July 2007

We were in Brittany, France between 21 July-1 August on our summer holiday.

old houses, Vannes

Vannes old town

I didn't do much birdwatching: casual observations included several turtle doves, 3 black terns and 2 sandwich terns at Lac au Duc, Ploermel, a red squirrel here also, and swallowtail butterflies. The Atlas moth below was at Vannes butterfly garden.

Atlas moth

The 5-6 hour crossing from Plymouth to Roscoff was relatively quiet: birds included many gannets, 2 fulmars and an adult Mediterranean gull at Plymouth harbour. The photos below are of a 3rd summer herring gull and an adult gannet.

herring gull


The highlight of the return crossing on 1 August was a sighting of a pod of bottlenose dolphins, about 1.5 hours from Plymouth. The pod passed by the port of the ferry, contained at least 7 individuals (probably nearer 10), and the dolphins frequently jumped from the water.

bottlenose dolphins

Slimbridge on 7th. The kingfishers are feeding their second brood, and are especially photogenic at present.




Other birds included common terns with 2 chicks, black-tailed godwits and a green sandpiper. I photographed a rabbit while waiting for the kingfishers.


I also saw my first water vole for many years. One vole was grazing next to the footpath alongside the entrance lake. When I was a child water voles were everywhere at Slimbridge. Only now are their populations starting to recover after being devastated by mink predation.

water vole

water vole