Birding Sites in the Charente Maritime Area

Click map or titles for detailed maps of area.

  1. Pointe de la Coubre: Excellent migration point. Approach via a road near to the lighthouse (Phare de la Coubre).The car park has Black Redstart and Cirl Bunting. The walk (short) takes you past the inland end of La Bonne Anse (Site 3). The dunes are especially good for Larks, Crested when I was there in march. I would expect Short-toed Lark and Tawny Pipit later in the season. Some sea passage.
  2. La Palmyre Harbour: Car park opposite the seaward end of La Bonne Anse. Yellow legged Gulls and off passage Terns.
  3. La Bonne Anse: Excellent area of intertidal mud. One hundred and fifty Avocets on my first visit, Thirty Little Egrets on my second and six Kentish Plover on the next. Catch it at high tide when the waders are pushed up to the car park for site 1.
  4. Reed Bed just outside La Palmyre: Easily viewed from the road. Marsh Harrier, Black Kite, Hoopoe and Serin on my visit. A track runs up the left hand side of the area giving access to the southern edge of La Foret de la Coubre. Short-toed Treecreeper. There are numerous other ways into this forest, further to the NW. I would expect Honey Buzzard and Short-toed Eagle in season.
  5. Brouage and the surrounding marshes: A real gem. Take the family! White Storks can be viewed from the old town walls. I had ten Cattle Egrets along with numerous Little Egrets, Black Kites, Cettis Warblers and Blue-headed Wagtails. The marshes are composed of old oyster beds, a common habitat around here, but now abandoned since the sea retreated and left Brouage high and dry. Expect Night Heron and Purple Heron in season.
  6. Yves Marshes: Viewable from the E602. Mentioned in "Where to watch birds in France." Not worth a special visit but you will pass it on the way down.
  7. Oyster beds/marshland adjoining the D126, Isle d’Oleron: More Egrets!
  8. Pnte. de Chassiron: Migrants and Sea watching. This is also in "Where to watch birds in France."
  9. Pnte. de Grave: A major migration watch point, easily approached from Royan by ferry. I didn’t go. Presumably everything will fly over site 1, half an hour later anyway!

I also visited Bruge Marshes reserve near Bordeaux, a long drive and I saw nothing new!