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Brittany (Brest) mid-October (1 Viewer)


Well-known member
I'll be going to Brest in mid-October for work & will have a couple of days spare to go birding.

Any recommendations for good birding spots in the vicinity please? I'll be arriving on the ferry at St Malo and driving. Particularly intersted in seeing birds that are less common in UK & migrants.



Well-known member
Hi Jan, Thanks – yes I’ll definitely go to Ouessant — did you stay over or just do day trips? Any recommendations on accessing the island etc would be appreciated. I can see that it's not straightforwards to take a vehicle over & I was planning to stay in my van on the non-work days.

Also does anyone have any other recomendations for other places in the area (e.g. non-island) ? (or should I just stay at Ouessant?

Last edited:


Well-known member
If you’re willing to take a 1 1/2 hour drive then the nature reserve at Trunvel near Treguennec is worth a visit. I posted a brief report following a trip there last year:

There are also extensive mud flats at the mouth of the river estuary at Pont l’Abbe which is not far away where you can observe Avocets, Spoonbills and other waders.

Mark Lew1s

My real name is Mark Lewis
You can't take your car (or van!) over to Ouessant, but you can get some cheapish accommodation at the youth hostel. AUBERGE D'OUESSANT - Accueil

Hire a bike, cycle round and enjoy the scenery. The birding can be epic too, and mid October is about as good as it gets. If it's less common stuff and migrants you're after, you can't really justify going anywhere other than Ouessant (unless you want to give Ile de Sein a try - but that's not accessible from Brest so you'd have a decent drive on your hands).


Well-known member
Hi Everyone, thank you for those tips. I had a great 2 days on Ouessant. Arrived at noon on the Sunday, fabulous weather, Monday was a washout with heavy rain and fog. Despite short visit and poor weather on day 2 it was well worth the visit (I had been in Brest for other reasons)

Highlights (in no particular order):

Black Kite (rare for Ouessant)
Black shouldered Kite
White-Throated Sparrow (2nd French record)
Blyth’s reed warbler
Yellow Browed Warbler
Red-breasted flycatcher
Lapland Bunting
Balaearic Shearwater from ferry

A few tips for anyone thinking of going to Ouessant …..

1) Ferry timetable a bit idiosyncratic — twice a day at weekend but just one per day on weekdays. So worth checking to co-ordinate with onward travel. (Pen ar Bed maritime is the only ferry company running In October)

2) Accomodation really hard to find. Hence why I only managed one night as couldn’t find anywhere the other night I had available. So that day I did a day trip to Molene which was OK. From speaking with people on the island I was lucky to get anywhere at short notice (I was searching the week before I went) — apparently all books up in May or earlier.

3) Bike hire easy at the port. Despite being a smallish island - next time I think I would hire an electric bike as there’s a bit of back and fro across the island as interesting things get reported. However the island is relatively flat & almost car free so cycling is a joy.

4) The birding ”community” seems to be mostly young-ish French (aged 20’s to 30’s) — so there’s a bit of a ‘scene’ which seems friendly enough to an outsider. There’s clearly a lively pub scene in the evening with the birders congregating in the pub…. The faune-Bretagne website has info on it (if you sign in you get more detailed info on location) and there is a Telegram and Whattsapp too. Someone with admin rights kindly invited me onto the Telegram group but not sure if there’s a formal way on to it. Sorry can’t help further with that. I never got invited to WhatsApp Group.

5) Campsite closes end of September so that’s not an option. The youth hostel and CEMO (also has hostel beds) was fully booked too.

I’d definitely go again for a proper trip…..


Well-known member
Thanks also for the tips for other places which I’ll explore another time. As I didn’t want to stray too far from the way back to ferry port St Malo, I visited the St Brieuc Bay on the way to Brest, and Silon de Talbert on the return. Both worthwhile esp the latter but nothing like the variety or interest of Ouessant. Probably massively under watched so I was alone.


Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
I just can't understand why they have to "close" the campsite, it's literally a field of grass, what would it cost them to keep it available?

Such a shame, because this season clearly shows how great Ouessant can be in October ...


Well-known member
I just can't understand why they have to "close" the campsite, it's literally a field of grass, what would it cost them to keep it available?

Such a shame, because this season clearly shows how great Ouessant can be in October ...
Agree - seems ridiculous to close it.

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