Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND

Pays de la Loire

Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula ©Ashley Beolens Website

The region consists of the Departments of: Loire-Atlantique, Maine-et-Loire, Mayenne, Sarthe & Vendee. The traditional Provinces of: Anjou, Bretagne, Maine & Poitou.

Wine, chateaux, Little Bustards, and Whiskered Terns - all within 20 miles of Saumur. What more could you possibly ask for? This is a superbly biodiverse region with some knockout wildlife which includes breeding European Beavers.

Top Sites

Foret de Pail - Cornich de Pail

Satellite View

Between Villaines la Juhel and Pre en Pail, the Corniche (an area of heath with a few trees) holds breeding Nightjars and Hen Harriers. Occassional Black Stork, Honey Buzzard, Black Kite and numerous heathland birds. The forest also has Goshawk, Hobby, and Scops Owl all breeding.

Foret de Sillé

Satellite View

This is close to Sillé le Guillaume (from which follow signs to La Plage) which is 33kms north-west of Le Mans. Park in the often very crowded car park and visit the lake and the woodland for Black, Middle-spotted, and Grey-headed woodpeckers, Crossbills, Wood, Bonelli's, and Melodious Warblers. Examine carefully the foraging tit flocks for Lesser-spotted Woodpeckers and Firecrests.

Lac de Grande Lieu

Satellite View

South of the River Loire at Nantes. There are 4 well-known points of access [but there must be more].
1. St. Aignan Grandlieu - A short walk from the signposted car park. Excellent views but a scope is recommended. Good for waders and terns.
2. Pont St. Martin - Park at the side of the river bridge then walk to the lake through various marshland habitats. Excellent in spring and early summer.
3. Passay - Observatory tower for visitors but go down to the lake itself. During one May visit we had Night Heron, Purple Heron, Great White Egret, and Black Kite.
4.St. Lumine-de-Coutais - Drive to informal car park at end of Rue du Stade (D71). We had 7-800 Whiskered Terns here.


Roy Croucher

Northern France Wildlife Tours

Averton, Mayenne



Useful Reading

Books, CDs etc

For guides to France n general, or more than one region see the Fatbirder France page…


Groupe Naturaliste Loire-Atlantique


Créé en janvier 2004, le Groupe Naturaliste Grand-Lieu (GNGL) est devenu Groupe Naturaliste Loire-Atlantique (GNLA) en janvier 2006… Nos objectifs précis sont de constituer une base de données naturalistes sur la Loire-Atlantique, dans un esprit associatif, apolitique et avec une approche pluridisciplinaire…

Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux Anjou


Anjou - a great place for the naturalist in Western France. Throughout the year, the best of Anjou wildlife can be seen in these specially selected birdwatching spots…

Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux - Loire-Atlantique


Bienvenue sur le site de la Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux de Loire-Atlantique. Vous pourrez y trouver, toutes les informations sur la LPO et ses activités, une base de données sur les oiseaux à observer mois après mois en Loire-Atlantique…

Forums & Mailing Lists


Mailing List

To post to list: obs18@yahoogroups.com

List contact: obs18-owner@yahoogroups.com

To subscribe to list: obs18-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Obs ornithologiques dans le CHER - Voici le lieu où échanger toutes vos observations Ornithologiques faites dans le Cher.(On pourrait même déborder un peu ;traverser la Loire…)


Mailing List

To post to list: obs49@yahoogroupes.fr

List contact: obs49-owner@yahoogroupes.fr

To subscribe to list: obs49-subscribe@yahoogroupes.fr

Mailing List – Discussion Group French group for local observations in Maine-et-Loire (français)
Cette liste sert à diffuser les observations naturalistes réalisées en Maine-et-Loire, France


Mailing List

To post to list: obsmaine@yahoogroupes.fr

List contact: Pierre-Victor Vandenweghe cvdw@noos.fr

To subscribe to list: obsmaine-subscribe@yahoogroupes.fr

Discussion group for observations, birds and nature in Maine (French). Most members of MNE (Mayenne) and GSO (Sarthe) are on this list. There you may ask for an English-speaking birder guide, or any question about watching birds all around the country.
Liste locale d`observations d`oiseaux élargie à la faune et la flore des départements de la Mayenne et de la Sarthe.

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Birding Pal


Local birders willing to show visiting birders around their area…

Northern France Wildlife Tours

Tour Operator

Northern France Wildlife Tours Ltd, based in Averton, Mayenne, was born when Roy and Shirley Croucher realised that breeding Black Woodpeckers, Little Bustards and White Storks were well worth stopping for. When they found country lanes lined with orchids and cowslips, over which danced Swallowtail and Clouded Yellow Butterflies and Hummingbird Hawk Moths, they were convinced!

Trip Reports

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…


Trip Report Repository

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.

2009 [08 August] - Geoff Dicker


Driving on to our destination we didn’t get to see much until we were over the St Nazaire bridge over the Loire. Once into the marshes around Beauvoir–Sur–Mer we saw a couple of Black Kites, Cattle & Little Egrets, Marsh & Montagu’s Harrier and a Short-Toed Eagle from the D51 road. Cattle Egrets have obviously spread into this area significantly since our last visit in 1997 when we didn’t see one…

2017 [05 May] - Bob Swann - Vendee

PDF Report

...We continued south towards La Tranch-sur-Mer in the Parc Natural Regional du Marais Poitevin. This was a very flat, mainly pastoral area. Stopped by a river for lunch. Many Barn Swallow, House Martin and a Common Swift feeding over the river and surrounding fields. The riverside scrub held a pair of Turtle Dove, Magpie, Stonechat, Linnets and in the reeds a Reed Warbler. In the fields flava Yellow Wagtails, Lapwing, Carrion Crow, a group of roosting Lesser Black-backed Gull with some Herring Gulls, whilst Black Kites and Marsh Harriers hunted overhead....

Places to Stay

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

La Basse Cour, Ancinnes, Pays de la Loire


This XVIII century Normandy farmhouse has three beautiful en-suite guest rooms (chambres d'hôtes) approved by Gîtes de France. The guest house is in a lovely setting by a lake, surrounded by wooded and planted gardens on the fringes of the Forest of Perseigne, straddling the Orne (Normandy) and Sarthe (Pays de Loire)…

Loire Gites


Here at Le Chant d'Oiseau we don't promise anything but a place to relax, unwind and cast aside the pressures of everyday life. Whether relaxing in the sun with a good read, or meandering the quiet country lanes by bike or on foot, we invite you to soak up the peace and tranquility of rural France at its most enchanting…

Parc Mayenne


The Parc and surrounding areas are home to many birds and already growing as a known bird watching retreat.

Place de l'Eglise - Mayenne


Place de l`Eglise is a 12th century house with a fascinating history. It rests in the centre of the peaceful agricultural village of Averton in Mayenne and has been sympathetically refurbished to the highest standard. The base of your wildlife holiday will be our home where you will find peace and comfort during your stay. We have three guest bedrooms; one multi, one double and one single. You will have your own first floor shower and toilet facilities. Meals are a shared experience; international dishes prepared and cooked by Shirley, who is a qualified chef.