Kestrel
Hobby
Pheasant
Moorhen
Coot
Oystercatcher
Black-winged Stilt
Avocet
Little Ringed Plover
Ringed Plover
Kentish Plover
Grey Plover
Lapwing
Sanderling
Curlew Sandpiper
Dunlin
Snipe
Black-tailed Godwit
Bar-tailed Godwit
Whimbrel



Curlew
Redshank
Greenshank
Turnstone
Great Skua
Mediterranean Gull
Little Gull
Black-headed Gull
Slender-billed Gull
Common Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Herring Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
Kittiwake
Sandwich Tern
Common Tern
Little Tern
Whiskered Tern
Guillemot
Rock Dove
Stock dove
Wood Pigeon
Collared Dove
Turtle Dove
Cuckoo
Tawny Owl
Swift
Kingfisher
Hoopoe
Green Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Wood Lark
Sky Lark
Barn Swallow
House Martin
Tree Pipit
Meadow Pipit
Rock Pipit
Yellow Wagtail
Grey Wagtail
White Wagtail
Wren
Dunnock

Robin
Bluethroat
Black Redstart
Stonechat
Wheatear
Blackbird
Song Thrush
Mistle Thrush
Cetti's Warbler
Fan-tailed Warbler
Sedge Warbler
Reed Warbler
Dartford Warbler
Lesser Whitethroat
Whitethroat
Garden Warbler
Blackcap
Wood Warbler
Chiffchaff
Willow Warbler
Goldcrest
Firecrest
Long-tailed Tit
Crested Tit
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Nuthatch
Short-toed Treecreeper
Jay
Magpie
Jackdaw
Rook
Carrion Crow
Starling
House Sparrow
Chaffinch
Serin
Greenfinch
Goldfinch
Linnet
Yellowhammer
Reed Bunting