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

October - December 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 5 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 was not able to get out and about very much until early December. Hence the very poor list of species noted for this period. To get a better idea of what is to be seen here from October to December, please use the Archive pages with notes spanning back to include 2005.


We have not had the time to go out bird watching. So the only reports are of species seen at home or whilst walking the dogs nearby. Highlights :

Male Hen Harrier - quartering the field only 100 yards along our lane from home (mid December)
Great White Egret - one (maybe the same?) over-wintered here last year. Two sightings in December - both at the lake below Bovenant (about 10 mins walk from home.)
Cattle Egret - late to arrive this year and, so far, in smaller numbers than previous years. There are currently 3 individuals regularly seen feeding in the fields around our home. Two flew low past our lounge window on Christmas Eve.
Crested Tits - as usual to be found in good numbers in the woods around our home
Brambling - we spotted a few individuals amongst a mixed flock of finches along the lane
Fieldfare - around in good numbers
Redwing - none seen so far this winter, which is very unusual
Cirl Bunting - Resident here all year round.
Lapwing - a large flock flew over the house as I sat typing this report. They obviously wanted to remind me that they are around in good numbers also! As usual they are surrounded by gulls, which wait for them to do the hard work finding food before mobbing them en masse!
Gulls - Talking of gulls, I caught a glimpse of a gull with a full black head as I drove along the road to Nivillac a couple of days before Christmas. Very early to be sporting breeding plumage!

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

Butterflies and Moths

The unseasonably warm November saw the following species still on the wing :

Clouded Yellow
Red Admiral
Speckled Wood

For a list of the species recorded in our garden (including French common names), see the link at the top of this page.

Other Species

Red Squirrel - One dropped a fircone almost onto our heads as we walked the dogs in the woods on 27th December! They were often seen preparing for winter during October and November.
Wild Boar - I spotted my first ever "Sanglier" running across a field as I drove between teaching jobs on 22nd December. This was about 20 mins from home.

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.

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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.