Monday, July 2, 2012

Vendee Highlights

We've just got back from a wonderful week's holiday based at La Dune des Sables on the Vendee coast in France. I didn't have too much opportunity to explore the local wildlife but, every time I wandered around the local area, there was plenty to see.

Butterflies included the beautiful Queen of Spain Fritillery.

And I loved these Tiger Beetles which were very active in the zone between the sand and the Foret d'Olonne.

There were plenty of birds over the marshes including large numbers of Avocets, together with quite a few pairs of Black-winged Stilts. And, although I only saw a few Hoverflies during our stay, there were a number of other fascinating dipteran species around...

...including this Villa member of the Bombyliidae family.

Finally, a few video sequences:

I love the sound that this Bee-fly made as it flew from flower to flower.

And I spent quite a bit of time observing this Robberfly. At one point it can be seen with a fly that it has caught. Soon afterwards it 'freezes' as another fly trundles past, but decides that it isn't worth the trouble!

Finally, a scene of a different kind - the final 'ballet' from the incredible falconry display at Puy Du Fou. For years I have tried to explain to people about just how spell-binding this show is. After a gap of 11 years, we returned to Puy Du Fou for the 4th time last Thursday....and it was even better. I know they're not 'wild' birds, but just enjoy the spectacle!


  1. What a lovely way to spend your holiday, those birds are magnificent, I should have been so excited to see that.

    I have a resident Bee Fly (perhaps more than one!) and it fascinates me.

  2. What a ball of fluff that Bee Fly is! The show must have been amazing; I can feel the emotional charge just watching your clip in my kitchen! Glad you had a good week away. :)

  3. Keep observing the Bee Fly, Toffeeapple, they really are fascinating creatures. If you ever get chance to visit Puy Du Fou, Omi, you must - the various exhibits are absolutely amazing! I've got a visit and meeting in Newport today, so I'm taking the opportunity to stop off with the net at Newtown.....if it doesn't rain! :)

    1. Looks nice so far, Steve, have fun! I'm off to the meadow in a minute :)

  4. Excellent photo of the QofS.Another example of the underside outshining the upperside with its large silver spots.