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.
|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.|
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!
|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. :-)