vrijdag 5 augustus 2011

France Day 7-9

23th of July

In the morning of the 23th of July we headed to Etang de Bellebouche, in the northeastern part of La Brenne. It is an Etang also used for recreaction such as fishing and swimming. This is situated in the northern part of the large lake, but in the southern part, lots of nature can be found. Here is an overview of the lake, seen from the northern side:
While I stepped out of the car near the campsite, I immediatly heard a distinctive calling passerine: a Bonelli's Warbler! It called 15 times and then it flew away, we didn't see it very well however. We went for a walk around the lake, it is a walk of 7.5 kilometres, and some of the kilometres are going through boring forests etc, but it can be recommended! While walking along the lake we had Crested Tits. We arrived at a hide on the eastern side of the lake. This hide was a look out in the direction of an Little Egret and Purple Heron colony. Both species were sitting closeby in bushes and we had nice views of both:
A juvenile Night Heron was seen here as well. A little bit later we continued our walk around the lake. During this walk we did not have that much special, just Spotted Flycatcher, Golden Oriole, Mistle Thrush, and some butterflies. When we were almost at the recreaction area again (near the Midget Golf track on the western side of the lake) we found 3-4 Middle Spotted Woodpeckers and a singing Lesser-Spotted Woodpecker. The biggest surprise was a family of Bonelli's Warblers. Three young birds were being fed by one of their parents, giving nice views. The distinctive call was heard again which was nice for the training of this call!
In the afternoon I had 4 Green Sandpipers, a Little Egret, 2 Purple Herons and the known Squacco Heron behind the campsite.
After dinner we went to the Cherine reserve, near Maisun du Parc. First, we went to Etang du Beauregard, seeing a flying Squacco Heron. Then we went to Etang des Essarts. On our way we passed this cool sign:
We hadn't seen any of these Cistudes- or European Pond Terrapins yet. At Etang des Essarts we had our first Cistude, and many more were to follow! Two Black Kites were seen and photographed under beautiful light conditions in the evening:
Same goes for one of many Red-Backed Shrikes present:
When we passed La Temple, a Purple Heron was fishing in the pool. We had perfect light conditions as you can see below:

24th of July

On the 24th we explored the surroundings south of Rosnay, where our campsite was situated. We cycled to Ciron, 9 km south of Rosnay, located along the Creuse. The road from Rosnay to Ciron is quite boring, all the land looks alike, nevertheless it was a nice drive with perfect weather. Close to Ciron we had a Black Woodpecker flying over the road. In Ciron itself we had a Melodious Warbler, some Lesser-Spotted Woodpeckers, and a group of 10 Bee-eaters hunting close to a Castle. This was in the eastern part of the village. I photographed a White Admiral as well. My first photo of this beautiful butterfly species!
We went to another Bee-eater colony along the Creuse. In total we had more ore less 28 birds present here, hunting etc. The surprise was big when my I suddenly saw a large bird flying over: a Black Stork!
This single bird was soon followed by another 2!
With this adult male Honey Buzzard we were extremely lucky:
The bee-eaters were giving good views:
Back at the campsite we saw 3 funny Tree Frogs sitting in a watertap, freaking awesome!
In the evening we went to a new hide at Etang de La Sous. Apparently it is a famous hide or something because it was filled by birders, but mainly photographers.. After a few minutes we found out why!
Near the campsite we found turtles, sitting close to the road! Here we saw a Night Heron.
In the evening we had a calling Night Heron at the campsite.

25th of July

This day was a day full of rain, at least.. the entire morning. Nevertheless we did some bird watching and photographing. In the early morning I had a group of 50 Cattle Egrets flying over the campsite, as well as a ringtail Montagu's Harrier and a Hoopoe, together with a family of 6 Melodious Warblers. Around 10 o clock we went to Le Blanc for groceries. When we were finished with groceries we drove back, making a little detour through the Brenne. This detour delivered us fantastic shots of Cattle Egrets! These Cattle Egrets were photographed in the rain:
The evening was spend at Etang de La Sous, with good results! Purple Heron:
Little Egret:

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