Little Egret Egretta garzetta ©Ashley Beolens Website

Birding Brittany

The region consists of the Departments of: Cotes d’Armor, Finistere, Ile-de-Vilaine & Morbihan. The traditional Province of Brittany.

Known to the Celts as Argoat (the land in the forests); Brittany can today still seem distinct from the rest of France, with it’s own language and culture, although much of the former forests have disappeared. The region can, however, still furnish us with places as diverse as La Grande Brière (the second largest marshland in France); Cap Fréhel and Cap Vauban, and Ile d’Ouessant (possibly better than the Scillies!).

Top Sites
  • Guerand Salt Pans

    Satellite View
    Turn right at the roundabout just before the edge of the town down Rue de la Pigeonaire. Avoid working pans as this annoys the locals. Lots of Bluethroats, Avocets, Black-winged Stilts, etc.
  • La Grande Brière

    InformationSatellite View
    100,000 acres of marshland. Drive until you see a farm track, park the car and explore. Most of the tracks lead to good birding sites. The natives are friendly! From St Joachim take the D50 south. Take 2nd right to Parc des Animaliers. Slightly formal, but excellent birding including good numbers of breeding Bluethroats (there is a charge)
  • Pointe de Croisic

    Satellite View
    Follow signs for Cote Sauvage and seawatch. Loads of shearwaters in August, perhaps just into September.
Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 459

    (As at May 2019)
  • Bretagne Checklist

    This checklist includes all bird species found in Bretagne , based on the best information available at this time. It is based on a wide variety of sources that I collated over many years. I am pleased to offer these checklists as a service to birdwatchers.
Useful Reading

  • A Birdwatching Guide to Brittany

    By Stephen Coghlan | Arlequin Press | 2003 | Paperback | 109 pages, Maps & photos | ISBN: 9781900159869 Buy this book from
  • Atlas des Oiseaux Nicheurs de Bretagne

    By Groupe Ornitologique Breton | Delachaux et Niestle | 2012 | Hardback | 511 pages, 500 colour photos, 400 colour distribution maps | French | ISBN: 9782603017067 Buy this book from
  • Oiseaux Marins Nicheurs de Bretagne

    By B Cadiou | BIOTOPE | 2002 | Paperback | 138 pages, colour photos | ISBN: 9782951037960 Buy this book from
  • La protection de la nature en Bretagne

    Bretagne Vivante - 186, rue Anatole France - BP 63121 - 29231 Brest cedex 3 Mis
  • Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux en Finistère

    Contactez-nous : includes: Liste des oiseaux observés en Finistère etc.

Abbreviations Key

  • RNP Gulf of Morbihan

    InformationSatellite View
  • RNP Parc naturel régional d'Armorique

    InformationSatellite View
    There are sandy beaches, swamps, strange rocks, fast rivers and the hills of Monts d'Arrée, all blended into one landscape. The park also includes three islands: Île de Sein, Molène and Ouessant. There are sea birds on the islands, European otters and beavers in the rivers and swamps, and interesting birds of prey. In the marshes lives a species of rare carnivorous plant, the sundew, which captures unwary insects
  • RNP The Brière Regional Nature Park

    WebsiteSatellite View
    The progressive desertion of the marshes throughout the 20th century has helped let the reed beds extend to take over natural prairies and bodies of water. Very extensive in the northern half, they have now become the dominant feature of the Briéron countryside: this invasive vegetation is composed essentially of reeds and sedges…
Sightings, News & Forums
  • Bretagne

    Mailing List
    Discussion group for local observations, birds andnature in Brittany (French). Members: 215. Archives on-line: ~ 3000 messages. [Most members of Bretagne Vivante (SEPNB) are on this list. There you may ask for an English-speaking birder guide, or any question about watching birds all around the country.]
Guides & Tour Operators
  • 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
  • 2004 [06 June] - Geoff Dicker

    May this year saw me in France again for another family holiday. We stayed in a rented house in the village of Conquereuil near to Redon. As it was relatively near to le Gâvre forest I made about four early morning trips to this location…
Places to Stay
  • Estuary House

    If you're a bit of a birder, this is the holiday home for you - especially if you're fascinated by birds that frequent estuaries. We are extremely lucky in that at low tide, all the estuary birds seem to congregate at the bend in the river directly in front of the house, affording us with the most superb view of all their antics
  • La Fontaine Rouill

    La Fontaine Rouill
  • Place de L'Eglise

    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
  • Jardin Miranda

    Miranda Bell - An experienced, RHS qualified gardener and garden designer. Passionate about the huge benefits of creating and designing gardens which not only encourage wildlife but enable you to garden a lot more organically
  • Sébastien Palud - De Faune en Flore

    I created my blog about Nature & wildlife with a very special focus on birds, my travel companions. Wherever I am, they are always present and this is with great pleasure I observe, photograph and present them to my readers. As far as possible, I try to educate people by increasing their knowledge of bird species and, more generally, their understanding of the fragility and interconnectivity of ecosystems.

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