More new species for the garden recorded this month. (Butterflies) - Dingy Skipper (Le Point-de-Hongrie). (Moths) - Great Prominent (La Timide); Pale Tussock (La Patte Etendue) and Brown Silver-line (La Phalène de l'Aquiline).
Plus a new species for me Glanville's Fritillary (La Mélitée du Plantain), which I scooped up in my net not far from home on the Vilaine Estuary.
Another exciting butterfly Short-tailed Blue (Azuré du Trèfle). One seen on 12 th and two others on 13 th . According to the books this is early, but they don't seem to care! One was present in our garden last year.
Wood Whites (La Piéride de la Moutarde) still on the wing along the estuary and I finally managed to catch one on camera.
Clouded Yellow (Le souci) - are already on the wing, bringing hopes for a better year than we have had for some time for this species.
Otherwise the month's sightings are as follows :
Bluethroat (Gorgebleue) One seen close to my mobile hide (the car) along the estuary as I ate my sandwiches on Wednesday 20 th . Other sightings have been reported by our current guests, Roger and Chris during their visits to the marshes.
Great White Egret (Grande Aigrette) Another report by our current guests.
Purple Heron (Héron pourpré) - one seen by our guests in the marshes.
Whiskered and Black Terns (Guifette mustac and noire) again seen by our guests.
Nightjar (L'Engoulevant d'Europe) heard chirring at 10.30 pm on 22 nd in the stand of trees across the neighbouring field.
Red-backed Shrike (Pie-grièche écorcheur) - one seen by our guests during the 3rd week, not far from the gite.
Black Woodpecker (Pic noir) - Having set off to try and find the Red-backed Shrike myself later that same day (in vain!) I saw a Black Woodpecker flying towards home. I grabbed my mobile phone to alert the guests, but unfortunately even though Paul saw it as it flew right over the garden, by the time the guests came to the door it had flown on and disappeared over the trees. Back to the drawing board!
Turtle Doves (Tourterelle des bois) - are back and breeding in the garden and very vocal!
Hoopoes (Huppe fasciée) and Cuckoos (Coucou gris) quieter, but still around and showing well in an around the garden probably busy with chicks so keeping quiet, proved by the fact that they have flown over us food-in-beak.
Stonechats (Tarier pâtre) have juveniles.
Melodious Warbler (Hypolaïs polyglotte) now 2 singing males just along the lane from home.
Cirl Bunting (Bruant zizi be prepared for sniggers from the French when you use this, the correct French common name for this species! The word zizi is slang for an intimate part of the male body! ) busy nesting at at least 2 sites very near to home. One nest has now fledged and the speckled youngsters are a delight!
Yellowhammers (Bruant jaune no risk there!) are also singing.
Black Kites ( Milan noir) a daily site over the garden.
The Dartford Warbler (Fauvette pitchou) seen around for about a week last month has moved on. Fingers crossed for next year!