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.

 
Wk 1 March has begun wet, windy and cold! We set out for a drive around the Brière nature reserve (in the Loire Atlantique - about a 30 min drive from our holiday gîtes in South Brittany) this afternoon (1st) and were pleasantly surprised to come upon 2 WHITE STORKS in a field not far from the road.
Birdwatching holidays, Loire Atlantique, France
 
Birdwatching holidays South Brittany
One of these flew over our house last year - on 22nd April. This bird was one of a pair (above) seen in the nearby Brière Nature Reserve on 1st March 2007.
  The week continued to be good for wildlife spotting, when on Saturday whilst strolling along with the dogs near home we came across a pair of HARES, a MARSH HARRIER, a pair of NUTHATCHES and several WALL butterflies. Whilst in the garden a pair of Magpies began building a nest.
Wk 2 At last it feels like spring. We have had warm, sunny weather since Thursday (8th) and it has not only lasted, it has become even warmer - today (Sunday, 11th) we were all in sleevless teeshirts until gone 5 pm! The butterflies have come out in force and so far this week we have seen Brimstone, Peacock, Wall, Comma and Speckled Wood in the garden. We have two Kestrel nests within view of the garden and one Magpie nest. A Chiffchaff was singing away today and yesterday I had a pair of CIRL BUNTINGS in the hedge by the house. We are all eagerly scanning the skies for the first Swallows - they were recorded near here last year on the 17th.
Wk3 The warmer weather encouraged several trees and bushes to spring into life recently - the first to show signs of new leaves in our garden was, as usual, the Elder, followed by the Blackthorn blossom. The Ash and Oak trees are now sprouting leaves too. However, the weather turned suddenly cold (as it has all over Europe) and we are experiencing temperatures 10 degrees lower than this time last week, made worse by a biting wind - luckily for us we have escaped the snow that other parts of France have suffered. Whilst the butterflies have temporarily disappeared, we have today seen 2 BLACK KITES and heard several Skylarks singing over the marshland by the River Vilaine. Then came quite a surprise - we passed a pond with a small number of ducks on it - I checked them out through the binoculars and, as expected, found them to be Mallards - apart from one : a WIGEON! As the dogs decided to take the chance for a quick swim the ducks flew off - Mallards together with the Wigeon playing tail-end-charlie. STOP PRESS - just as I typed that last sentence another BLACK KITE flew past the window - literally!
Wk 4 The week has remained dry, if cold - despite the weather forecasts. Breaking news - SWALLOWS have arrived here at La Belle Vilaine holiday gîtes. I saw 2 on the 30th and another 2 today. On Thursday we spent a good 10 minutes watching 3 BLACK KITES and 2 Buzzards all interacting over the field next to our house, at times coming very close to our hedge. This morning a beautiful male CIRL BUNTING sat on the fence just outside the window and then sang his heart out for us. We took the dogs over to Billiers and walked along the cliffs with friends this afternoon, where we counted at least 8 Turnstones and over 15 Sacred Ibis.
 
Click here to see nature photos taken in our garden
 

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.