About the book
The Loire valley lies right in the heart of France. This guide covers the central part (roughly the administrative region Region Centre), including famous regions as the Brenne, Sologne, Loire-Anjou-Touraine Regional Park and Foret d’Orleans.
- Landscape history
- Flora and Fauna
- Where to watch birds
- Finding orchids and other wildflowers
- 17 detailed routes with observation tips and 13 site descriptions
The lakes of the Brenne and Sologne
Two major natural areas within the region are the Brenne and the Sologne, both of which include hundreds of marsh-fringed lakes. These lakes together form some of France's finest wetlands, with large populations of Purple and Night Herons, Little Bitterns, Whiskered Terns, Black-necked Grebes and much more.
Because of these lakes and their rich birdlife, the region is well known among birdwatchers, but the avian interest extends far beyond the wetlands. The landscape is a patchwork of forests, heathlands, streams, unimproved, hedge-lined meadows and fields, where birdwatchers can meet with an extraordinary assemblage of birds. Hoopoes, Bee-eaters, Short-toed Eagles, Little Bustards and Rock Sparrows, could make you believe that you are somewhere deep in Spain, but Middle-spotted and Grey-headed Woodpeckers, Red-backed Shrikes and Ospreys add a flavour of the east or the north. Yet the Loire Valley is neither in the deep south nor in the north or east, but a mere two hours drive from Paris.
...and much more
What goes for the avifauna holds true for the reptiles and amphibians (beauties like Green Lizard and Western Whip Snake), the flora (many orchids) and butterflies. The Loire and its tributaries form one of Europe's finest areas for dragonflies. And all this is can be enjoyed with the advantages of the civilized world just around the corner.
The Crossbill Guide to the Loire Valley - Loire, Brenne and Sologne (2011) shows you the most beautiful nature reserves and helps you to find the most interesting birds, plants, butterflies and dragonflies.