Self-Catering Holiday Gite Accommodation South Brittany France

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Bienvenue à La Belle Vilaine
Self-catering, holiday cottages on the South Brittany/Loire Atlantique border in France.
Friendly family run gite accommodation where dogs are welcome.

Nature Notes from La Belle Vilaine Gites, Brittany

August and September 2010 - scroll down page for these reports

New user-friendly archives - Easy access to all previous Nature Notes dating back to November 2005 -

Click here for a full (bi-lingual) list of Birds, Butterflies and Moths seen in our garden

Birdwatching holidays in South Brittany and Loire Atlantique. See bottom of page for details.

Possibility of Tuesday changeovers - trial period for cheaper ferry crossings. Contact us.

Use REFRESH button (on your tool bar) to ensure the page is up-to-date.

If you are planning a holiday and wish to know what species are possible at certain times of the year, please refer to the Archives page. As we now have 4 years of month-by-month archives and numerous photos of species recorded available we have decided to condense the Nature Notes into monthly report at the end of the month. Each report is now divided between the groups of species - Bird, Butterfly, Moth, Dragonfly and Mamal.
One of the best times of year to visit to see the wildlife is in April and May.

Unfortunately, following a torn muscle (at an agility competition) in July, I have not been able to get out and about very much (no walkies for me!). Hence the very poor list of species noted for this period. To get a better idea of what is to be seen here during August and September, please use the Archive pages with notes spanning back to include 2006.


Woodlark – singing around the garden on several occasions in September
Chiffchaff - seen around the garden, but mainly quiet.
Black Kite – nested nearby again this year. They had left us by the end of September
Black Woodpecker – A new policy of playing a recording of this stunning bird’s unusual calls to interested guests paid off. All had good views of “Pic noir” during their stay. This species is present all year.
Crested Tit – back in the woods (mainly tall pines) near home by the end of August. They will stay until next April, when they move to other woodlands in the area to breed. Never have been quite sure what “our” woods are lacking for them at breeding time!
Turtle Doves – nested in garden, as every year. Again they had left by mid September.
Pheasant – around in good numbers
Red-legged Partridge – a pair wandered along our lane the other day as we drove home.
Grey Partridge – seen in the field adjacent to our garden.
H Sparrows – good-sized flocks over the whole area, boosted by many fledglings
Starlings – large flocks practicing their synchronised swooping. The big roost near the old port in La Roche Bernard will soon be worth an evening visit.
Swallows and House Martins – our breeders have left, but we still had flocks moving through on their way south at the end of September.
Great White Egret – last year one over-wintered around our home, moving between 2 nearby lakes. We are hoping the same will happen this year.
Cattle Egrets – a regular both in and around our garden during the winter. We are awaiting their return.
Buzzard – I rarely mention this species, because they are so numerous – sorry buzzards!
Hen Harrier – a description given by guests in mid-September could only have been of a male of this beautiful species. (Although Montagu’s are present in other parts of Brittany, I have never seen one here.)

Dogs, Nature, self-catering holidays, France
This pair of Cattle Egrets fancied a
go at agility in our garden!

Butterflies and Moths

Guests during August were very impressed by the species caught in our moth trap. I managed one session myself, but then lent them my trap as rest was the keyword for my leg. They also had Camberwell Beauty in the marshes following my tip-off for the best location.

Amongst the more interesting butterflies on the wing this summer were :

Camberwell Beauty
Silver-washed Fritillary
White Admiral
Clouded Yellow
White Admiral
Marbled White
Small Copper
Sooty Copper
Large Skipper
Small Skipper

For a list of French common names of these species, see the link at the top of this page.

nature, wildlife holidays Brittany

A migrant species caught in our
moth trap this summer.

Our pond (now with crystal-clear water) has seen the following species ovipositing this summer :

Broad-bodied Chaser
Small blue-tailed Damselfly
Large Red Damselfly
Azure Damselfly
Common Blue Damselfly
Beautiful Demoiselle (visiting, not ovipositing)

Other Species

Red Squirrels continue to be easy to spot in the woods as they ready themselves for the winter.

La Belle Vilaine plant list - CLICK HERE .
Let us use our extensive local knowledge to help you to look for exciting species such as:
Bluethroat, Black Kite, Black-winged Stilt, Whiskered and Black Tern, Hoopoe, Black Woodpecker,
Red Squirrel, Camberwell Beauty, Swallowtail .... Click here for details of our last-minute deals for mid season breaks at low season prices.
Birdwatching breaks available all year.
White Stork breeding colony - see photos in July 08 Notes.
Moth trapping evenings for our guests here at La Belle Vilaine.

La Belle Vilaine
Self-catering, holiday cottages on the South Brittany/Loire Atlantique border in France.
Friendly family run gite accommodation where dogs are welcome.