birdwatching holiday at le moulin du chemin

General information about Bird Watching Holidays at le Moulin du Chemin is provided on this page.

Le Moulin du Chemin is a welcoming auberge, where wonderful holidays are hosted by Carolynn Grimaldi and Peter Roche. Le Moulin is secluded in a leafy valley in the region known as the Pays de Gâtine, in Deepest Rural France, where many birds, some quite unusual, can be seen. It is an idyllic rural paradise 80km inland from la Rochelle, and 60km south of the Loire. The number of guests is limited to ten so each visitor is treated as a personal house guest.

"A wonderful holiday - quiet, beautiful countryside; comfortable rooms;

 attentive, friendly hosts; and rounded off each day by

                                                       convivial evening dinner parties with excellent food and drink. Thank you."        - David Vickery, Petersfield, Hants, UK


Le Moulin's Birding Diary was started several years ago and has been updated continuously. It gives a good idea of the species of birds that inhabit the region of le Moulin du Chemin.

The chart entitled Bird Abstract contains a record of nesting birds recorded in the immediate region. Habitats around le Moulin can generally be accessed on foot, depending on how far you are prepared to walk, otherwise habitats can be accessed by a short drive.

The listing Birding Venues identifies places with one or two hours drive where other species of bird can be seen.

The birds listed under Bird Sightings were identified in the locality by different guests at various times of year.

Why le Moulin? enables you to appreciate how holidays at le Moulin provide more for less.

It is advised to choose the date of any bird watching holiday very carefully, to avoid disappointments, and le Moulin du Chemin is no exception to this. Birds are much more visible in spring and early summer, although it is possible to see some unusual birds in other seasons.


Tea and Coffee facilities are provided in each of the guestrooms at le Moulin.

Traditional continental breakfast of warm croissants, crusty French bread fresh from the baker each morning, and steaming hot fresh coffee, tea or chocolate. Sweet local butter, creamy local honey and home made comfitures are on the table. Yogurt, breakfast cereals, dried fruits and a generous selection of seasonal fresh fruit is also provided.

A first-class packed lunch is provided each day comprising a baguette sandwich (with bread baked the same morning - of course, what else would you expect) and different delicious fillings each day, crisps, little French cakes, chocolate and  cereal bars and a generous selection of seasonal fresh fruit (you choose which and how many of these goodies you want to take) and drinks (again, you choose your own from the drinks fridge – water, soft drinks, fruit juice, beer, cider and/or wine).

After your day of searching for birds, we make you welcome at aperitifs-at-seven followed by a leisurely four-course evening meal. Each day the menu is different – an appetising starter such as melon with Pinot des Charentes or roast capsicum with tomatoes and anchovies, is followed by a speciality main course such as roast quail, boeuf bourguinon or grilled salmon each served with a selection of different vegetables. The main course is followed in the French tradition by a cheese course when a mouth-watering selection of several different cow-, goat- and sheep-milk cheeses are served. An artisanal dessert follows, such as pears cooked in red wine, clafoutis, or tarte au citron.  Desert is followed by coffee, tea or an infusion. Guests and hosts sit at a single table for the unhurried evening meal. Lashings of excellent wine (included in the price) are provided and a lot of lively conversation develops.

Le Moulin's menu is varied and the cuisine is of a very high standard, excellently prepared on the premises from wholesome raw ingredients and carefully presented in agreeable surroundings.


Most weeks, le Moulin lays on a civilised picnic. Guests arrive on foot, by bike, by car – we will transport you if necessary – and occasionally on horseback. Golden Oriole have been heard from time to time at the picnic site, but you have to be lucky to actually see one. And Hoopoe have been seen several times at the picnic site. It is a “proper” picnic, at a table with a table-cloth, three courses and chilled rosé.

During the course of a six-night holiday, more than twelve different lovely wines are served, including some delightful local wines of distinction and quality as well as very nice wines from better known French regions. All wine, beer, soft drinks, etc, are included in the price. A fridge stocked with beer, wine, cider and soft drinks is available to guests at all times.

all beverages are included in the price

(wine, beer, cider, soft drinks, tea, coffee, fruit juice, etc)

Le Moulin du Chemin is able to cater for many special dietary needs or preferences – please let us know at time of booking.

kingfisher at le Moulin

black woodpecker at le Moulin

tawney Owl near le Moulin

mute swan and signet

crested grebe

hirendelle ready to fledge

pink legged partridge

le Moulin is also a paradise for bon vivants and gourmets

as well as for birdwatchers!




Le Moulin has five well-appointed guest-rooms each of great individual character and situated in a magical 17th century miller's house. The rooms, together with the dining room can be minutely inspected with a Google Tour of the premises as well as le Moulin's own 360° Virtual Tour.


Each room has it's own en-suite shower- or bathroom, tea and coffee making facilities, hair dryer, etc. Bathroom and pool towels are provided. The rooms are serviced daily.

MoulinWireless: WiFi is free



There are a lot of interesting country walks in the vicinity where you will see oodles of birds, of course, as well as a large variety wild flowers and butterflies in season. Three attractive paths converge at le Moulin. After a short distance they split into several other delightful and little-used byways. In addition, several way-marked walks taking-in nearby places of interest are within a short drive of le Moulin. If you want to go for a walk, le Moulin can provide highlighted maps and clear, professionally produced route notes and your hosts will be happy to advise you.

National Trail GR364 passes the Garden Gate

There are also many places of interest, historic, cultural and natural, within easy driving distance of le Moulin.


Le Moulin has a sizeable library (if you don't like reading on a Kindle) as well as table tennis and boules. The region is popular with artists, with many ancient buildings and peaceful pastoral scenes to paint.

Relax by the pool which is heated to 27°- 29°C to make it pleasurable even in early spring and late autumn.

Interesting, uncrowded golf courses are available within 30 and 40 minutes drive from le Moulin. The fees are very reasonable.

Nearby Pescalis has 250 hectares of lakes and rivers to be fished and there are also various local fishing ponds.

Le Puy du Fou is a spectacular series of world-class entrainments. For example, there is a stunning falconry display (upwards of 200 raptors from hawks to condors) set in a medieval citadel with a spine-tingling music system, a 6,000 seat Roman Stadium with live chariot racing and many other similarly exciting attractions.  The raptors in the falconry show are bred at the Puy du Fou and the birds can be viewed by the public behind the scenes of the show. The site is situated among pleasant lakes and cool woods. It is less than one hour’s relaxed drive from le Moulin on quiet country lanes.

Le Puy du Fou was awarded the Thea Classic Award in 2012, as the

Best Themed Entertainment Park in the World, chosen out of 700 sites in 40 countries.

On certain evenings during the summer the Château de Puy du Fou engages 2,700 actors, 60 horsemen and a huge amount of the latest technology in an incredible show. It starts at nightfall, never fails to move and delight, playing to capacity audiences of 14,000 (after the show the car park is clear within one hour - it is very well organised). The backdrop of the 23 hectare stage (true, not a typo) is the ruined château of Puy du Fou. It is necessary to book in advance (internet) or you’ll be lucky to get a place.

We have never met a visitor to Puy du Fou who has not been thrilled by the experience!

Puy du Fou is highly recommended by day or night and the website is well worth a visit:

city strolls  – historic towns and villages within 30mins of le Moulin:

Medieval Parthenay with ramparts, citadel and medieval quarter above a peaceful meandering river.

Renaissance Fontenay-le-Comte with its characteristic shopping quarter and Château Terre-Neuve.

Artistic Vouvant created by a fairy in 1273, with pavement cafés, 13th C church with a secret passage.

Romantic Niort with castle, covered market, pretty river and lively shopping streets with bars & cafés.

Maison d'Hôte:

Carolynn Grimaldi, 2 Lieu-dit le Moulin du Chemin, 79240 Scillé, France

+33 (0)5 4995 9487

website by Peter Roche with support from Studio360

easy access from UK,

Ireland and northern Europe