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Saturday, 17 October 2015

Getting out and about a few weeks ago

It's turned so chilly and gloomy of late and I doubt I'll be wearing T-shirts again this year. I'm ready to dig out my winter woollies. But I'm behind as usual with my blogging so here are some pics from a couple of walks going back to the end of September and the beginning of October, so I'm already looking fondly back at the sun and T-shirts!

The first was a lake (Etang de Boulet) only about 15 mins drive from home - we'd been here once before for a short walk years back but hadn't realised there was a track all the way around (I'm not up to that one yet!) and that there were boardwalks and a couple of bird hides, although these are rudimentary ones without seats - but you still get a view out over the lake hidden from the birds. The lake level was very low as you can see from the first photo. I'm standing in what would be the lake bed during a wet winter but a perfect 'lawn' had sprung up! There wasn't a lot around in the way of bird life other than lots of Coots, some Great Crested Grebes, a couple of Little Egrets and some Cormorants, but it may be worth checking out in winter for ducks. I did see a guy with a tripod and either a huge lens or spotting scope, so I'm guessing there must be some interesting species at times.

Yours truly.

Lake view over grassland area and the beach area by the sailing club.

There was still plenty of Odonata about -
top is a Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum),
bottom a Western Willow Spreadwing (Chalcolestes viridis).

Me shooting dragonflies from the boardwalk.

I think this is a female Southern Darter (Sympetrum meridionale).

Another boardwalk - I'm guessing the ground
is quite boggy in places in the winter.

The main path, the boardwalk signs with funny looking dragonflies!!, and fungi.

A Little Egret (Egretta garzetta) and some freshwater mussel shells.

His truly.

Another day we went for a walk in the forest of St Aubin du Cormier. A friend had told me about some interesting rock formations - this sort of thing is not common around here where the countryside has only gently rolling hills, but there is a steep mini peak in the middle of the forest and these rocks at the top. They are used as climbing rocks - not much of a climb if that is your sort of thing, but then again, there's not a lot of places like this in the vicinity!

Me again!

I prefer pics of me taking pics of something.

Or distant ones like this!

My friend had also told me about the Maison Forestière, but I was disappointed as it appears to have been modernised, at least on the outside, although looking somewhat tatty. I can find no more information about it so I have no idea if anyone lives in it - I doubt it somehow, though it may be used as a shelter or office for people still looking after the forest. These houses were inhabited by the guardians of the forests in days gone by.

How it once looked....

..... and how it looks now.

K is still going out for his bike rides and I don't know why he gets to see interesting birds which don't seem to be scared off by his bike, yet when we are on foot, or even driving slowly along the lanes, they don't appear to be around. Anyway, on this particular ride he came across a Wheatear as well as a Stonechat! I've only seen two Wheatears in Brittany, one on the north coast and one on the south coast. According to the RSPB Wheatears are migrant birds and overwinter in central Africa, so it must have been about to be off, as these photos were taken on 3rd October. I'm not sure but think this is the male in non breeding plumage.

Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe) on the left and Stonechat (Saxicola torquata) on the right.

Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe).
You can click on the photo to view larger.

I've plenty of garden photos to share - I just need to get my non A into G and sort them out! Have a great weekend, whatever you are up to. :-)


  1. Love these series of photos and especially the ones of you in them as it shows that you are on the Mend. Love Ya Mandy

  2. Great blog as always Mandy. We went to that lake with Jacks's sister a few years back. Its a great walk round. You do take brilliant photos. Sabinexx

    1. Thanks Sabine, although quite a few of these are K's photos! We must have walked about 1/3rd of the way around doing a there and back to the car, but about 3 or 4kms was my max before knees and thighs started complaining. I was pretty pleased with that. Want to go back next year now I know about the boardwalk and the amount of dragonflies! xx

  3. Great post with lovely photos Mandy.The lakeland walk looks very interesting and I would love to hear more about wildlife you see there on future visits. Love the rock formations in the forest too :)

    Hope you are having a good weekend and look forward to garden photos :)

    1. Thank you RR. I do want to go back to the lake now I know it's good for dragonflies - I know I'm lucky at home but there are more species I'd like to see! We are also trying to check out more places for walks in our local area and I've found a site online which shows detailed routes on a map, so can find out public footpaths and lakes/ponds which have public access this way, and where to park. It's not always easy to find out this info. And I think there was more to explore around the rocky area in the forest, but I was getting tired by that time! :-)

  4. What a lovely place to visit and great photos Mandy. It's good to see you out and about too. :-)