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The Sologne is one of the best birding areas of central France combining forest and open country with a variety of wetland habitats.
There are deciduous woodlands and mature conifer plantations as well as farmed land and heath. Scattered amongst the woods and fields are numerous lakes, ponds and marshes many with extensive reedbeds. The range of habitats means a wide variety of birds can be seen at any time of year.
In autumn and winter the area is visited by a wide variety of waterfowl including Greylag Goose, Common Goldeneye and sawbills and Ferruginous Duck is possible in autumn and Common Crane is regular. Terns also occur in autumn and gulls and waders in winter.
Birds you can see here include:
Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Great Cormorant, Great Bittern, Little Bittern, Black-crowned Night Heron, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Greylag Goose, Gadwall, Common Teal, Mallard, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Ferruginous Duck, Common Goldeneye, Goosander, European Honey Buzzard, Black Kite, Short-toed Eagle, Western Marsh Harrier, Hen Harrier, Montagu's Harrier, Northern Goshawk, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard, Booted Eagle, Common Kestrel, Water Rail, Baillon's Crake, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Common Crane, Black-winged Stilt, Little Ringed Plover, Northern Lapwing, Dunlin, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, Common Redshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Common Tern, Black Tern, Whiskered Tern, Little Owl, Tawny Owl, Short-eared Owl, European Nightjar, Common Kingfisher, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Wood Lark, Eurasian Skylark, Barn Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Blue-headed Wagtail, Common Wren, Dunnock, Common Nightingale, Eurasian Robin, Common Redstart, Eurasian Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Common Grasshopper Warbler, Savi's Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Common Reed Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Eurasian Nuthatch, Common Jay, Common Magpie, Carrion Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, Brambling, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting
History and Use
Much of the area has been lost to agriculture and shooting is still widespread but this part of France remains well worth visiting for birders and the wetlands are still of international importance.
Areas of Interest
Etang des Brosses
[Map]Some lakes are better than others and should not be missed. Among the best is Etang des Brosses to the south-west of St-Viatre on the D49. The second turning on the right is a public footpath which leads to the northern and western edges of the lake.
Etang de la Grand Corbiere
[Map]Another excellent lake is Etang de la Grand Corbiere to the west of St-Viatre which is particularly good for duck in winter.
Etang de Favelle
[Map]The Etang de Favelle can be reached from St-Viatre on the D63 towards Neung-sur-Beuvron and for the equally good Etang de Marcilly continue on the same road until the crossroads then turn left. Straight on at this crossroads leads to the Etang de Marguiliers with good reedbed birds.
Foret de Braudan
The Foret de Braudan in the centre of the Sologne area is one of the best woodlands, and Chambord [Map], to the north-west is also worth visiting.
Access and Facilities
The Sologne can be reached on the N20 south of Orleans. At Nouan-le-Fuzelier head west on the D923 to St-Viatre and many of the lakes can be reached from here.
Much of this area and all the lakes are private but some of the best areas can be seen from the numerous minor roads and footpaths.
Accommodation can be found in many of the towns and villages in this area and there are numerous campsites.
- Etang de la Grand Corbiere on OpenStreetMap
- St-Viatre (Etang de la Grand Corbiere) on OpenStreetMap
- Etang de Favelle on OpenStreetMap
- Chambord on OpenStreetMap
Content and images originally posted by Steve