Monday, April 09, 2007

France Holiday - Day 3

Monday saw another lateish start, with the shops and roads filling-up with holiday traffic in anticipation of Easter. We headed along the coast to another local nature reserve, this one called Les etangs de Villepay.

We arrived at the reserve in early afternoon and decided to walk round. This strange creature headed towards us in the water, was a Koypu:














It turns out these beasts are also an introduced species and they have been doing a lot of damage to the environment they inhabit. We even saw some British tourists feeding one!

We stopped for a lovely picnic, spotting a Wheatear and a number of 'garden' birds before setting off again to complete the circuit of the reserve.

There were more birds around than on Sunday and we got a lifetime first, this Tree Pipit posed beautifully:
















On the final leg of the walk around the reserve I climbed a bank and spotted a large group of Waders and called over to my wife and our hosts with the cry 'Avocets'. Turns out they were Black-winged Stilts, another first, though at a reasonable distance, a very elegant wader:





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