Centre

Grey-headed Woodpecker Picus canus ©Thomas Hochebner Website

Birding Central France

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.

Top Sites
  • Grand Corbois Lake

    Satellite View
    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

    WebsiteSatellite View
    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.
Contributors
  • Peter Wells

    | p.wells@zen.co.uk

Useful Reading

  • Books, CDs, etc.

    For books on France as a whole and more than one region see the Fatbirder France page ISBN: Buy this book from NHBS.com
Organisations
  • La Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux - Touraine

    Website
    La Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux - Touraine est une association loi 1901 ependante mais conventionn
Reserves

Abbreviations Key

  • RNP La Brenne

    WebsiteSatellite View
    The park is cut in two by the Creuse River. The wild countryside of La Brenne Regional Nature Park, which covers 166,000 hectares, is dotted with over 2,000 lakes and ponds and a paradise for flora and fauna, especially migratory birds that stop there to reproduce. A dream destination for botany and ornithology fans, this haven of peace strewn with lakes and ponds, marshland, reed beds, moors, prairies and woods is home to no fewer than 2,300 animal and 1,200 plant species! Among its most emblematic are European pond turtles, purple herons, orchids, black-necked grebes, ducks, Eurasian bitterns and dragonflies.
  • RNP Natural Regional Parc of Loire-Anjou-Touraine

    WebsiteSatellite View
    More than 200 bird species are present. Among mammals European beaver has recolonised the Loire and its tributaries since its reintroduction in the Loiret in the 1970s.
  • RNP Perche Regional Nature Park

    WebsiteSatellite View
    The Perche, a rural area astride Normandy and the Centre-Val de Loire regions, is depicted by lush green meadows, wooded hillsides of hundred-year-old beeches and oak trees.
Trip Reports


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

  • 2018 [05 May] - Jason Mitchell - La Brenne

    PDF Report
    On our arrival and even before we hadleft the car park, Golden Oriole, Nightingale, Cuckoo and Turtle Dove were heard singing all around! Walking along a tree-lined path, we entered the hide where we were greeted by a wall of sound emanating from the heron colony just metres away. Several Purple Herons gave wonderful flight views as they arrived from nearby reeds, and there was a near-constant stream of Cattle Egrets flying back and forth. Typical of the species’ crepuscular habits, Night Herons were less active but the odd one broke cover and others were spied as they roosted amongst dense willows.
Other Links
  • Indre Nature

    Website
    Comprehensive website covering the wildlife of the Brenne and the departement Indre
  • Moulismes Nature

    Website
    Designed to showcase the wildlife of the Brenne and the area around Moulismes in the southern Vienne.

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