If you have a home in France and you're looking for potential birding sites, the best investment you could make is to buy IGN mapping of your local area, the blue series Carte de randonnee
, scale 1:25000 (1cm = 250m), generally covering 200-250 square kilometres per sheet. Secondly, visit your Mairie and ask for information on public footpaths (sentiers
) in the locality. There is an extensive network of well-signposted public rights of way throughout the country, most are well maintained if somewhat under-used. Departments/regions produce maps, one per sentier, usually a long loop or connected loops, and they are free. Tourist offices also stock them. Route signs, normally painted brown, carry the name of the sentier.
I have found most local sites this way, also doing surveys for the LPO opened up new areas I may not have discovered otherwise. Most private land is fenced off securely, partly a legacy of the hunting regime, and it’s best to obtain permission to access land off the sentier, e.g. promising areas of open water. Generally farmers are far more open to these requests than in UK, although some may refuse permission if they are active hunters or have frequent hunting on their land and don't want people getting shot!
Basically the birding situation is the reverse of the UK one - there is lots of good habitat here but very few nature reserves.
A Birdwatching circuit in the Southern Vienne
- A drive/walk in the communes of Saulge/Moulismes.
WHERE TO WATCH BIRDS IN THE VIENNE
- Where's hot and where's not - LPO Vienne
website based on Google Earth. This website is part of the VisioNature network developed by the LPO and other organisations to record and publish observations in real-time. Once you have created your account, the same access info can be used to access all similar VisioNature websites throughout France and Spain. This is an excellent tool for sending your info to those who need it, and for disseminating information generally to other birders. There are one or two pitfalls, see SUBMISSION OF RECORDS below, but overall it works very well.
WHERE TO WATCH BIRDS IN THE BRENNE
is the France Nature Environnment
version of the above covering the Brenne. It is nothing like as user-friendly as VisioNature, and really requires an element of local/regional geographical knowledge. The main problem, though, is that although as an observer you record obs to an exact position on the map, this info is stripped out by admin and appears on the website at commune level only...!! Rendering the info useless to all except those with access. This is, allegedly, 'to avoid disturbance at sites...' No comment! However, see SUBMISSION OF RECORDS below.
A more recent development has been the launch of the live Indre Nature database, Obs'Indre
, making life much easier for those searching for Brenne bird/nature news. For most purposes, SIRFF has really been superseeded by this new recording system, although it is not as good as VisioNature for several reasons. However, it is fairly easy to use, after the initial account creation. There are one or two bizarre anomalies, for example the selection of species deemed to be rare
(in red) on the obs lists, and some of those that aren't. Also the selection of sensitive species deemed to be at risk of disturbance
; any obs that accompany these observations are also filtered out to remove the location. For example, ALL obs of Osprey, with accompanying obs from the same location made at the same time, are masked for location. Conversely, obs of Peregrine Falcon in breeding season (or any other time) aren't masked.... and so on. If you find that certain obs have the location masked it will be because somewhere there, there is a 'sensitive' species (espèce sensible). Some of the anomalies can admitedly be explained by the fact that the area covered is the departement Indre, not only the Brenne PN. The search facility has some useful features. One annoying thing for Brits – the site is accent sensitive
, so any entry with an accent missing won't be recognised.
- Yahoo! group covering the région Centre
, including the Brenne. Mainly used for info on rarities, but not exclusively.
Of the Brenne related websites mentioned below, go to Maison de la Nature
> téléchargement > '2015 Brenne nature' to download a document covering most of the key sites in the Brenne. This is a publication available at the two visitor centres mentioned below. NB; BEWARE! The visitor centre opening dates/times as stated on the website
aren't always strictly adhered to !!
SUBMISSION OF RECORDS
Recording to the LPO Vienne live database can definitely add another dimension to one’s birding experience, but there are a few points worth remembering;
- This is a live system based on Google Earth. If you don’t want others following in your footsteps, because you are on private land for example, beware… I've had several problems locally with birders from Poitiers trespassing, flushing birds, and generally having no regard for the sensitivity of some local sites. This can cause obvious problems for local birders
- Think carefully before advertising nesting sites of scarce or vulnerable breeding birds; there is a 'protection system' provided on the website, but other observers may not share your opinion. An example here locally were 'birders' that entered an active sandpit at weekends to photograph nesting Bee-eaters very close to the entrance holes; they were probably on eggs at the time. The information was available to all on the LPO Vienne website - this has now been changed and info relating to breeding Bee-eaters, amongst other species, is now suppressed
- Because this is a live system, accuracy with identification helps to keep the database credible... if in doubt, ask. Contact the LPO or I will help if possible
Disturbance of birds by 'photographers' at nest sites, also of migratory birds, is a growing problem throughout France. In my view this shouldn't deter observers from sending their observations to the LPO via live recording websites - bearing in mind the points made above...
Rare birds in France
is the official adjudicator of rare bird records in France. The website gives all the species & taxa that are currently assessed by the CHN
BIRDING AND THE HUNTING REGIME - LA CHASSE
Broadly speaking, the hunting season runs from mid-August until the end of March. Hunters also use the sentiers and public woodland, so nowhere should be regarded as ’safe’ from hunting. People die every year in shooting accidents; whilst these are often other hunters, walkers and birders are obviously vulnerable. Weekends, particularly Sundays, and public holidays are the most active hunting days.
Whilst finding 'La chasse en cours'
frustrating when arriving at one’s chosen destination, it is worth remembering that without the hunting regime probably much good habitat here would be lost. So always having a ‘Plan B’ (and even 'C'...) is good practice. Hunting often takes place on public woodland sites, forêts domaniales,
and those owned by local authorities. Walking dogs off the lead is definitely not recommended close to hunting activity, the hunting dog pack is a great danger to other dogs. Most of these dogs have never seen the inside of a house and are kept hungry. Where hunting occurs next to a public road or land open to the public there is an obligation to post warning signs and marshals. However, this obligation is frequently ignored in my experience. 'Cowboy' hunting like this does nothing to dispel the notion that the hunting fraternity are, in reality, a law unto themselves.
Whatever ones views on hunting, pragmatism pays, and an understanding of how the hunting regime and habitat management often go hand in hand in France.
Inland, by far the most sought after species are wild boar, roe deer and red deer. Of the smaller quarry species rabbit, hare, pheasant and both partridge species are the most commonly hunted, also wildfowl. Of the migratory/semi-migratory species, woodcock, wood pigeon and quail probably top the list. This list is long (see protected status, main list on this page) although the geographical position of the Vienne/Brenne means in reality the list is fairly short.
My personal experience is that farmers, who often form the core of the hunting community, are usually quite friendly, telling you when and where there is hunting going on so that one can avoid that area. They will also sometimes advise on access across their land.
There is of course another aspect to hunting; that of culling. Taking the wild boar - the sanglier
, as an example, the estimated French population in 2013 was in excess of two million, with a population explosion in recent years as a result of human activity - global warming and radical changes in agricultural land use. The wolf is historically the principle natural predator - a species virtually non-existent in France despite a mini revival in the French alps and Massif Central. Needless to say this will never be a viable future solution here. So it follows that assuming numbers need
to be controlled, hunting is probably the only solution. Sangliers
certainly love maize, as well as root vegetables and vines, amongst much else on this adaptable omnivore's varied menu. In an attempt to stop the boars roaming into fields and vineyards, hunters have been encouraged to create feeding zones in woods and forests - often maize. This has actually exacerbated the problem by artificially concentrating large populations, thereby creating perfect breeding grounds and leading to even larger packs of well-nourished animals. These zones have also apparently been responsible for accelerating the time it takes to reach adulthood (i.e. they can now breed at a younger age).
Interestingly, the hunters have recently been forced to reimburse farmers for crop damage, a bill that has much increased in recent years to a massive 50 million Euros (in 2011). Despite this, they don’t seem to be able to keep the population increase in check. And as a sign of innate intelligence, according to hunters sangliers
have recently developed a new tactic when devouring maize. When they enter the fields, they leave the outer parts of the crop intact, effectively hiding their presence deeper in the field, completely out of sight !
Roe and Red Deer cause damage to trees, woodland flora and other wildlife habitats. Damage to farm crops, traffic accidents and poor health for the deer themselves if left to overpopulate (i.e. if their numbers are greater than the habitat can support) indicate a need to control numbers. In the UK humane culling is used. Apparently to prevent a deer population from increasing, around 20–25% of the adults would need to be shot each year. Whether or not this is feasible in a country the size of France with the size of deer populations involved I've no idea. However, the question is largely irrelevant, as hunting is the way in France.
So if one can look beyond the 4x4's, hip flasks, firearms, dangerous dogs and macho, 'we can go anywhere' mentality, there almost certainly is a need for controlling the numbers of wild boar and deer - and hunting provides probably the most practical solution.
Although some of the above also applies to hunting on the coast, there's a decidedly different approach there that most of us find totally unacceptable – not only the quarry species, but also the methods used. Live decoy ducks tethered by thin steel hawsers are a common sight, as are wooden decoys. The hunting can be on an enormous scale, totally exposing the myth that hunting is on the wane in France. As a result, many waders seen have missing or damaged legs or feet.
Generally the hunting of migratory species including those in global decline is a bitter pill one just has to swallow; by joining the LPO you have a voice…
(Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux)
In my experience of living here, hunting is so ingrained in French culture it will always enjoy the support of the vast majority of French people, even though most don't hunt. Rights of the 'common man' to hunt almost anywhere, enshrined in the August Decrees of the French Revolution, mean that hunting is more aligned to the US 'right to bear arms' than anything else.
Photography here is fairly difficult, there are very few hides or nature reserves away from the Brenne. Birds tend to be difficult to approach and easily flushed - another legacy of La Chasse.
A new reserve, St-cyr
, near Poitiers (Vienne) has 3+ hides. I take many photos in the garden, although most are taken 'on the run', i.e. opportunistic shots whilst out birding. Of course, hides in the Brenne at Cherine NR, as with other reserves in France, provide good photographic opportunities
Covering some 10,000 hectares and with over 1200 etangs
, man-made lakes, the Brenne has reedbeds, meadows, rough pasture, cereal production and woodland, also two river valleys and some calcareous zones. Over 280 species have been recorded; Common Cranes winter here, Whiskered Terns (c1000 pairs) and Black-necked Grebes (150+ pairs) nest, as do Purple Heron, Cattle Egret, Night Heron, Black-winged Stilt, a few pairs of Short-toed Eagle, and 30+ pairs of Bee-eater.
There are two good visitor centres, one at Cherine Nature Reserve (Maison de la Nature
), and one at Le Bouchet (Maison du Parc
), with a total of 12+ hides throughout the park, 6 of which are on Cherine reserve
As with the Vienne, the biggest problem with the Brenne is that most etangs are privately owned and the surrounding land difficult to access. However, apart from the reserve and other parts open to the public, there is an extensive network of well sign-posted sentiers that really open up the Park and provide some of the best birding – details from either visitor centre, also here:
Brenne Regional Park website
Maison de la Nature
RARITIES, SCARCE BIRDS
The Brenne clearly has more potential for rarities than the Vienne, due to the existence of some very large etangs - virtually non-existent in the Vienne. However, local patch-work in the southern Vienne can pay dividends – see A Birdwatching circuit in the Southern Vienne
Scarcities/rarities I've personally recorded since January 2006 in the southern Vienne/Brenne are in the list below.
In central/northern Vienne, Wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria) - Tichodrome echelette, is rare but regular in winter, Poitiers cathedral being a favoured location. Occasionally one will winter in the southern Vienne/Brenne
The winter of 2011-12 brought an influx of Alpine Accentors (Prunella collaris) - Accenteur alpin, some sharing sites with Wallcreepers. One site in the southern Vienne (at Chauvigny) was used.
In the northern Vienne small breeding populations of Little Bustard and Ortolan Bunting exist. The habitat north of Poitiers is very different to that of the south, with vast cereal plains, and a reserve at St-Cyr
that attracts large numbers of gulls in winter. These can include Common, Lesser Black-backed, Herring and Yellow-legged - all rare elsewhere in the Vienne. Other rarities are increasingly being found on this site much frequented by the Poitiers birding community.
It is worth remembering when birding here that most of the Vienne is over two hours from the Biscay coast, the Brenne over three hours. Virtually all gull, tern and wader species are rare, with one or two obvious exceptions. Another surprise for many visiting birders is the relative abundance of species here that are scarce or specialized in their habitat preferences in the UK. Classic examples are Woodlark (on the northern edge of range in UK) and Tree Pipit (gone from much of SE England); both are fairly common farmland species here, the latter obviously in summer only. Owls, conversely, are rarely seen; Scops and Short-eared are rare, Barn, Little, Tawny and Long-eared are statistically fairly common, but only usually seen at night. With such an abundance of food these species appear to have remained truly nocturnal. Finally, one of the delights of winter are the large flocks of passerines on winter stubble or fields left fallow. These include Yellowhammers, Cirl, Reed and Corn Buntings in good numbers, with Skylarks in the hundreds and Bramblings with the multi-species finch flocks.
The best reference source for the Vienne is the 'Guide des Oiseaux de Poitou-Charentes et Vendee' Dubrac/Nicolle/Michel, published by Editions Hypolais, 2000
See also LPO Vienne
Official French bird list (Categories, status, etc) BUBO
APPROACH TO TAXONOMY
The taxonomic order follows Voous (1977), and Beaman (1994) – effectively Voous with some splits. So the revision of the Anseriformes and Galliformes being brought to the start of the list has not been followed. Unfashionable perhaps, but who knows, in ten years time we may yet revert back to Voous/Beaman again... it's happened before, on the back of the latest research, for example with butterflies
LIST OF BIRDS OBSERVED IN THE SOUTHERN VIENNE & BRENNE SINCE OUR ARRIVAL IN JANUARY 2006.
The status/abundance guide may help if you are birding the general area.
This is based solely on my observations since January 2006 and may or may not reflect the true status/abundance within the Vienne/Brenne.
Obviously generally it does, but the odd striking anomaly can occur, for various reasons. For example, Barn Owls are virtually impossible to observe here in daylight hours, but statistically they are a fairly common breeding species. The same can be said for Little Owl, although populations have now become fragmented. Eurasian Bullfinch is another bizarre one, again a fairly common breeding species but almost impossible to find, certainly outside of the winter period. Northern Goshawk is as difficult here as anywhere, and although officially quite common, I have found Wood Warbler numbers to have slumped to a point of becoming a rarity.
Differences in overall habitat between the southern Vienne and the Brenne mean there are differences in status/abundance for some species, most strikingly with water birds – obviously there are many more in the Brenne! Conversely, Hen and Montagu's Harriers, Stone Curlews and others benefit from the cereal fields widely seen in the Vienne.
W = winter visitor
S = summer visitor, usually breeding
M = on migration, eruptive or erratically displaced
SD = seen all-year, breeds locally, sedentary
1 = very common
2 = fairly common
3 = scarce
4 = rare; vagrant; accidental; rarities in yellow
(Brenne) = Observed in the Brenne only, (Vienne) = observed in the southern Vienne only (my personal observations only, regardless of status within those areas).
Status of protection in France:
P = Protected
NP = Not Protected
Taxonomic order follows Voous (1977), and Beaman (1994)
Great Northern Diver (Gavia immer) - Plongeon imbrin ------W4 (Brenne)---P
------ 1 adult-winter November 2011.
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) - Grebe castagneux ------SD2---P
Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus) - Grebe huppe ------SD2---P
Black-necked Grebe (Podiceps nigricollis) - Grebe a cou noir ------M3 Vienne/S2 Brenne---P
Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) - Grand Cormoran ------SD2---P
Great Bittern (Botaurus stellaris) - Butor étoilé ------W/M4 (Brenne)---P
Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus) - Blongios nain ------S4 (Brenne)---P
Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax) - Bihoreau gris ----M4 Vienne
Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis) - Heron gardeboeufs -------W,M3 Vienne/SD2 Brenne---P
Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides) - Crabier chevelu ------S4 (Brenne)---P
Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) - Aigrette garzette ------M3 Vienne/SD2 Brenne ---P
Great Egret (Egretta alba) - Grande Aigrette ------W,S,M1/SD1 Brenne---P
------ 1 breeding record Brenne
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea) - Heron cendre ------SD1---P
Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea) - Heron pourpre ------S3 Vienne/S2 Brenne---P
Black Stork (Ciconia nigra) - Cigogne noir ------M3/M,S3 Brenne---P
White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) - Cigogne blanche ------M3/M,S3 Brenne---P
Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus) - Ibis falcinelle ------M4 (Brenne)
Eurasian Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia) - Spatule blanche ------ M4 (Brenne)---P
Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) - Flamant rose ------M4 (Brenne)---(P?)
------ 1 adult (unringed) July/August 2015.
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) - Cygne tubercule ------SD2 Vienne/SD1 Brenne---P
Bean Goose (Anser fabalis) - Oie des moissons ------W4 (Vienne)---NP
Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) - Oie rieuse ------W4---NP
Greylag Goose (Anser anser) - Oie cendree ------M,W3---NP
Greater Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) - Bernache du Canada ------SD3 (Brenne)---P
------ Feral, > 200 (Brenne only). French Cat. C (Introductions).
Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea) - Tadorne casarca ------?4 (Brenne)---(P?)
------ French Cat. B, D1 (Origin uncertain).
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna) - Tadorne de Belon -----W3---P
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiacus) - Ouette d'Egypte ------?4 (Vienne)---(NP?)
------ French Cat. B, C*.
Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) - Canard carolin -------?4 (Vienne)---(NP?)
------ French Cat. E*.
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata) - Canard mandarin -------?4 (Vienne)---(NP?)
------ French Cat. C*.
Gadwall (Anas strepera) - Canard chipeau ------SD3 Vienne/SD2 Brenne---NP
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope) - Canard siffleur ------W3---NP
Common Teal (Anas crecca) - Sarcelle d'hiver ------SD2---NP
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) - Canard colvert ------SD1---NP
Garganey (Anas querquedula) - Sarcelle d'ete ------S3---NP
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) - Canard pilet ------W/M3---NP
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) - Canard souchet ------SD2---NP
Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina) - Nette rousse ------M4 Vienne
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina) - Fuligule milouin ------SD2---NP
Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca) - Fuligule nyroca -----W4---P
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula) - Fuligule morillon ------SD3 Vienne/SD2 Brenne---NP
Greater Scaup (Aythya marila) - Fuligule milouinan ------W4 (Brenne)---NP
Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) - Fuligule à tête noire ------W4 (Brenne)---(NP?)
------ Individual males in 2007, 2009 and 2014.
Velvet Scoter (Melanitta fusca) - Macreuse brune ------W4 (Brenne)---NP
Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula) - Garrot à l'oeil d'or ------W4---NP
Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis) - Harelde boréale ------W4 (Brenne)---NP
------ Group of 3 27/11/13.
Smew (Mergus albellus) - Harle piette ------W4---P
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) - Harle huppé ------W4 (Brenne)---P
Goosander (Mergus merganser) - Harle bièvre ------W4---P
Black-shouldered Kite (Elanus caeruleus) - Elanion blanc ------M4---P
------ In 2012 an influx of these wonderful raptors into northern France included 2 near Moulismes (a probable pair) and a single bird briefly in the Brenne. Subsequent events suggest genuine range expansion rather than isolated sporadic events. Sadly the Moulismes pair were flushed twice by 'photographers' and disappeared in early spring. Bred in Deux-Sèvres (79) in 2012. In 2015 a smaller influx occurred, with a single bird seen briefly in the Brenne. November 2016 produced a remarkable three birds on one site in the Brenne, near Lignac, with two adults again near Lignac in November 2018.
European Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus) - Bondree apivore ------S3---P
Black Kite (Milvus migrans) - Milan noir ------S2---P
Red Kite (Milvus milvus) - Milan royal ------M3---P
White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) - Pygargue à queue blanche ------(?)4 (Brenne)---P
------ Most, but not all, observations in winter
Eurasian Griffon Vulture (Gyps fulvus) Vautour fauve ------M4 (Brenne)---(P?)
------ A single bird 6/2009.
Short-toed Eagle (Circaetus gallicus) - Circaete Jean-le-Blanc ------S3---P
Western Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus) - Busard des roseaux ------M3 Vienne/SD2 Brenne---P
Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus) - Busard St-Martin ------SD2 Vienne/SD3 Brenne---P
Montagu's Harrier (Circus pygargus) - Busard cendre ------S2 Vienne/S3 Brenne---P
Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis) - Autour des palombes ------?SD4---P
Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) - Epervier d'Europe ------SD3---P
Common Buzzard (Buteo buteo) - Buse variable ------SD1---P
Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus) - Aigle botté ------S/M4 (Brenne)---P
------ Has bred in the Brenne.
Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) - Balbuzard pecheur ------M3/M,S3 Brenne---P
Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) - Faucon crecerelle ------SD2---P
Merlin (Falco colombarius) - Faucon emerillon ------W/M3---P
Eurasian Hobby (Falco subbuteo) - Faucon hobereau ------S3---P
Peregrine (Falco peregrinus) - Faucon pelerin ------W4---P
------ Rare breeding bird Vienne/Brenne
Grey Partridge (Perdrix perdrix) - Perdrix grise ------SD3---NP
Red-legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa) - Perdrix rouge ------SD2---NP
Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) - Faison de colchide ------SD1---NP
Water Rail (Rallus aquaticus) - Rale d'eau ------SD3---NP
Spotted Crake (Porzana porzana) - Marouette ponctuee ------M4 (Vienne)---P
------ 3 adults August 2009. Has bred in the Brenne.
Common Quail (Coturnix coturnix) - Caille des bles ------S3---NP
Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) - Gallinule poule-d'eau ------SD2---NP
Eurasian Coot (Fulica atra) - Foulque macroule ------SD1---NP
Common Crane (Grus grus) - Grue cendree ------W/M2---P
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) - Echasse blanche -----S,M4 Vienne
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) - Avocette elegante ------M4---P
Stone Curlew (Burhinus œdicnemus) - Oedicneme criard ------S,M3 Vienne/M4 Brenne
Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius) - Petit gravelot ------S/M3---P
Common Ringed Plover (Charadibius hiaticula) - Grand gravelot ------M4---P
Eurasian Dotterel (Eudromias morinellus) - Pluvier guignard ------M4 (Vienne)---P
European Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria) - Pluvier doré ------W3---NP
Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) - Pluvier argenté ------M4 (Brenne)---NP
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) - Vanneau huppé ------SD2---NP
Sociable Lapwing (Chettusia gregaria) - Vanneau sociable -----M4---P
------ 3 individuals Vienne, 1 Brenne.
White-tailed Plover (Vanellus leucurus) - Vanneau à queue blanche ------M4 (Brenne)---(P?)
------ 1 adult June 2009 (2.5kms from a Sociable Plover!)
Red Knot (Calidris canutus) - Bécasseau maubèche ------M4 (Brenne)---NP
Sanderling (Calidris alba) - Bécasseau sanderling ------M4 (Brenne)---P
Little Stint (Calidris minuta) - Becasseau minute ------W/M3---P
Temminck's Stint (Calidris temminckii) - Becasseau de Temminck ---M4 (Vienne)---P
Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferrugineau) - Becasseau cocorli ------M/S3---P
Dunlin (Calidris alpina) - Becasseau variable ------W/M3---P
Ruff (Philomachus pugnax) - Combattant varié ------W/M3---NP
Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago) - Becassine des marais ------W/M2---NP
Eurasian Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola) - Becasse des bois -----SD4---NP
Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) - Barge à queue noire ------M4 (Brenne)---NP
Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica) - Barge rousse ------M4 (Brenne)---NP
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) - Courlis corlieu ------M4---NP
Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata) - Courlis cendré ------SD3---NP
Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus) - Chevalier arlequin ------M3---NP
Common Redshank (Tringa totanus) - Chevalier gambette ------M3---NP
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) - Chevalier aboyeur ------M3---NP
Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus) - Chevalier culblanc ------W/M2---P
Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola) - Chevalier sylvain ------M3---P
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos) - Chevalier guignette ------M2---P
Little Gull (Larus minutus) - Mouette pygmée ------M4---P
Mediterranean Gull (L. melanocephalus) - M. mélanocéphale -----M4 Vienne/S,M4 Brenne---P
Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus) - Mouette rieuse ------M3 Vienne/SD1 Brenne---P
Common Gull (Larus canus) - Goéland cendré ------W4 (Brenne)---P
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis) - Goeland leucophée ------M4 Vienne
Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) - Mouette tridactyle ------W4 (Brenne)---P
------ A single bird November 2009 after severe Atlantic storms.
Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) - Sterne pierregarin -----M4 Vienne/S,M4 Brenne
------ Breeding recorded Brenne, where occurrence is increasing---P
Little Tern (Sterna albifrons) - Sterne naine ------M4 (Vienne)---P
------ 1 adult-summer June 2007.
Whiskered Tern (Chlidonias hybridus) - Guifette moustac ------M3 Vienne/S2 Brenne---P
Black Tern (Chlidonias niger) - Guifette noire ------M3 Vienne/S,M4 Brenne---P
------ Perhaps no longer a Brenne breeding bird?
White-winged Tern (Chlidonias leucopterus) - Guifette leucoptère ------M4 (Vienne)---P
------ 1 adult-summer May 2008.
Stock Dove (Columba oenas) - Pigeon colombin ------W3---NP
Common Wood Pigeon (Columba palumbus) - Pigeon ramier ------SD1---NP
Eurasian Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) - Tourterelle turque ------SD1---NP
European Turtle Dove (Streptopelian turtur) - Tourterelle des bois ------S2---NP
Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) - Coucou gris ------S2---P
Barn Owl (Tyto alba) - Effraie des clochers ------SD(2?)---P
Little Owl (Athene noctua) - Cheveche d'Athena ------SD(4?)---P
Tawny Owl (Strix aluco) - Chouette hulotte ------SD2---P
Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) - Hibou des marais ------W/M4---P
European Nightjar (Caprimulgus europaeus) - Engoulevent d'Europe ------S4---P
Common Swift (Apus apus) - Martinet noir ------S1---P
Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis) - Martin-pecheur d'Europe ------SD2---P
European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster) - Guepier d'Europe ------S3---P
Eurasian Hoopoe (Upupa epops) - Huppe fasciée ------S2---P
Eurasian Wryneck (Juynx torquilla) - Torcol fourmilier ------S/M4---P
European Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis) - Pic vert ------SD2---P
Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius) - Pic noir ------SD3---P
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) - Pic épeiche ------SD1---P
Middle Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos medius) - Pic mar ------SD4 (Brenne)---P
------ Scarce breeder Brenne, breeds in northern Vienne only.
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos minor) - Pic épeichette ------SD3---P
Woodlark (Lullula arborea) - Alouette lulu ------SD2---P
Eurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis) - Alouette des champs ------SD2---NP
Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) - Hirondelle rustique ------S1---P
Sand Martin (Riparia riparia) - Hirondelle de rivage ------S2---P
Common House Martin (Delichon urbica) - Hirondelle de fenêtre ------S2---P
Tawny Pipit (Anthus campestris) - Pipit rouseline -------S/M4 (Vienne) ---P
------ Rare breeder Vienne, has bred in the Brenne.
Tree Pipit (Anthus trivialis) - Pipit des arbres ------S2---P
Meadow Pipit (Anthus pratensis) - Pipit farlouse ------W/M2---P
Water Pipit (Anthus spinoletta) - Pipit spioncelle ------W/M2---P
Blue-headed Wagtail (Motacilla flava flava) - Bergeronnette printanière ------S/M3---P
Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava flavissima) - B. flavéole -----M4---P
Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea) - Bergeronnette des ruisseaux ------SD2---P
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba alba) - Bergeronnette grise ------SD1---P
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii) - B. de Yarrell -----W/M4 (Vienne)---P
Winter Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes) - Troglodyte mignon ------SD2---P
Dunnock (Prunella modularis) - Accenteur mouchet ------SD1---P
European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) - Rougegorge familier ------SD1---P
Common Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos) - Rossignol philomèle ------S1---P
Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) - Rougequeue a front blanc ------S/M3---P
Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros) - Rougequeue noir ------SD1---P
Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra) - Tarier des pres ------M3---P
Common Stonechat (Saxicola torquata) - Tarier patre ------SD1---P
Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) - Traquet motteux ------M3---P
Ring Ouzel (Turdus torquatus) - Merle a plastron ------W/M4 (Vienne)---P
Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) - Merle noir ------SD1---NP
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) - Grive litorne ------W3---NP
Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) - Grive musicienne ------SD2---NP
Redwing (Turdus iliacus) - Grive mauvis ------W3---NP
Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus) - Grive draine ------SD2---NP
Cetti's Warbler (Cettia cetti) - Bouscarle de Cetti ------SD2---P
Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis) - Cisticole des joncs ------M/S4---P
------ Rare breeder Brenne.
Common Grasshopper Warbler (Locustella naevia) - Locustelle tâchetée ------S3---P
Savi's Warbler (Locustella luscinioides) - Locustelle luscinioïde ------S4 (Brenne)---P
------ Rare breeder Brenne.
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus) - Phragmite des joncs ------S3---P
European Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus) - Rouserolle effarvatte ------S2---P
Great Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus) - Rousserolle turdoïde ------S4 (Brenne)---P
------ Rare breeder Brenne.
Melodious Warbler (Hippolais polyglotta) - Hypolais polyglotte ------S2---P
Dartford Warbler (Sylvia undata) - Fauvette pitchou ------SD3---P
Common Whitethroat (Sylvia communis) - Fauvette grisette ------S2---P
Garden Warbler (Sylvia borin) - Fauvette des jardins ------S3---P
Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) - Fauvette à tête noire ------SD1---P
Wood Warbler (Phylloscopus sibilatrix) - Pouillot siffleur ------S4---P
------ Numbers much depleted in recent years.
Bonelli's Warbler (Phylloscopus bonelli) - Pouillot de Bonelli ------S2---P
Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita) - Pouillot véloce ------SD1---P
Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus) - Pouillot fitis ------S3---P
------ Breeds/has bred Brenne.
Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) - Roitelet huppé ------W3---P
Firecrest (Regulus ignicapillus) - Roitelet triple-bandeau ------SD2---P
Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata) - Gobemouche gris ------S3---P
Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca) - Gobemouche noir ------M3---P
Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus) - Mesange a longue queue ------SD2---P
Marsh Tit (Parus palustris) - Mesange nonette ------SD2---P
Crested Tit (Parus cristatus) - Mesange huppée ------SD3---P
Coal Tit (Parus ater) - Mesange noire ------W3---P
Blue Tit (Parus caeruleus) - Mesange bleue ------SD1---P
Great Tit (Parus major) - Mesange charbonnière ------SD1---P
Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea) - Sittelle torchepot ------SD1---P
Short-toed Treecreeper (Certhia brachydactyla) - Grimpereau des jardins ---SD2---P
Eurasian Penduline Tit (Remiz pendulinus) - Rémiz penduline ------M4 (Vienne)---P
Eurasian Golden Oriole (Oriolus oriolus) - Loriot d'Europe ------S2---P
Red-backed Shrike (Lanius collurio) - Pie-grièche écorcheur ------S2---P
Great Grey Shrike (Lanius excubitor) - Pie-grièche grise -----W/M4---P
Woodchat Shrike (Lanius senator) - Pie-grièche à tête rousse ------S3---P
------ numbers/pairs increasing, particularly in the southern Vienne.
Eurasian Jay (Garrulus glandarius) - Geai des chênes ------SD1---NP
Common Magpie (Pica pica) - Pie bavarde ------SD1---NP
Western Jackdaw (Corvus monedula) - Choucas des tours ------SD1---P
Rook (Corvus frugilegus) - Corbeau freux ------SD2---NP
Carrion Crow (Corvus corone) - Corneille noire ------SD1---NP
Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) - Etourneau sansonnet ------SD1---NP
House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) - Moineau domestique ------SD1---P
Common Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs) - Pinson des arbres ------SD1---P
Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla) - Pinson du nord ------W3---P
European Serin (Serinus serinus) - Serin cini ------SD2---P
European Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris) - Verdier d'Europe ------SD1---P
European Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) - Chardonneret elegant ------SD1---P
European Siskin (Carduelis spinus) - Tarin des aulnes ------W/M3---P
Common Linnet (Carduelis cannabina) - Linotte melodieuse ------SD2---P
Common Crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) - Bec-croisé des sapins -----W/M4 (Vienne)---P
------ Rare/eruptive migrant.
Eurasian Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) - Bouvreuil pivoine ------W3---P
Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes) - Grosbec casse-noyaux ------SD3---P
Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella) - Bruant jaune ------SD2---P
Cirl Bunting (Emberiza cirlus) - Bruant zizi ------SD1---P
Common Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus) - Bruant des roseaux ------W2---P
Corn Bunting (Miliaria calandra) - Bruant proyer ------SD2---P
*Cat. B,C introductions, Cat. E escapes
BIRDS OBSERVED JUST OUTSIDE THE PRINCIPAL AREA OF INTEREST
(Gavia stellata) - Plongeon catmarin ------ 1 juv. Azerables (23) 27/12/18
(Gavia arctica) - Plongeon arctique ------ 1 juv. Razes (87) 25/12/18
(Tetrax tetrax) - Outarde canepetière ------ Small breeding population in the northern Vienne
Lesser Black-backed Gull
(Larus fuscus) - Goéland brun ------- Occasional sightings St-Cyr, Poitiers, Vienne
(Larus argentatus) - Goéland argenté ------ Occasional sightings St-Cyr, Poitiers, Vienne, January/February
(Galerida cristata) - Cochevis huppé ------ Occasional sightings Chateauroux (36).
(Cinclus cinclus) - Cincle plongeur ------ Occasional sightings river Creuse, Indre
(Prunella collaris) - Accenteur alpin ------ 1 Chauvigny (86)18/11/11
(Tichodroma muraria) - Tichodrome échelette ------ Poitiers cathedral, Chauvigny, Bonneuil-Matours, etc, in the Vienne (86)
(Corvus corax) - Grand Corbeau ------ River Creuse, Indre. Breeds just outside the Brenne, also now in the southern Vienne
(Emberiza hortulana) - Bruant ortolan ------ Small breeding population in the northern Vienne