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

July 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.


Of interest this month :

Melodious Warbler – breeding in shrub along the lanes
Whitethroat - breeding in shrub along the lanes
Chiffchaff – calling around garden during last week of month
Fan-tailed Warblers – also breeding by the river
Hoopoe (sightings up to 23rd)
Black Kite – nesting nearby
Sparrowhawk – nesting nearby
Kestrel – nesting near garden
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Little Owl – very vocal and visible even during the day around the hamlet
Black Woodpecker – Guests had good views of one tearing huge chunks of bark from trees in the woodland on the last day of their holiday (24th). We heard one whilst walking the dogs the week before.
Nightjar – calling in woodlands to the east and west of our garden and heard on several evenings from the garden.
Turtle Doves – nesting in garden, as every year. Still calling.
House Sparrows – good-sized flocks over the whole area, boosted by many fledglings
Starlings – large flocks of juveniles practicing their synchronised swooping.
Swallows – breeding in the barns of the hamlet, but seem lower in numbers.
Purple Heron – Seen by guests on a visit to the marshes.
Black-winged Stilts - Seen by guests on a visit to the marshes.
White Stork – Nesting in the marshes and one flew over the house during the last week of month.
Great White Egret – Seen in good numbers in the marshes


Amongst the more interesting butterflies on the wing this month are :

Camberwell Beauty
Silver-washed Fritillary
White Admiral
Clouded Yellow
White Ad
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.


We put out the moth trap on one night during the month and shared our "findings" with our guests. I have only listed a few of the species below. For a list of the species seen in our garden, follow the link at the top of this page. (I have to admit that this list is not completely up-to-date).

Hummingbird Hmoth (on our buddleia )
Cinnabar – adults flying and caterpillars crawling
Latin – exciting catch amongst over 20 species caught in our trap
Orache – a regular for our trap, but always nice to see.
Hawkmoths in the catch included several Privet and Eyed, 2 Elephant and a single Pine

nature, wildlife holidays Brittany

A migrant species caught in our
moth trap this month.

Our pond has seen the following species ovipositing this month :

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

Other Species

Red Squirrels (Ecureuil roux) – a family of 5 in total was a joy to watch in a tall pine at the edge of the wood, as I walked the dogs.

Great Green Bush-cricket - often seen in our garden, but seen by guests this month in the marshes.

Green Lizards - several sightings in our garden again this month.

Our tadpoles successfully “fledged”! We have large numbers of froglets hiding in the vegetation around our pond. These are common frogs. We are hoping to see young European Tree Froglets soon, following the earlier breeding frenzy!

Ladybirds – a bumper year for these and their larvae. Nice to see after years of virtual absence.

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.