The region consists of the Departments of: Cher, Eure-et-Loir, Indre, Indre-et-Loir, Loir-et-Cher & Loiret. The traditional Provinces of: Berry, Orleanais, Touraine & Ile-de-France.
This is an area of France often passed through on the way to somewhere else. It contains some superb habitat and interesting birds, insects (especially butterflies) and plants, too. The forests and lakes of the Sologne, between Orleans, Blois and Romorantin, and the Brenne, West of Chateauroux are the best areas.
Grand Corbois Lake
The Grand Corbois lake in the Sologne, at St Viatre, 25km South of Orleans is an excellent site.
The Parc Natural Regional de la Brenne
Covering some 10,000 hectares and with over 1200 ‘etangs’, man-made lakes, the Brenne has reedbeds, meadows, rough pasture, cereal production and woodland, also two river valleys and some calcareous zones. Bird species number over 280, and at least 98 butterfly species and 60+ odonata species have been recorded here; orchid species number over 40. Amongst the birds, 150+ Common Cranes winter here, Whiskered Terns [c1000 pairs] and Black-necked Grebes [150+ pairs] nest, as do Purple Heron, Cattle Egret, Night Heron, Black-winged Stilt, a few pairs of Short-toed Eagle, and 30+ nesting pairs of Bee-eater; unfortunately Little Bustards are a thing of the past here.
There are two good visitor centres, one at Cherine nature reserve [‘Maison de la Nature’], and one at Le Bouchet [‘Maison du Parc’], and a total of 10 hides throughout the park, 3 of which are at Cherine reserve.
The biggest problem with the Brenne is that most etangs are private and the surrounding land difficult to access. However, apart from the reserve and other parts open to the public, there’s a very extensive network of well sign-posted footpaths that really open the Park up and provide some of the best birding – details from either visitor centre.
Guides & Tour Operators
Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…
CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.
2003 [05 May] - Peter Wells - La Brenne
This is a report on a holiday trip which Nancy and I made to La Brenne in the Indre Département of France from 3rd to 10th May 2003. There is more information for each species recorded, in the accompanying Species Account…
La Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux - Touraine
La Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux - Touraine est une association loi 1901 ependante mais conventionnée avec la LPO qui est une des plus importantes associations françaises de protection des oiseaux et de leurs milieux.
148, rue Louis Blot37540 Saint-Cyr/Loire (France) él/Fax : 02-47-51-81-84 .
La Brenne figure au 4ème rang des zones humides françaises d'importance internationale selon la classification UICN, avec plus de 200 espèces d'oiseaux visibles au cours de l'année. Son intérêt concerne, avant tout, les espèces nicheuses (40) comme le Grèbe à cou noir, le Grand butor, le Blongios nain, le Busard des roseaux, la Guifette noire, etc…
Comprehensive website covering the wildlife of the Brenne and the departement Indre…
… Moulismes Nature, designed to showcase the wildlife that can be found in and around Moulismes, a village in the Vienne, central-western France. There are also trip reports on other regions of France we've visited; I aim to update frequently…