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Thread: Hello Out there.Montagues Harrier info Required

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Question Hello Out there.Montagues Harrier info Required

    Hello Everybody.
    My name is Brian.(user name Y Gylfinir,the Welsh word for Curlew).
    After a 20 year gap i have now returned to my 1st passion "Birdwatching".
    So my new binos and scope are en route and hopefully within a few days i can "get going".
    I am very lucky as i live in Britanny France an Outstanding area for passionate "birders"

    One of the birds i never saw back in the u.k was the Montagues Harrier.I believe there are some here in Britanny.
    Could some "kind soul" advise me where i should go and at what time of year.
    This would be "a dream come true".
    Looking forward to hearing from somebody.
    Best wishes Y Gylfinir

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Algarve, Portugal


    Hello Brian,

    And welcome to the Forum; why do you feel that you have to use a "user-name" as opposed to your real name ("Brian Curlew" would be better than "Y Gylfinir")?

    Anyway, hope you are pleased with your new optics and will contribute to the Forum.


    *Edit: You might consider contacting forum member Bertram Bree (from Jersey, but who does a lot of birding in Brittany) for some information - he might "step in" anyways if he sees your post. Alternately, if you want to see "Montys" in good light (Brittany has .... weather) you might think about a holiday in the Algarve or Lower Alentejo - I can guarantee you seeing you dozens of these birds in the Castro Verde area from late May onwards (plus the attraction of many more mouth-watering species).
    Last edited by Colin Key; March 6th, 2010 at 01:10 PM. Reason: Addition

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default Thank you

    Hello Colin.
    Thxs for your mail and advise.Will certainly contact Bertram Bree.
    As for the Algarve,it certainly sounds fantastic for the "Montys".
    One of these days i will "migrate" south for a couple of weeks to "sample" the "mouth watering species".
    Best wishes.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Thumbs up Montys in Brittany!

    Hi there Bertram here in sunny but chilly Jersey worth a visit as is Guernsey nearby with Guernsey news blog at:-
    At present in the Loire estuary just south of you in forests near your part of France near nantes which has served in the past as Brittanys capital
    thousands of Pintails, Shoveler, Wigeon and Teal with dozens of Garganey now and Swallows everywhere which returned about the 27th February
    with Sand Martin here and on the coast many Wheatear with Willow Warblers singing now all around the area with Chiffchaffs and good numbers of Woodpeckers includding Black and many Lesser Spotted and Great Spotted.
    Try la Foret du Gavre and at Le Gavre in the museum la Miason Benoit
    you can book a wildlife walk in the forest nearby which has breeding
    Woodpeckerrs everyhere in summer including Wryneck with Honey Buzzards
    and Goshawk here breeding above the nesting Nightjars.
    The Lac de Grand Lieu reserve is just south of Nantes and the reserve SNPN
    centre is at l'Etier near Bouaye just to the north of the Lake with details of visiting times at:-
    Under Grand Lieu and my colleague and fellow ringer Sebastian may
    allow you to watch him ring birds here and show you the top birding areas
    around the lake.
    Just to the south is Noirmoutier reserve de Mullembourg wwith is great for birding in spring as is the Iled'Yeu near Sablesd'Ollone sandy beach resort where you can cathh a ferry following Dolphins to Ile d'Yeu which is a migrant bird paradise surrounded by passage migrants and seabirds like large Shearwaters and Sabines Gulls on passage. Near Noirmoutier is the Marais Breton bird reserve near the Ecomusse bird reserve at La Barre des Monts
    where there is a bird hide near 60 pairs of Montagues Harriers which return in April usually from Africa to breed here with Stilts, Hoopoes, Short-eared Owls
    and Ruff and Snipe to mention but a few birds like Tawny pipits breeding here.
    A good site is the Oya helicopters heliport nearby the Ecomusee at La Barre des Monts with Montagus Harriers passsing in front of the heliport all summer
    which breed in the reserve just in front with Terns at the Bouin lagune and usuallly a hybrid Elegant Tern pair breeds here with masses of nice birds in summer.The best place to find Montys nests in summer in Brittany is in Morbihan where in summer of 2008 3 Montys nests were found and 10 Hen Harrier nests and 2 pairs of Marsh Harier were observed but nests not found in summer of 2008 here and 4 young Montys were seen fledging 40 young Hen fledged and 6 young Marsh fledged.In 2008 summer in France most Montys nested in alfalfa alfa or lucerne grass as P Le Roch in Morbihan will tell you of our group of thousands of raptor enthusiasts in France called Mission Rapaces who note the poor summer weather in certain sites cause
    serious problems for the species which also nest in Normandy with difficulty
    due to poor conservation of nesting sites cut for silage in the breeding season
    for example! Over 2,000 young Montys fledged in France in 2008 largely due to the efforts of Mission Rapaces and our interevention when nests are
    threatened! Compared to only 1,000 yung Hen Harriers which fledged in the same year.I recommend you go to the Morbihan departement to see both birds which like large fields often near the coast like in reserves such asnear the Briere and Guerande reserve with a centre at Pierre Constant reserve centre in the Briere at ROSE or ROZE as you like to allow people to change the pronouncation near Ile de Fedrun where if you ask my friend the warden Jacques who can tell yuu more details of the Harriers in Morbihan breeding and sites to see them if you are there visit the 8 or so bird hides in summer and try to get a guided tour from Jacques who will be able to tell you about busard des roseaux or Marsh which breed here and busard cendre of Montys
    and busard saint-martin or Hen. To see Pallid which generally summer in the Monts d'Arree you need to be careful not to wander around the area without being careful not to disturb the birders here who are watching the dozen or so summering Short-toed Eagles which summer here each summer also!
    Kind regards from sunny Jersey with 20 Marsh Harrier and 2 Hen Harrier at present. Montagues breed in Normandy at the Ponts d'Ouves reserve near Carentan near Lessay where there is great birding also and about 30 km from Jersey.
    Bertram.E.B.BREE in sunny chillly Jersey.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Default Thanks Again.

    Well Bertram i expected a reply but not as comprehensive as that !!!!
    Very many thanks.
    Chilly here also but very sunny in the Wonderfulllllll city of Vannes.
    Will be in touch.
    Last edited by Y Gylfinir; March 22nd, 2010 at 08:11 AM. Reason: SPELLING ERROR

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Thumbs up Vannes birding!

    Hi there again!
    At Vannes which has Roman remains as the old part of the city walls are Roman is near Suscinio Dukes of Brittany retreat which is a superb marsh area
    with breeding Bluethroats and a few resident birds like Spoonbill and Glosy Ibisas well as Sacred Ibis and Stilts in the marshes around it.Also near vannes is the superb birds reserrve at Sene of the SEPNB with 3,000 members
    and the area near Noyalo on the coast is great for waders and seabirds.
    Every August Marsh Sandpipers turn up at the reserve and now Ospreys are starting to turn up here with many hirundines, Willow Warblers and wildfowl
    making it worth a visit now.Also in August and September Ile Berder near the
    reserve of the SEPNB west of Vannes is great for a hundred or so Roseate Tern which sometimes are seen with Uk rings on here which also breed in Brittany on Ile de la Colombiere near St Jacut near St Malo and Ile aux Dames
    where a hundred pairs in may breed which are monitored by webcam every summer. Now on Grand Lieu near Nantes over 30 Sand Martin and many
    Swallows are circling and heading north ass Wilow Warblers are singing in the surrounding area now and migration is in full swing particularly as regards waders and wildfowl heading north with Garganey now in hundreds everywhere!
    As regards Montys which are Harriers known in French as busard
    rather then buse which is the name for Buzzard species all four Western European Harrier species can be seen at the Monts Arree in May, June and July where a hundred pairs of Curlew nest and a dozen Short-toed Eagles summer every year whicch appear to be non breeders which are masssive
    and with photos we can photo id each individual which feeed on grass snakes here known in gerrman as schangeladeler or snake eagle
    related to Beaudouins Snake Eagle which breed along the North African races of Short toed if you go to North Africa. Also last summer Black-shouldered Kite was seen near the Loire estuary which are spreading north ass the breeeding population in south-western France is rapidly expanding and a pair hass even summerred in Normandy! Black Kites summer in Brittany and Red Kites breed also in thousands in France which is the second best place tto see the species in Europe after Germany! Iberia follows closely after!
    The area of south-western France from La Rochelle to Biaritz is filled in summer with the three breeding species off Kites if you want to go there to see them I can tell you a few hot spots tto see the three species largely near Bairitz where in the Pyrenees nearby is some superb birding such as Organbidexka a Col or mountain pass with others nearby filled with migrant raptors now and in the autumn passage!
    In St Malo next weekend is a naturalists meeting.
    More details below:-
    vous trouverez ci-dessous le programme du weekend organisé par Bretagne
    vivante (section Rance-Emeraude) les 13 et 14 mars sur le thème de la
    "biodiversité du littoral".


    Régis Morel


    Contact : section Bretagne Vivante de Rance Emeraude au 02 99 82 83 82

    Entrée gratuite - de 10h à 18h30 au Parc de la Briantais à St Malo

    Samedi -14h30 : Le Parc Naturel Régional Rance Côte d'Emeraude par
    Dominique Melec de C.O.E.U.R
    -16h30 : Marées vertes en Bretagne, les causes et les remèdes par Alain
    Menesguen de l'IFREMER de Brest

    -14h 30 : Les grands dauphins par l'association Al lark
    -16h30 : les oiseaux de bord de mer par Yannick Daniel de la Maison de
    la Baie du Vivier

    -Bord de mer par l'Espace des Sciences
    -Diversité du plancton et environnement par Geneviève (Bretagne vivante)
    -Découverte des lichens d'une incroyable richesse sur le littoral par
    Laurence et JB Quiot (Bretagne vivante)
    -La laisse de mer, un milieu riche en biodiversité par Alphonse Jugand
    (Bretagne vivante)
    -La pêche à pied : outils, réglementation (Bretagne vivante)

    Expositions photos
    - les oiseaux marins de nos côtes et Curiosités sous marine par Sylvie
    Gautier (Bretagne vivante)

    Sorties naturalistes
    - Exploration, bottes aux pieds, de la biodiversité littorale par
    Laurent Guérin du CRESCO
    Horaires samedi et dimanche : 11h15 et 13h30

    -Les pieds dans la vase par Yannick Cherel
    -Biodiversité du littoral par Yannick Cherel
    -Contre Vents et marées

    Ateliers naturalistes
    -Observation à la loupe de la biodiversité littorale par le CRESCO

    Régis Morel

    Bretagne Vivante - SEPNB
    48 bd Magenta
    35000 Rennes
    Tel : 02 99 30 49 95
    Fax : 02 99 35 10 67

    Participez aux atlas naturalistes bretons

    - atlas amphibiens & reptiles / invertébrés
    - atlas oiseaux nicheurs & hivernants

    Agenda des sorties naturalistes en Ille-et-Vilaine

    More details on French birds at:-

    Kind regards,
    Bertram.E.B.BREE in sunny but very chilly Jersey.

  7. #7
    Member Steve Fletcher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009


    Quote Originally Posted by Y Gylfinir View Post
    Well Bertram i exspected a reply but not as comprehensive as that !!!!
    Very many thanks.
    Chilly here also but very sunny in the Wonderfulllllll city of Vannes.
    Will be in touch.
    Its actually very encouraging to see someone thanking another member for the time and effort put in answering a query, far too many dont even reply. It looks like Y Gylfinir's standards match mine, thank you and welcome.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Thumbs up I Keep saying thanks.

    Bertram. I Keep saying thanks,soooo !!!!! Thanks again.
    With ref:re your earlier mail re:Sebastien and ringing, how far away from Vannes is he ?.My French is fluent so communication is no problem.
    Sounds interesting and obviously a man i would like to meet.
    I will be heading to les "Mont d' Arree" around 20th March and i know the area very well (however,not for birding.) Any tips ?.Another thank you in advance for all your help.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    Thumbs up Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Fletcher View Post
    Its actually very encouraging to see someone thanking another member for the time and effort put in answering a query, far too many dont even reply. It looks like Y Gylfinir's standards match mine, thank you and welcome.
    Thanks Steve.
    Great photos on your website.
    This is my brothers website in Scotland.(A rabid photographer !!!!!)
    I hope you find it interesting.
    Last edited by Y Gylfinir; March 8th, 2010 at 11:10 AM. Reason: Addtional information

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Thumbs up Loire estuary Sebastians ringing area.

    Hi there,
    Sebastian runs the SNPN centre at Grand Lieu lake just south-west of Nantes on the Loire estuary which is less than an hours drive from Vannes via Nantes then to Bouaye and the centre is in Rue de Chatanier at L'Etier on the outskirts of Bouaye in a small building and car park at the end of a small number of small houses and the small building has a Spoonbill sign with SNPN on it open afternoons and Sebastian is often here or can be contacted by the birders based here in the birding centre who can take you birding around the lake! It is a superb site and at St Mars de Coutais and St Lumine de Coutais at the end of tracks there are now masses of birds in the flood meadows there! Best contact the SNPN by phone for more details at:-
    Click on the Grand Lieu logo on the left hand bottom page for more details!
    As regards the Monts d'Arree the site is very sensitive witth many rare breeding species and is a nature reserve with birders often near the large lake of St Michel which is a top area but be discrete about the birds of the area and many Great Grey Shrikes are often here in spots which are best kept to yourself as are the Curlew and Dunlin breding areas for not many breed in this part of France. Also Ring Ousel and other moorland birds are often easily disturbed here so please keep to paths!
    Kind regards from sunny Jersey now with blazing sun and bright blue skies!
    Bertram a contact of Sebastian of the SNPN.

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