La Brenne Species List


Great Crested Grebe - Common on all lakes, the most widespread grebe. Present and still feeding young in September 2006

Black Necked Grebe - Not at all uncommon, breeds freely wherever Whiskered Tern breed, and occasionally elsewhere. At one site over 20 pairs were present. By September in 2006 they had all gone

Little Grebe - Widespread, but the least common of the grebes, Most seen at Chérine reserve. Present on the river Bouzanne near the Gite in 2006

Cormorant - Uncommon except around Chérine and Massé lakes. A threat to the fishery and often shot, apparently

Grey Heron - Common and widespread. Breeds in reed beds and dispersed sites rather than in Heronries

Purple Heron - Numbers seem historically to have reduced. Nevertheless widespread and not uncommon. A dozen or more pairs nesting in reeds at Chérine. Many good close sightings on both visits

Great White Egret - One single seen at Chérine in 2003, with more than a dozen seen in 2006

Little Egret - Not common or widespread. Seen at Chérine, Massé, Gabrière and occasionally elsewhere, again apparently more numerous in 2006

Cattle Egret - More numerous than above, present in colonies at Chérine and near Gabrière. Also seen among cattle throughout the region. Only a few remaining by September in 2006

Night Heron - 4 seen in flight at Chérine, one near Massé, and odd sightings nearby. Said to be up to 30 pairs around, but all gone in September 2006

Bittern - One seen flying over the road near St Michel as we began the drive home! Said to be up to 30 present. Not seen or heard in 2006

Mute Swan - Uncommon, just 3 pairs seen, at Chérine and Gabrière. Apparently unwelcome because of the damage it does to Grebe nests (!). Plenty on the river Bouzanne and the Creuse in 2006

Canada Goose - Just one pair seen in 2003 with some Feral Geese near to Massé. Not mentioned in the guides

Mallard – Everywhere in large numbers

Teal - One pair seen at Chérine. Said to be a rare breeder. More numerous in 2006, moulting

Gadwall - Not common but widespread in low numbers. Up to 50 pairs said to breed

Shoveler - Said to be a rare breeder. One seen at Chérine and 2 at Foucault - not seen in 2006

Pochard - Common and widespread, has recently increased

Tufted Duck - Uncommon but widespread, has recently increased

Booted Eagle - One single seen whilst the observer was cycling just West of Martizay. The bird was at high altitude and cruised overhead towards the South-East. It’s passing apparently stimulated a Short Toed Eagle to take to the air. One light phase and two dark phase birds low overhead near Azay le feron while we were waiting for Stone Curlew to wake up

Common Buzzard - Common and widespread, provided there were trees

Black Kite - Uncommon, said to have increased recently. 4 seen in the air together at Chérine, and several other sporadic sightings. No sightings in 2006

Red Kite - A single bird soaring high over the super-secret radio installation to the East of Rosnay, so I had to be careful about watching it through the bins!!!

Honey Buzzard - Widespread and seen frequently on one thundery day, with 10 or more separate sightings. One example of the butterfly-like display flight very well seen. No sightings in 2006

Marsh Harrier - Said to be typical and common, but only a single sighting near Étang Neuf for this observer of a female during a shower. No sightings in 2006

Hen Harrier - A single sighting of a female near Rosnay. Said to be a regular breeder but no sightings in 2006

Montague’s Harrier - A female seen West of Martizay, causing the halt during which several other raptors were seen. A male seen on 3 days at the roadside East of Martizay gave close views down to 3m. A female also seen there on one occasion. Said to be increasing. In 2006 there were 5 sightings of males, 3 of which were near to Azay le Feron

Short Toed Eagle - One seen just West of Martizay, when the passing of the Booted Eagle appeared to cause this bird to take to the air and display for some 10 minutes, during which a female Montagues Harrier and 4 Kestrels were also in the air. Another was seen from the car when returning home through the Sologne. Not seen in 2006

Sparrowhawk - Widespread. One seen from the car at Massé was close enough to photograph. One other close sighting near Chérine, and several birds seen soaring at a distance

Hobby - One seen hunting in the village of Martizay, two seen West of the village. Said to be common but widespread. Several sightings en route 2006, none in the Brenne - surprising in view of the large numbers of Dragonflies in flight

Kestrel - Common and widespread

Water Rail - One heard calling from reeds near Rosnay. Said to be under-recorded and status not well understood. One seen at Cherine in 2006

Moorhen - Common and widespread

Coot - Common and widespread

Red – Legged Partridge - 2 birds seen during an early morning walk near to Martizay. Said to be common and augmented by release for hunting. Not seen in 2006

Grey Partridge - Widespread. Several sightings throughout the region

Quail - One heard calling at Chérine in 2003. Status not well understood, but likely to be common

Pheasant - Just 2 sightings, said to be mostly released birds in the region

Lapwing - Pleasantly common and widespread

Ringed Plover - A group of 11 birds on exposed mud in front of the new hide at Chérine in 2003

Little Ringed Plover - 3 birds on exposed mud in front of the new hide at Chérine, and another nearby at a muddy pond margin, said to be breeding. Not seen in 2006

Snipe - 3 in front of the "new" hide at Cherine in 2006

Curlew - Just one bird seen looking thick in a recently cultivated dry field near Martizay in 2003

Green Sandpiper - A single bird flushed at Cherine in 2006

Dunlin - 6 birds seen on exposed mud in front of the new hide at Chérine in 2003

Curlew Sandpiper - A single bird seen on exposed mud in front of the new hide at Chérine in 2003

Black Winged Stilt - 5 birds seen at Chérine in 2003, where 5 pairs are said to breed

Stone Curlew - 2 seen near to Azay - le - Feron in 2006, in re-generated rape which had not been cultivated

Black Headed Gull - Widespread and abundant in 2003, all but gone in 2006

Black Tern - Seen at Chérine in 2003, where there were up to 10 present. Small rafts provided for breeding are damaged by swans apparently

Whiskered Tern – Widespread and abundant, breeding on lakes large and small, said to be influenced by the time since any lake was drained. Mostly departed in September 2006

Woodpigeon – Widespread and common

Turtle Dove – Seen in 2003 in any wooded habitat or in fields nearby, common

Collared Dove – Very common, especially around villages

Cuckoo – Appears to be very common, seen and heard anywhere in the region, departed by September 2006

Little Owl - Pleasant to be wakened in the night by birds calling around the gite in 2006

Tawny Owl – A single sighting late evening in woods near St Michel, and plentiful in and around Le Pont Chretien

Kingfisher - Excellent close views both on the Creuse, the Bouzanne at the gite, and on the reserve at Cherine in 2006

This picture was taken from the kitchen window at the gite late one afternoon in 2006(hence the poor quality), there was some sort of territorial dispute going on - dispersing young perhaps

Swift – Not seen in large numbers but present around most churches and large buildings, departed by September 2006

Hoopoe – A single bird seen in flight near Martizay, and another in flight near Mézières. Not heard calling, possibly due to inclement weather, and not seen in 2006

Green Woodpecker – a handful of sightings in and near woodland

Black Woodpecker – A single bird seen at Chérine in 2003

Great Spotted Woodpecker – Three sightings, all around mature woodland, and common around Le Pont Chretien

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker – A bird carrying food across the front of the roadside hide at Chérine on three visits in 2003

Skylark – Seen and heard everywhere there was open habitat

Swallow – Abundant and widespread

House Martin – Slightly less numerous than Swallow, but present in good numbers

Tree Pipit – Seen twice in and around scattered mature trees in open habitat in 2003, and not present in 2006

Yellow Wagtail – One sighting of the blue headed form, and distant glimpses of others, but not commonly seen both in 2003 and in '06.

Grey Wagtail – Seen twice on the River Creuse in 2003, A pair at the weir above the gite at Le Pont Chretien

White Wagtail – Commonly seen, mostly near animals

Red Backed Shrike – Common at Chérine, where 6 pairs were seen. Also occasional elsewhere, but departed in September 2006

Wren – Often seen and heard, but not present in numbers, widespread

Dunnock - Often seen and heard, but not present in numbers, widespread

Stonechat – Widespread and abundant, especially at roadsides

Whinchat - Fairly common in dry heathy places in 2006

Wheatear - Two seen while waiting for Stone Curlews near Azay - le - Feron

Black Redstart – Common in villages and towns – one nesting next to the gite in Martizay

Common Redstart – One seen near the gite in Martizay in mature tree beside the lan in 2003, and a juvenile with Wood warblers feeding in front of the kitchen window at the gite in 2006

Robin – Not often seen, but recorded in woodland and village gardens. Freshly fledged young in a garden near the gite in Martizay

Nightingale – Very abundant, the most often encountered passerine, everywhere

Blackbird – Common and widespread

Song Thrush – Less often seen than Blackbird, but common

Mistle Thrush – Infrequently seen or heard, widespread.

Cetti’s Warbler – Common anywhere near water with bushy cover

Savi’s Warbler – One heard from the roadside hide at Chérine early one morning in 2003.

GrasshopperWarbler – Not mentioned in the literature for the region, but one heard singing from dry scrub near Étang Neuf in 2003

Reed Warbler – Heard and seen in reeds throughout the region, but only infrequently. Appears less densely distributed than would be expected. One feeding in front of the kitchen window at the gite in 2006

Icterine Warbler – Common in dry areas with mature trees and bushes, departed in September 2006

Garden Warbler – Heard and seen in hedges, bushy cover and mature woodland with thick shrub layer. Common. In 2006 a single sighting of a bird feeding in front of the kitchen window at the gite

Blackcap – Common and widespread, second only to Nightingale. Mostly departed in 2006, seen feeding in front of the kitchen window at the gite in 2006

Common Whitethroat - Common and widespread in dry areas with suitable bushy cover. Mostly departed in 2006, seen feeding in front of the kitchen window at the gite in 2006

Fan Tailed Warbler – Seen and heard near Étang Neuf and again near Chérine in 2003. Seems widespread but thinly distributed

Chiffchaff - Common and widespread, but not densely distributed

Wood Warbler - 4 were feeding energetically one evening in 2006 in front of the kitchen window at the gite, even picking insects from spider's webs!

Bonelli’s Warbler – One individual positively identified in the tops of mature trees in a dense hedge alongside a footpath at le Blizon in 2003

Spotted Flycatcher – One seen beside the lane near the gite in Martizay, and one heard calling near le Blizon in 2003. Two feeding together in front of the kitchen window at the gite in 2006

Long-tailed Tit – A pair seen in bushes beside a reed bed near to Chérine reserve in 2003. A large party around the gite at Le Pont Chretien

Blue Tit - Common and widespread

Great Tit - Common and widespread

Corn Bunting - Common and widespread in dry habitat, not necessarily associated with cereal crops

Yellowhammer – Less common than Corn Bunting, widespread but thinly distributed

Cirl Bunting - Common and widespread in gardens, cultivated plots and orchards/vineyards

Reed Bunting – Rarely seen though said to be common. Seen at Chérine and near Étang Neuf on both visits

Chaffinch - Common and widespread wherever there were mature trees

Greenfinch - Common and widespread in gardens, cultivated plots and orchards/vineyards, not seen in 2006!

Goldfinch – Often seen in and around gardens and villages, not abundant

Linnet – Uncommon, seen near vineyards and villages in small numbers. Said to be abundant

Serin- Common and widespread in gardens, villages and towns, departed by September 2006

House Sparrow - Common and widespread in gardens, villages and towns

Starling - Common and widespread in gardens, villages and towns

Golden Oriole - Common and widespread in mature trees, often not associated with Poplars, but always damp locations, departed by September 2006

Jay - Common and widespread in mature woodland and gardens

Magpie – Widespread but not common

Jackdaw - Widespread but not common

Rook – Widespread and common, many recently fledged birds seen

Carrion Crow - Widespread and common

117 species recorded

Back to La Brenne



Forewood Home

Baie de Mont St Michel