Southern Brittany covers the department of Loire-Atlantique and contains some superb gems for birdwatchers. The first of these The National Park of Grande Briere a huge reed bed of nearly 100,000 acres. The Park has a road running around is it so you can call in at different places or stand at the side of the road. We got Purple Heron, Black Kite, Bearded Reedling and Cormarent within thirty seconds of pulling into a picnic area on the eastern side of the marsh.
With over 3000 thatched houses in the marsh the local thatcher is kept very busy and the reeds are harvested in an ecological way as they have been for thousands of years. There are tracks that can lead you into marsh but the best way to see this place is either the excellent hides on the eastern side or to take a traditional punt boat and silently glide in and out of the reeds. This will allow you to savour Marsh Harriers, White Stork, Whiskered Tern, Fan-tailed Warbler, Night Heron and Kingfishers going about their daily business undisturbed by the noise of an engine.
The best place to do this is Brecca on the western shore of the marsh where there is also an observation tower giving you extensive views of the reeds. Do look out for nd Bluethroat about a mile south of here on the road to St Nazaire. In short there are many roads leading down to the shore of the marsh so it pays to spend at least a whole day here from dawn until dusk.