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.

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Wk 1

There are still quite a few Swallows around - the last stragglers, I presume. The weather was very good all week. A BLACK REDSTART has been around in the garden. Solitary CLOUDED YELLOW butterflies continue to pass through. We heard a BARN OWL hissing as it flew over last night. A flock of 15 CATTLE EGRET flew over the road as I drove to Arzal on Wednesday morning. The majority of our trees still have leaves. On that subject, I have now received the plant list put together by a client who visited in August. For the full list - CLICK HERE .

Wk 2 Another sunny autumnal week. The last sighting of Swallows was mid-week. Butterflies included a CLOUDED YELLOW, 2 Small Coppers, Large Whites, Red Admirals, Peacocks, Walls, Speckled Woods and a BRIMSTONE. On Sunday (14th) we spent the day at a nature reserve about an hour's from here. Among the birds seen were GREAT WHITE EGRETS (8), Little Egret, a solitary BLACK KITE, a Snipe, several MARSH HARRIER, Shoveler, Teal and Cettis Warbler (heard only - as usual!). We had a chat with one of the Rangers, who told us that several species are now beginning to over-winter in increasing numbers - including Great White Egret, Purple Heron and Black Kite. He also spoke of a ringing technique we had never heard of before - when they ring Black Kites and Tufted Ducks they do so by ringing the beak!!! He was quick to assure us that he didn't mean that they were unable to open their beaks afterwards, but that it was more along the lines of the ring through a bull's nose. White-tailed Eagle is among the species that have been recorded in previous winters. A hide is open to the public on Saturdays at this time of year - daily during the summer.
 
Birdwatching near gites south Brittany
This Great White Egret remained at his "post" for over an hour - undeterred by the comings and goings nearby. When these birds decide to move and stretch out their necks it reminds you of a giraffe!!
Wk 3 The weather stayed bright and sunny, if cold all week. We spent 2 days planting trees in the garden to encourage the birds closer to the house amongst other reasons. There were two BLACK REDSTARTS present all week and they very quickly made use of the new perches! The CATTLE EGRETS are returning in large numbers as every winter Whilst parked-up eating my lunch between schools on Tuesday I watched a pair of GREY WAGTAILS on the mudflats near the barage at Arzal. Just prior to that a RED SQUIRREL was lucky that it was me driving towards it as it took its chance to cross the road - I slowed down, others may not have!
Wk 4 I counted 20 CATTLE EGRET in a field of cows not far from home on Wednesday afternoon. On Friday a MERLIN streaked by infront of the car and continued to fly low over a field as we drove along the bottom road on our way home - the main identification points being the slate-grey upper wings and the small size in comparison with the ubiquitous kestrel and the time of year. Song Thrushes are tucking into the Spindle tree fruit outside the office window as I type. Gracie and Ficelle put-up a very noisy Pheasant in the woods earlier in the week - I'm not sure who was more surprised!! Butterfly species counted on the same walk were: CLOUDED YELLOW (1), Small Copper (3), Speckled Wood (10 +), Wall (4), Brimstone (male 1), Red Admiral (2), Small White (sorry, didn't count!).
 
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.