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Thread: Brittany birding

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Default Brittany birding

    Hi there,
    This is a brief introduction to birding in Brittany!

    A short ferry trip from UK ferry ports, including both Plymouth and Poole, will allow you to enjoy some of the best birding in Europe, based on the northwestern tip of France, just south of the UK, in the beautiful and fascinating peninsula of Brittany.

    The land of unspoilt salmon rivers, scrubland, heathland and forest is surrounded by warm emerald coloured oceanic waters foaming with Atlantic breakers on the safe golden sandy coastline. As for the rugged coastal land, it peaks majestically at the 384 metre high Roc'h Trévezel, offering a pleasant panorama of the bird filled Mont d’Arrée to the west, and Montagnes Noires to the east. The surrounding area forms the wildlife rich Regional Natural Parc of Armorique, which is accessed west of the haunting town of Huelgoat some thirty kilometres south of Morlaix, also located to the east of the military nerve centre of Brest. Brittany beckons!

    Armorique - the old Breton name for Brittany, meaning the ‘Land of the Sea’ - covers some 27,000 square kilometres of the French Continental land area and it is noted by naturalists across Europe as a prime haven – if not the prime haven - for wildlife in France. Brittany consists of five Départements : Ile-et-Vilaine, Loire-Atlantique, Côtes-d’Armor, Finistère and Morbihan. These key administrative areas are rather similar to the forty or so UK Counties. Brittany could be compared to France in a similar way that England is compared to the UK. However England is more densely populated than Brittany, having double the population per square kilometer to Brittany. Only 110 people per square km on average live in Brittany, (Brittany having a total population of somewhat surprisingly some 3 million residents), compared to 250 people per square km in England with a population of about 60 million residents! Of course England covers a much larger landmass than Brittany of roughly 243,000 square km, having likewise key conurbations near the coast like Brittany. Brittany’s capital city, however, at Rennes is straddled right in the middle of the Brittany hinterland, in fact it is over 50 km from the nearest coastline. The nearest coast to Rennes being the bird-filled Bay of the Arc-Angel St Michel, known as the Bay of Mont-St Michel. This important inter-tidal area is a RAMSAR reserve and is classed by many as one of the most impressive ‘Seven Wonders of the World’ for its beauty including the majesty of its ancient Abbey, resultingly it is rightly classed as a World Heritage Site.

    Brittany’s charming countryside is littered with quaint and inviting fishing ports, well preserved prehistoric settlements, attractive Abbeys, charming Châteaux, magnificent manor houses, and walled towns for those who just want to amble, ramble and tour. As for birders, we are all offered gems for those of us interested in all forms of nature, the opportunity to mingle with the abundant wildlife surrounding a population of just three millions residents, relative to the relatively large expanse of land mass for this limited population. The Bretons are justly proud of their amazingly distinguished ancestors. Bretons of old helped place William Duke of Normandy on the throne of England in 1066. Later in their history they aided the first of the Tudors to rule over England, King Henry VII of England, who seized the throne of England and Lordship of Ireland, with a substantial amount of French help, in 1485, having spent much of his youth in Brittany, largely at the lovely Forteresse du Largouët. This historical site is worth a visit to experience its ancient well preserved charms. Dukes of Brittany were remarkably powerful potentates, and only lost much of their independence through the marriage of their really influential ruler the Duchesse Anne of Brittany, when she became betrothed to King Charles VIII of France in 1491. The Breton people are arguably easily more closely linked to the Celtic people of the British Isles, [through bloodlines, history and the ancient Breton language], than to the French!

    Indeed, Brittany is home to an impressive number of species of wildlife that are now rare or extinct in the UK. For example, whereas half the total number of European insect species [thus some 40,000 species] are found in France itself; Brittany, in particular, offers some of the best sites in the whole of France to see an array of the 270 species of French butterfly and 85 species of Dragonfly - including a dozen species of butterfly which are rare or extinct in the UK. Yet, these can still often be found here in Brittany. This vital corridor, leading [from the sun of southern Europe] to the UK, for rare Continental migrants - largely due to its mild climate and strategic location - is a place that is, without a doubt, for any birder, a ‘must see’ destination.

    Over a hundred pairs of Roseate Terns nest around Brittany. Mainly, these can be found nesting on Ile de la Colombière, in the Rance estuary near the ferry terminal at St Mälo, [which is a town filled with inhabitants who are fiercely independence loving]. These birds can also sometimes be found in greater numbers on Ile aux Dames, near Roscoff, in the Baie de Morlaix, that is, when predators like Peregrine Falcons are not present! In Autumn, these beautiful Terns are a must to observe, normally along with some British ringed Roseates, at Ile de Berder Oyster Farm in the feeding area near Pen-en-Toul bird reserve, situated in the Golfe de Morbihan near Vannes. This is easily accessible by travelling south-west from Vannes along the D101 for a few kilometres.

    Seabirds have impressive colonies in Brittany, with around 19,000 pairs of Gannet alone, which breed on Ile de Rouzic. Large numbers of other species of seabirds breed around this island. Near Roscoff, the Sept Iles bird reserve is therefore recommended for a visit. Boat trips around the islands are organized and run by the Ligue pour la Protection d’Oiseaux [the ‘LPO’ or ‘League for the Protection of Birds’], which is Bird Life International’s partner in France.

    The Isle of Ouessant [Ushant in English] south of the Scilly Isles is a magnet for up to 500 species of stray migrant birds. These range from as far away as: Siberia, Africa and the Americas (such as Gray’s Grasshopper Warbler, Moussier’s Redstart, Booted Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, regular Little Shearwaters and the Southern Giant Petrel). Resident Red-billed Chough, Puffin and Dartford Warblers offer variety if the rare migrants are not as obvious here as they become in the month of October. The first French bird observatory, one of the first inaugurated in the world, was founded on Ushant near what is reputed to be the most powerful lighthouse in Europe at Creac’h, its thirteen pencil beams being visible at night over a hundred miles away!

    In the Baie d’Audierne, on the south-western tip of Brittany is a bird reserve which invariably hosts an exceptionally brightly coloured colony of European Bee-Eaters, usually numbering around fifty birds, which can be observed in the undulating dunes near Pointe de la Torche. The colony is also near the reserve of Trunvel Marshes, where many Aquatic Warblers are annually trapped by ringers. Also found here are many Continental breeding species which do not often breed in the UK [like Hoopoe, Bluethroat, Garganey, Savi’s Warbler, Kentish Plover and Black-winged Stilt]. A Least Sandpiper has recently been seen here, which is an excellent example of the many rarities recorded in this beautiful haven for nature of the Baie d’Audierne.

    In the Reserve de Séné bird reserve [near the ancient pre-Christian town of Vannes, in the Département de Morbihan, in the south-eastern part of Brittany] is a key strategic bird reserve where in August the following birds can be seen: Marsh Sandpiper, Black-winged Stilt, Fan-tailed Warbler, Spoonbill, Osprey, Bluethroat, Glossy Ibis, Sacred Ibis, Hobby, Cirl Bunting, Kentish Plover, plus regular rare waders like the Lesser Yellowlegs and White-rumped Sandpiper.

    The Société pour l’Etude et Protection de la Nature en Bretagne [‘SEPNB’ or ‘The Society for the Study and Protection of Nature in Brittany’] runs 99 nature reserves in Brittany. The Society has thousands of members who are eager to help tourists enjoy the natural history of the area. Many of the members provide invaluable information to visitors on a non-payment basis and are always willing to help. Accommodation can be organized by the SEPNB [having its headquarters based in Brest] including at Bois-Joubert Gîte at the south-east of the Brière reserve, just north-west of Montoir-de-Bretagne. It costs a mere twelve Euros a night for a single room which includes the use of hot showers and the large well-equipped kitchens. [This can be booked direct by telephoning Tel:00 33 2 40 45 53 92].

    Across the Brière there are guided tours offered in punts where you are likely to enjoy seeing: Otters, Water Voles, Water Shrews, and many rare bird and flower species. Also you are likely to be enthralled by the sight of some 3,000 thatched cottages, many of which can be hired for your specific holiday requirements. The flora of Brittany includes some rare orchids not found naturally in the UK, like Summer Ladies Tresses, and the Loose-flowered Orchids, besides other rare flora like the endemic sub-species of Daffodil found only on the offshore islets at les Iles Glénans, off Concarneau.

    The bird reserve of the Brière Marshes offers some six bird hides at Rozé. At least 100 pairs of Spoonbill and 200 pairs of Black Tern can be enjoyed here in the breeding season. [It is to be noted that the local cuisine is here at its best!] [The Ile de Fédrun area offers excellent regional gastronomic delights, in particular at la Mare aux Oiseaux, where the Parisian chef Eric Guérin shows the diners his expertise in ‘Cordon Bleu’ style cooking]. It is well worth the effort visiting the Ile de Fédrun for the delicacies dreamt up by the local chefs, at the same time as seeing the Natural Parc of the Brière Information Centre. This is located opposite the choice restaurants surrounded in spring by ‘The Song of the Moon’ as celebrated by the renowned poet Alfred Lord Tennison from England who rather eerily referred to the Nightingale’s song with this quirky phrase. Quivering Nightingales hiding in bushes nearby the smallholding burst forth with vibrant song, filling the hamlet’s vibrating airwaves with the most musical melody creating a distinct atmosphere of romance, an ideal accompaniment perhaps for a cosy candlelit supper for two!

    Brittany offers excellent forests [which originally covered virtually the whole territory] including, for example, la Forêt du Gavre, near Nantes (which was the former capital city of the Duchy of Brittany). Nantes boasts a welcoming walled city and Château, not far from the Château de Goulaine which is also located in a prime birding area, being home to: Red-backed Shrikes, Golden Orioles, Corncrakes and wetland birds. Le Gâvre is a fine forest area to explore for its birding. Le Gâvre Forest has breeding: Black, Middle Spotted, Great Spotted, Lesser Spotted, and Green Woodpeckers, besides Wryneck, [a rare Woodpecker species breeding here in small numbers], also many Bonelli’s Warblers, Short-toed Treecreepers, Nightjars and Hobbys. Northern Goshawk and Honey Buzzard regularly breed here and Short-toed Eagle are regular also in the area in summer. Le Gâvre has a very informative Interpretation Centre, which is worthy of a visit. It is proud to offer its well-organized birding walks, based at La Maison Benoit.

    Some 10 kilometres south of Nantes, former capital of Brittany, is the Lac de Grand Lieu SNPN [Société Nationale de Protection de la Nature], [National Society for the Protection of Nature], Nature Reserve. The [some 150 year old] SNPN also run the Camargue reserve on the Mediterranean coast of France and have a good web site for birders and naturalists at:-

    The lake of Grand Lieu, France’s largest and oldest natural plain lake, is home to all the nine European Heron and Egret species. Stunning sights like the 150 pairs of Great White Egret, 300 pairs of Cattle Egret, the same number of Little Egret, plus numerous Spoonbills and occasionally a pair of African Spoonbill, or even occasional breeding White Pelican, seem to remind many birders of an apparition of angels, which couldn’t possibly be more surreal. They are sometimes accompanied by a pair of, the all-dark and relatively rare, Glossy Ibis, many feral Sacred Ibis, 150 pairs of Night Heron, around 200 pairs of Purple Heron, and up to 1,000 pairs of Grey Heron forming one of the finest heronries in the world! The reserve has over a thousand pairs of Whiskered Tern, being perhaps the biggest colony in France, breeding alongside hundreds of Black Terns. In Spring, often amongst the Black Tern are White-winged Black Tern, hanging like marionettes above the significant species of rare water birds, wildfowl and waders, which are notably present here in vast numbers. It is perhaps the best spot in France for birding, vying for first place with the Camargue in the Rhône delta, and which likewise hosts many rare migrants.

    The SNPN centre at 15, Rue de la Châtaigneraie, 44830, Bouaye near l’Etier, at the north-west of the ‘Lac’ is a must to visit, for the latest news and to organize birding outings with the professional wardens, who are only too keen to assist birders in return for sharing their field records. ‘La Maison Guerlain’ the former residence of the perfume magnate benefactor who founded the reserve, of Guerlain Perfume fame, is soon to be opened as a new reserve centre, which will become one of the best and newest reserve centers in Europe for wetlands, when it is officially opened!

    A hide is available at St Aignan during migration, and birding is also excellent from the end of tracks at St Lumine-de-Coutais and at St Mars-de-Coutais. In winter, White-tailed Sea Eagles, huge numbers of waterbirds and a roost of 6 million Starlings fill the skies. It is a supremely stunning sight, as Starling after Starling swirl in legions, particularly when the observer’s feast is contrasted by a fierce grey cloudy backdrop over the silvery waters of the Loire - the longest river in France.

    Wherever you may choose to travel seeking the splendours of the environment of Brittany, you will be impressed by the variety of countryside, from golden fields of sunflowers to the green sloping vineyards. This fertile patchwork of somewhat rustic pockets of cultivation are contrasted again with the dazzling waters of the circuitous canals that criss-cross the countryside of Brittany. These canal routes offer great observing potential along the arteries of canal paths that transfuse with life that countryside of Brittany. It is easily possible to record over a hundred species of birds in a day, including many species common in Brittany but rare or absent in the UK.

    In the Vendée, situated to the south of Nantes, is the Marais Breton, and in particular a visit to Le Daviaud Ecomusée is a must; for breeding Hoopoe, Montagu’s Harriers, Avocets, Stilts, Ruff, Short-eared Owls and Bluethroats, which can be seen after a trip to the bird hide there. Ile d’Yeu and Noirmoutier islands to the south are also a must to visit for migrants if you are in the area, as well as seabirds and Dolphins plus other rarer cetaceans in the waters around the ‘islands’ of the Bay of Biscay, which can often be observed by ferry trips from Les Sables d’Olonne to Ile d’Yeu.
    The area is a superb destination for any UK birder, either on a short or on a long break. It is a venue easily accessible to both avid and amateur birders alike – those who will both greatly enjoy the ancient land of the fabled Asterix, Merlin and their fellow renowned sorcerers and wizards who are associated with Armorique – to those who need a new boost to their run down energy reserves - sure to leave anyone enchanted and refreshed with its carefree charms forever!
    Copyright © Bertram.E.B.Brée All Rights Reserved. MMVII

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Default Provence birding! A passionate place to pacify a passionate birder.

    I held hands with my fiancee Stephanie in the Camargue watching the sun set across the phare de Beauduc as rosaceus Flamingos flashed flaming wings in front of my Turbo RS Ford and she told her sister Caroline who bought a house nearby in St Remy de Provence and we now all tell our friends about romance here in the heat of Provence where you can stay at the Camping Restaurant Hotel de St Martin de Crau for around twenty Euros a day in a comfortable room with tv and all mod cons! It also has a swimming pool!
    Bon appétit in Provence! An invitation to a bounty of birding in this beautiful bird-filled part of France.

    Provence is a part of the world in south-eastern France which explodes in passion; passion due to the climate, passion due to the nature, and passion due to the way of living, as rightly extolled in Peter Mayle’s ‘A year in Provence’ set in the sleepy town of ‘Ménerbes’, which is situated near Avignon. (This is another lovely ancient town, which is also famed for its bridge of St Bénezet, and its seat of no less than nine Popes, which gave rise to the vineyard name imortallised in ‘Châteauneuf du Pape’, which is well worth a visit north of the walled city of Avignon).

    Provence should only really of course be enjoyed ‘first hand’ by the reader, after say a short flight to Nice, Nimes or M....ille, or a rapid TGV train trip, (just three hours from Paris), or perhaps a swift trip up the ‘Autoroute du Soleil’ which leads to the French Riviera from Lyon, again only three hours drive away and marking nearly half way from Paris to ‘The Med’. If you want to take the TGV you can book online the SNCF website for your ticket and reserve a hire car at any of the key railway stations in Provence. Much of the year, temperatures average thirty degrees Celcius in Provence, and I recommend the best times for a first birding trip to the area during spring and autumn passage, (in April and May during spring, and during July, August and September in the autumn). June can be stifling, and over-powering due to the intense heat, although the Mistral winds can regularly blow for days south from the Alpes and Alpilles towards the Mediterranean Sea throughout summer, offering a cooling break from the muggy heat of midsummer. Winter can be productive and very mild but summer offers a blaze of colour, plus the heavy scents of herbs, lavender and fruit trees, backed by a constant buzzing of some of the dozen species of Cicadas found in the area. Provence is peaceful and pleasant haven to many a species of bird, creature and plant which all thrive in the heat of the southern French Mediterranean sun.

    The name ‘Provence’ arose from the First ‘Province’ of the Roman Republic, which is now part of an larger area of south-eastern most France, known lovingly by locals by the acronym of ‘PACA’, (or Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur). The area is a gem to naturalists fed by the third largest river in France, namely the river Rhône, which is a name originating from the regional Celtic tongue meaning to ‘roll’. The river rolls along at a great rate to the delta of the Camargue, and this estuary is one of the top European wetlands, and indeed is regarded as one of the best birding destinations in Europe, together with the Crau semi-desert nearby. (The Crau being the ancient dried up former course of the Rhône delta). The Alpilles hills and ‘mountains’ east of Arles are also a haven:- to Orphean Warbler, Bonelli’s and Booted Eagles, besides Eagle Owls, Rock Thrush, Blue Rock Thrush, Alpine Chough and Wallcreeper, to name but a few absolute stunners!

    In fact the Rhône can be navigated by canal boat in just three days, making an idyllic journey for the naturalist, giving a chance to see some of the 500 miles of river and waterway which transfuses Provence into life, and was indeed the ancient equivalent of the modern ‘autoroutes’, which now serve the main transport of goods and people to the area. The vivid colours of nature are elucidated in local museums such as in Arles and Aix-en-Provence, by the most celebrated works of Vincent Van Gough of Arles, and Paul Cézanne of Aix-en-Provence, promoting the light and colour of the patchwork of local rustic huts set in sunflower, lavender and poppy fields, which add to the atmosphere of the stunning vista of peaceful Provence. (Aix has an interesting natural history museum, also well worth a visit, if you go to this town for the art museum).

    Arles has one of the finest Roman arenas, and mosaics of Christ, found anywhere, (including bettering any rival in Italy). Arles is the gateway to the Camargue, famed for its white horses and black bulls, as well as its Flamingos, and local cuisine of rice and beef, or fresh local seafood.
    I like the hotel and restaurant at Albaron north of Les Saintes-Marie de la Mer known as ‘Le Flamant Rose’ (or ‘The Pink Flamingo’), (situated in front of an orange tree covered in succulent oranges in summer), and offering superb cuisine and local hospitality. Les Saintes-Marie de la Mer has fine camping sites, and entertainment, albeit a little pricey, but boat trips from it are good for a little fishing and seabird watching. Also the lakes around the town are filled with birds like Slender-billed Gulls, Greater Flamingo, and waders and Terns, during peak birding times. The Slender-billed Gulls breed on the other side of the Etang de Vacarrès at la Plage d’Arles south of Salin de Giraud behind one of Europe’s most famous naturist beaches! Here by the road Audouin’s Gull can often can be sighted together with many waders which also congregate at ‘Baisse des 500 Francs’ dirt ‘road’ on the way to Phare de la Gacholle a top spot for Caspian Terns, like Mas d’Agon north of Etang de Vaccarès where Collared Pratincole can also gather to boot!

    Salin de Giraud has a superb seafood restaurant on the exit road to the north of the town called ‘Le Restaurant de Marc et Mireille’ where fresh Mediterranean Bass or ‘Loup de Mer’ and local Tellins (a little like Mussels) are cooked to perfection over an open hearth on vines, (which are expertly heated until white hot!) The view from the restaurant offers the possibility to see many birds including resident Bee-eaters. Further to the north on the electric wires by the roadside at ‘Le Sambuc’ are many Rollers, feeding by dropping on grasshoppers on the roadside, which breed in the trees nearby in a concentration of roughly eighty pairs. This is known as one of the top European spots to follow the Rollers from the wires above the road to quick flights to the Green Woodpecker nest holes in trees nearby, whilst they feed their young in July and early August. Les Baux in the Alpilles is another top spot!

    North-east of the Etang de Vaccarès is La Capellière which has free hides like at Salin de Badon further south along the road, being amongst the best in the Camargue offering views of wild Boars, White Storks, and Swallows (which breed in the hides). In spring the area is filled with Nightingale song, the sound of ‘booming’ Bitterns, and resident Savi’s and Great Reed Warbler song. This is the administrative centre for the Camargue National Reserve run by the SNPN, who offer a fully equipped gîte with solar heated showers at Salin de Badon for just six Euros a night. Private hides are available too here for the gîte residents, offering superb views of many waders including Marsh Sandpipers and hundreds of Avocets, Stilts and Spotted Redshanks. I regularly stay in the Salin de Badon facilities where Spoonbills breed amongst Great White Herons in one of the best heronries of the Camargue, which are rivaled only by Scamandre reserve near St Gilles, north of Albaron. This also is a must to visit for the breeding Purple Gallinules, Little Bitterns, Hoopoes (breeding in the reserve reception building), sixty pairs of Glossy Ibis, and thousands of pairs of breeding Herons and Egrets, (of all the nine European species !) The heronry is accessible from long boardwalks in excellent condition, and from the new hides at this superb relatively new reserve centre between Etang de Vauvert and Etang de Scamandre. Guided nature tours are sometimes offered to visitors at some of these reserve centres, if you book in advance!

    Outside but near the Camargue Reserve to the east of Arles is the CEEP reserve of Peau de Meau, set in the semidesert of la Crau, western Europe’s only ‘steppe’ habitat ; home to breeding Lesser Kestrels in the nest boxes in front of the hide; where Little Bustards, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, Stone Curlew, Calandra Lark, Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Tawny Pipit, Black Kite, Red Kite, Egyptian Vulture, Southern Grey Shrike, Great Spotted Cuckoo, Roller, Bee-eater, Hoopoe, and many other rare birds and wildlife can be seen. To visit the reserve of Peau de Meau, situated east of Etang des Aulnes at Vergière, you need to get a permit from the Ecomusée at St Martin de Crau. (This centre, and car park at the rear, is situated near the Church, in front of the Hotel, Restaurant and campsite of St Martin de Crau, which offers excellent facilities to visitors, including a superb outdoor swimming pool). (The smart swimming pool proves very popular to resident Tree Sparrows where they come to pick up crumbs by the poolside).

    It is not far from the Alpilles, (which are made inaccessible in hot periods when forest fires are likely in the woods), but worth a visit when you can park not far from the Roman War Memorial at Les Baux, and walk to the radio masts at La Caume, along a long track covered in herbs and surrounded by rare butterflies, birds and Orchids. Les Baux, near St Remy, has resident Hoopoe and Alpine Swift amongst other interesting passerines and hirundines, like Red-rumped Swallow and Crag Martins. Princess Caroline of Monaco had a home in St Remy of Provence, and she likes to tell me of the satisfying regular visits of Hoopoe she was delighted by in her garden here! The area is a haven to naturalists! Why not take a look yourself and fall in love with this pleasant piece of paradise!

    Cartes IGN Institut Géographic National Avignon Montpellier no.66 série verte.3 282112100664

    Acommodation and food:-

    Wildlife news and outings:-

    Trains (SNCF) and travel:-

    © Bertram.E.B.Brée, 2007.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Default Provence birding!

    Hi there,
    you can now see summer is ending abruptly and winter birds are beginning to appear in French birding hotspots.It is all go for birders in Provence now a superb time to visit the Provence area for addicted birders.Daily tick lists are at record peaks now and it is great to turn up in the Camargue area to find some peak performance birding if you are struggling to find cosmic mind funkers in Britain you are sure to find them now in Provence if you do your homework now and TGV it to Provence with superb weather according to the latest meteofrance details likely soon to allow a budget break in the sun of Provence in a Nice place where the sun never sets! It is peaceful in Provence now and peace in birding is found best now there for artistes of the piste who want some late sun and blissful late summer heat together with birds everywhere.Well worth a quick trip down there now.Regards.Bertram.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default Thank you

    Hello Bertram.
    Thank you very much for your "overview" of "Birding in Brittany".
    This will help me enormously in the future as i have just returned to my first passion Ornithology after a break of over 20 years.
    I have been living and working in Britanny for the last 8 years and now that i have more time,i will certainly be "exploring" the sites you have reccommended.
    Do you have any "sitings" of Montagues Harrier here ?.This is one of the raptors i would love to observe.Having never seen them in the U.K.
    So,thank you once again and best wishes.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Thumbs up Brittany birding.

    Hi there,
    At present in Brittany numerous reports of immature Griffon Vultures.
    details on the Harrier research project of the three species of Harrier
    which breed in France one of the best countries in Europe for them
    with the odd bird satellite tracked as far away as the USA so records of Eastern Marsh Harrier in Europe may not be bunkum as photos tend to
    confirm them as genuine migrants from Eastern Asia where I have watched them for days to determine there similarity between the different types in Eastern Asia of Eastern Marsh Harriers and Pallid are regular visitors to France
    with numerous birds now summering and even wintering there!
    Kind regards,
    Harriers now around the south western part of Rennes in particular 20 or so kilometres south-west of Rennes the key town in Ile et Vilane near Normandy in eastern most Brittany.
    Best wishes,
    Details of Killdeer breeding in the Azores so maybe we will get some
    American raptors breeding in Europe soon to predate them!
    Bertram.E.B.Bree in sunny Jersey.

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