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Sunday, 14 August 2016

MoHo Trip No. 3: Gulf of Morbihan

After our trip to England in May, we felt the urge to get away in our MoHo again. We were desperate to get back down to the Gulf of Morbihan around the Sarzeau area in search of the elusive Bluethroat once more. We also fancied just revisiting some places we'd been to in April, wanting to see what they would be like now a couple of months later. So off we trotted back to the same campsite, just for an overnighter, on June 7th.

At the Duer Marshes, not surprisingly, there were avocets all over the place.....

.... and Shelducks too, but it was the first time we'd seen any baby ones, which were mega cute.

Various birds seen, from top left clockwise: Kestrel, Brent Geese, Kentish Plover, Chiffchaff, and Kestrel again.

Back at the marshes and dunes around the Chateau de Suscinio, we were really hoping to see a Bluethroat. We passed some birders with tripods and scopes who we chatted to, who then called out that there was a Bluethroat in the reeds. At home my not very good extremely zoomed in photos were hard to figure out; it certainly wasn't a male but didn't look much like a female either. Eventually I came to the conclusion that it was a juvenile or female Stonechat! Oh never mind! We will just have to go back and try again next year.

The dunes beside the marsh were looking pretty with bright splashes of yellow and blue from the Sedums and Viper's Bugloss (Echium vulgare) everywhere. Surprisingly there were very few butterflies here. Maybe it was too windy. Plenty of bees though enjoying the nectar. 

I managed to capture this Skylark singing - there were a fair few of them around, as well as the by now usual Linnets and Stonechats, which we keep encountering on our coastal forays.

Below - the Skylark again top right, and I think a Yellowhammer bottom right. Left, there were snails like this all over the coastal plants!

The highlight though was this magnificent dragonfly which flew over the marshes and settled quite close to us. It's a Golden Ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii) and I've only seen one twice before (one time in my veg patch!).

On the path round the back of the marshes we were pleased to find that the ground had dried out - in April this path was practically underwater and although we managed to walk it, our trainers got extremely wet and muddy!

Suddenly we discovered an explosion of Meadow Browns - I think they had just recently eclosed. There were dozens of them and we walked amongst clouds of them. When we stopped walking they settled on plants, flying up again when we resumed walking. It was a great experience - I don't think I've ever seen so many butterflies in one place before!

They were already doing the business!

I saw a few Marbled Whites too, but the one at the bottom of the collage had just eclosed I think, which I hadn't realised at the time of taking the photo. I think there is something wrong with its underwings though as they haven't unfolded like the forewings, and if that was the case then it wouldn't have had a very long life, sadly.

A little way further along the track and ...... drum roll....... I saw a lifer butterfly! A Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi). I'm surprised I haven't seen one before as the larva feed on various common fruit trees, including Blackthorn and Hawthorn. It was the only one we saw but very exciting!

Moving on to a flat rocky headland, the Pointe de Penvins, which we hadn't managed to explore last time as it kept raining - this time the sun shone, it was warm and the birds and butterflies were out.

A Rock Pipit (Anthus petrosus) which was strutting its stuff with a grub in its beak.

Rock Pipit again, and a Painted Lady butterfly. There were more Ladies than any other butterfly in this place! I don't necessarily expect to see them beside the sea!

Our final point of call on day two was the end of the Rhuys Peninsular at the Port du Crouesty in Arzon. Thankfully we managed to find a parking space which is not always easy in a motorhome. The weather was just perfect and all that was needed was an ice cream.

This ice cream shop had the most amount of flavours that I've ever seen. Look closely at the ones in the image below. Do you see anything odd?

Yuk and double yuk!! Can you imagine goat's cheese (chèvre) ice cream? Or Reblochon? Ugh, that's a horrible cheese just as cheese, but as ice cream? Tomato, maybe. Pepper? I don't think so. But oh, cheese ice cream. Dear god. Interestingly enough, I don't see any scoops taken out of either of the cheesy ones. I wonder why not!

We were sensible and I had the most wonderful home made real fresh banana I've ever tasted, plus chocolate brownie which I've never had before and was just absolutely amazing. We'll have to come back here just for the ice cream!

Squeezed into a regular spot in a car park. When we came back to the parking there were several more MoHos - once you spot where a MoHo has parked, you tend to go there and congregate. I guess we have become part of the 'camping car' brigade now. We are not loved by all though - on our most recent trip out in Mary MoHo we came across the idiot van driver who swerved towards us on purpose. That's one of the reasons for having spent a few bucks on the white wing mirror protectors - we've heard some tales of people who have had their wing mirrors smashed by truck drivers who don't care for motorhomes. 

By the way what is going on with the followers numbers? At one point I had 82, then Blogger said they would remove anyone who had followed using a Twitter account or other accounts I've never heard of, so my numbers dropped. Fair enough. But then it said I had 59 whereas when I counted the followers there were about 70! And now I'm suddenly down to 57 as the last two followers have disappeared. Soon I'll be Billy No Mates! :-)


  1. A wonderful post Mandy with superb photos :) Looks a great place to take the MoHo. Walking through the cloud of Meadow Browns must have been a lovely experience and well done on the Black-Veined White :) Gorgeous dragonfly too - so much to enjoy in your post.

    I wouldn't fancy a cheesy icecream either - sounds a very odd combination :( A shame about the Bluethroat - have lost count of the number of times I've visited somewhere new hoping for a particular bird "tick" and failed completely. But usually there are sightings that make up for the bird you missed and you certainly saw some great species :)

    1. Many thanks Caroline. It is a really great place for all round interest, not just birds, and we still have the chateau to visit! I think my legs might cope with the stairs better now. I expect one day a Bluethroat will turn up in a place I wasnt expecting to see it! So often the way. :-)

  2. A lovely blog post Mandy, we've been to Port du Crouesty, such a nice place to visit.
    Interesting ice cream flavours!!
    Looks like you had great weather too.

    Philippa xx

    1. Thanks so much, Philippa. It is a lovely peninsula, and we've now done some of the other side of the gulf and it's great there too. I have lots more travels to share but I don't know when I'll find time! xx

  3. Lovely set of images Mandy. The Black-veined White, what a find that was.
    I think that MoHo owners tend to park together as they believe more care will be taken in parking.
    I have not had any problems with my Follower Numbers, perhaps they have just gone off you.{:))

    1. Thanks very much Roy - yes was dead chuffed to see that butterfly! As for my followers, you are probably right, but typically, way back when I was trying to unfollow some blogs, I could not get my profile pic off to save my life! :-)

  4. What a beautiful collection of butterflies and birds! Congrats on seeing a lifer butterfly, he's so dainty. Lately, all I see in my yard are the small white cabbage butterflies, but they look sweet flitting through the flowers. I'm surprised at the intolerance you find there towards motor homes. Here no one wants to get stuck behind them because they're slower on the road, but I've never heard of actual attacks. We have a pick-up truck (to pull our trailer), and we always have to look for the "truck" parking in parking lots ... usually the furthest distance from the store.
    Can't help you on your followers issue ... through Blogger I can't unfollow any blogs I might want to, so I'm stuck with you ;)