A set of a few ponds distributed in the northern Deux-Sèvres worth paying a visit whatever the season is. L'étang de Beaurepaire is the second most important wetland in the department. (You can see the dedicated birding place). Getting on this tour will allow you to have a good look at almost every species regularly present in Deux-Sèvres. In total, 230 species have been recorded here. You can spend half or a whole day birding in the area since you'll have to drive a bit between the different sites, and you can stop a few times for checking agricultural fields species.
On the waterbirds side, you'll encounter most of the breeding ducks in the area with a well established Common Pochard population. Scarcer and not every year breeders include Gadwall and Garganey. Dawn and sunset visits are a good time to encounter Water Rail which also nests in the area. Winter time sees northern ducks coming such as Northern Shoveler and rarities are always possible such as Red-crested Pochard or Greater Scaup.
When driving between the different sites, agricultural fields are really worth checking. Stone-curlew and Northern Lapwing are regular breeding species, European Golden-Plover join Northern Lapwing during winter season. Red-backed Shrike is a common sight, perched on wires and hedge rows.
All year round, you have a good chance to encounter Black-winged Kite since it regularly breeds (Apr-Déc) and winters in the area.
At last, migration periods are really the best time for birding. All the common species of waders and waterbirds can be seen, and every year holds its rarities. Here are just a few of them: Sociable Lapwing, Pectoral Sandpiper, Spotted Crake, Little Bunting, Savi's Warbler, ...
From Angers, aim to Vihiers and then Bressuire. When you enter the department, start the tour at Etang de la Grippière. From Niort, aim to Bressuire, Argentonnay and l'étang de Beaurepaire.
Terrain and HabitatForest, Wetland, Agriculture, Grassland, Reedbeds
Is a telescope useful?Yes
Good birding seasonAll year round
Best time to visitSpring migration, Autumn migration
RouteUnpaved road, Paved road
Difficulty walking trailAverage walk
Birdwatching hide / platformNo
Etang de Beaurepaire, Lac du Cébron and Val de Loire.