Brenne, France

May 23 to 27, 2001

Author : Ivan Steenkiste
all pictures © are originals, taken in Brenne

GPS coordinates are using the WGS84 datum


European Bee-eater / Bijeneter (Merops apiaster)

Introduction - Hotel

My wife and I visited the Brenne Natural Parc from May 23 to 27th, 2001. The weather was very sunny with no rain at all.

As usual, we stayed at the Auberge La Gabrière, (36220 Etang de La Gabrière, tel. 00 33 2 54 37 80 97, 46°45,60' N / 001°09,68' E).  It can be reached (coming from the north) via Paris (highway A10), Orleans (A71) 47°54,18' N / 001°50,91' E, Vierzon (A20 - E9) 47°14,62' N / 002°03,99' E, to Chateauroux 46°49,59' N / 001°38,33' E.  Here you can leave the highway towards Buzançais (46°53,26' N / 001°24,27' E) using the N143, then heading south with the D926 via Ste Gemme, to Mézières-en-Brenne (46°49,30' N / 001°12,45' E).

The Auberge is very well located with an excellent view on the Etang La Gabrière - service and food are very good - the restaurant attracts visitors from all over the region, so it is wise to reserve for dinner !  Alongside the auberge, you can still see the nests of Housemartins as they have been built for ages all over Europe.


Auberge La Gabrière

 


nests of Housemartins

view from the Auberge on the Etang La Gabrière with the typical dams all over the "étangs" (right picture)

The Region of Brenne

Route Planning

Typical Landscapes


Etang La Gabrière (seen from the Auberge)

Le Foucault reserve (seen from the hide)

BIRD LIST with PICTURES and for some important spots the coordinates (in red) - the names are in English, Dutch and Latin.

1.   Great Crested Grebe / Fuut (Podiceps cristatus) : very frequent
2.   Little Grebe / Dodaars
(Tachybaptus ruficollis) : not so frequent

3.   Black-necked Grebe / Geoorde fuut (Podiceps nigricollis) : a group of 10 was present each day on the pond which is close to Mézières (when coming from Mézières, along the road D21 at la Roche Marteau - the pond is about 600 meters at your left side).

 


Black-necked Grebe

 


Black-necked Grebe / Geoorde fuut (Podiceps nigricollis)

4.   Great Cormorant / Aalscholver (Phalacrocorax carbo) : mainly at le Blizon (46°44,45'N / 001°13,46' E)
5.   Night Heron / Kwak (Nycticorax Nycticorax) : an adult at le Blizon
6.   Cattle Egret / Koereiger (Bubulcus ibis) : only 2 at le Blizon (much less than in August last year)
7.   Little Egret / Kleine zilverreiger (Egretta garzetta) : mainly at le Blizon
8.   Grey Heron / Blauwe reiger (Ardea cinerea) : very frequent
9.   Purple Heron / Puperreiger (Ardea purpurea) : not very frequent this time - mainly at le Blizon
10. Mute Swan / Knobbelzwaan (Cygnus olor) : at several ponds, but most at La Gabrière with close to 80 birds
11. Canada Goose / Canadese gans (Branta canadensis) : 4 at le Blizon - attracted a lot of birders !
12. Mallard / Wilde eend (Anas platyrhynchos) : abundant, everywhere
13. Common Pochard / Tafeleend (Aythya ferina) : le Blizon, le Foucault
14. Tufted Duck / Kuifeend (Aythya fuligula) : mainly at le Foucault
15. Northern Shoveler / Slobeend (Anas clypeata) : 5+ at le Blizon
16. Garganey / Zomertaling (Anas querquedula) : some along D14B
17. Gadwall / Krakeend (Anas strepera) : at le Blizon
18. Black Kite / Zwarte wouw (Milvus migrans) : seen frequently


Black Kite / Zwarte wouw (Milvus migrans)


19.
Marsh Harrier / Bruine kiekendief (Circus aeruginosus) : around Rianvert
20. Montagu's Harrier / Grauwe kiekendief (Circus pygargus) : near Mézières and one at La Roche Posay
21. Eurasian Sparrowhawk / Sperwer (Accipiter nisus)
22. Common Buzzard / Buizerd (Buteo buteo) : very frequent.


Buzzard near la Gabrière 

23. Common Kestrel / Torenvalk (Falco tinnunculus) : frequent but less than Buzzard
24. Hobby / Boomvalk (Falco subbuteo) : one at La Roche Posay
25. Common Pheasant / Fazant (Phasianus colchicus) :
26. Red-legged Partridge / Rode patrijs (Alectoris rufa ) : near Mézières
27. Moorhen / Waterhoen (Gallinula chloropus) : not so frequent
28. Common Coot /Meerkoet (Fulica atra) : very frequent, hundreds at la Gabrière, le Blizon


Common Coot /Meerkoet (Fulica atra)

 

29. Northern Lapwing / Kievit (Vanellus vanellus) : about 20 at the new pond near Mézières along the road D21 at la Roche Marteau
30. Black-headed Gull / Kokmeeuw (Larus ridibundus) : many along the road D21 at la Roche Marteau and le Blizon
31. Common Tern / Visdiefje (Sterna hirundo) : seen mainly at la Gabrière
32. Whiskered Tern / Witwangstern (Chlidonias hybridus) : at le Blizon, many at la Gabrière, and at the pond of Vigneaux: also at the etang de Mardasson (D6)


Whiskered Tern / Witwangstern (Chlidonias hybridus)

Whiskered Tern

33. Black Tern / Zwarte stern (Chlidonias niger) : only 1 at the pond of Vigneaux
34. Wood Pigeon / Houtduif (Columba palumbus) : almost everywhere
35.
Eurasian Collared Dove / Tortelduif (Streptopelia decaocto) : very common
36. Turtle Dove / Zomertortel (Streptopelia turtur) : at Neons (see Bea-eaters below)
37. Common Kingfisher / IJsvogel (Alcedo atthis) : frequent
38. European Bee-eater / Bijeneter (Merops apiaster) : an important colony can be found near La Roche Posay at
46°47,31' N / 000°49,00' E : the best way to see the first colony is to go through the small arch when entering La Roche, then turn immediately left direction Vicq, about 500m further (animal food production unit), to the left (road descends) straight ahead towards the river at 46°47,02' N / 000°49,70' E.  (according to a fisherman, these birds are here since about 7 years).  The second colony is at Neons sur Creuse (46°45,06' N / 000°55,97' E) (descend behind the church to the river : at the picnic place, continue on the small road that starts at car parking) (46°45,28' N / 000°55,55' E).

 


La Roche Posay
small arch seen from the village side

La Creuse

 


European Bee-eater at La Roche

 


juvenile European Bee-eater

39. Hoopoe / Hop (Upupa epops) : one always around the old farm at Rianvert.


Farm where the Hoopoe was a regular guest

Hoopoe / Hop (Upupa epops)

 

40. Long-eared Owl / Ransuil (Asio otus ) : 5 to 6 at Bellebouche crying at sunset


Bellebouche

41. Wood Nuthatch / Boomklever ( Sitta europaea ) : some at Bellebouche
42. Icterine warbler / Spotvogel ( Hippolais icterina ) : at Rianvert
43. Rufous Nightingale / Nachtegaal ( Luscinia megarhynchos ) : at Rianvert
44.
Green Woodpecker / Groene specht (Picus viridis) : regular bird
45. Great Spotted Woodpecker / Grote bonte specht (Dendrocopos major) : regular
46. Sky Lark / Leeuwerik (Alauda arvensis) : regular in fields
47. Sand Martin / Oeverzwaluw (Riparia riparia) : regular
48. Barn Swallow / Boerenzwaluw (Hirundo rustica) : very frequent
49. House Martin / Huiszwaluw (Delichon urbica) : still quite frequent, also around Auberge La Gabrière
50. Yellow Wagtail / Gele kwikstaart (Motacilla flava) : a couple of birds at a pond
51. Grey Wagtail / Grote gele kwikstaart (Motacilla cinerea) : less frequent
52. Pied Wagtail / Witte kwikstaart (Motacilla alba) : very frequent


Pied Wagtail / Witte kwikstaart (Motacilla alba)


53. Wren / Winterkoning (Troglodytes troglodytes) : quite frequent
54. Hedge Accentor / Heggemus (Prunella modularis) : frequent
55. European Robin / Roodborst (Erithacus rubecula) : frequent
56. Black Redstart / Zwarte roodstaart (Phoenicurus ochrurus) : around farms
57. Common Stonechat / Roodborsttapuit (Saxicola torquata) : very frequent / almost everywhere


Common Stonechat / Roodborsttapuit (Saxicola torquata)

Common Stonechat (female)

58. Cetti's warbler / Cetti's zanger (Cettia cetti ) : several along the road D21 at la Roche Marteau
59. Common Cuckoo / Koekoek ( Cuculus canorus ) : at le Blizon
60. Blackbird / Merel (Turdus merula) : frequent
61. Reed Warbler / Kleine Karekiet (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) : at la Gabrière etc.
62. Blackcap / Zwartkop (Sylvia atricapilla) : at le Temple
63. Common Chiffchaff / Tjiftjaf (Phylloscopus collybita) : frequent
64. Spotted Flycatcher / Grauwe vliegenvanger (Muscicapa striata) : seen at La Gabrière


65. Long-tailed Tit / Staartmees (Aegithalos caudatus) : frequent
66. Blue Tit / Pimpelmees (Parus caeruleus) : frequent
67. Great Tit / Koolmees (Parus major) : frequent
68. Red-backed Shrike / Grauwe klauwier (Lanius collurio) : very frequent


Red-backed Shrike ( m )

Red-backed Shrike

 

69. Cirl Bunting / Cirlgors ( Emberiza cirlus ) : one at Rianvert
70. Curlew / Wulp ( Numenius arquata ) : several around Rianvert and 2 along D78 from La Gabrière to Martizay
71. Eurasian Jay / Gaai (Garrulus glandarius) : frequent
72. Black-billed Magpie / Ekster (Pica pica) : frequent
73. Eurasian Jackdaw / Kauw (Corvus monedula) : frequent
74. Carrion Crow / Kraai (Corvus corone) : frequent
75. Rook / Roek ( Corvus frugilegus ) : near La Gabrière
76. Common Starling / Spreeuw (Sturnus vulgaris) : frequent
77. House Sparrow / Huismus (Passer domesticus) : frequent
78. Chaffinch / Vink (Fringilla coelebs) : frequent
79. Greenfinch / Groenling (Carduelis chloris) : frequent
80. Goldfinch / Putter (Carduelis carduelis) : frequent


Goldfinch / Putter (Carduelis carduelis)


81. Linnet / Kneu (Carduelis cannabina) : frequent
82. European Cerin / Europese kanarie ( Serinus serinus ) : along the D21
83. Corn Bunting / Grauwe gors ( Miliaria calandra ) : along the D21
84. Yellowhammer / Geelgors ( Emberiza citrinella ) : along D78 from La Gabrière to Martizay
85. Common Whitethroat / Grasmus ( Sylvia communis ) : quite frequent


Common Whitethroat / Grasmus ( Sylvia communis )

 

Mammals, Insects and Flowers


juvenile Ragondin

 


juvenile Ragondins

 


Orchid

 

 


Mute Swans on La Gabrière