Near Nantes in north-western France the Loire estuary is home in summer to 2,000 pairs of Whiskered Terns the biggest French colony as well as 200 pairs of Black Terns mostly in the Briere reserve where a pair of White-winged Black Terns successfully reared a young bird in the summer of 2008.Also nearby at Grand Lieu wetland reserve of the SNPN a good concentration of Great Egrets recently involved 433 individuals of this species or at least 2% of the entire European population and more than 10% of the French total.
They breed with Cattle Egrets numbering a record now of 2687 birds in a number of big roosts like at Clegreuc of 860 birds, Poiteviniere 304 birds,
Grand Lieu 660 birds.This figure is double the previous years figure after a good breeding year.The roosts were disturbed during the cold snap recently causing dispersal north towards the UK and the Irish Republic.Spoonbill numbers are also booming with over a hundred birds.Of 53 pairs of White Storks breeding 111 young birds fledged and were ringed a good year despite the poor weather.
Soon at Grand Lieu the maison Guerlain will be opened as the best wetland reserve centre in Europe costing at least 4 million Euros in investment to
enable the new centre to be the best wetland reserve in Europe.All nine breeding species of Herons in europe breed here and nearby the Briere reserve of Pierre Constant has six hides and the second largest reedbed in France.There are 3,000 thatched houses hee in the Briere.Accomodation is good at the Bois Joubert gite at Montoir de Bretagne nearby costing a mere 12 Euros a night for a single room with hot showers and kitchen facilities. Guided walks possible to see the resident Hoopoes, Golden Orioles, Nightingales and Woodpeckers which don't occur in the UK. Nearby the Foret du Gavre hass an interpretation centre at Le Gavre in Maison Benoit.Nightjar walks with the LPO for a jaar of nectar at night!
Bertram.E.B.BREE in mild Jersey.Many francs,in the sun.