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Summer in France. A bit late for the amazing spring flowers and butterflies but still lots to see, especially in the mountains where spring is later.

September 16th 2016: French Wildlife

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post. My website has organised content about lots of different topics that are easily found from the homepage. This blog is a more informal area of my website.

Just enjoy the pictures or read my ramblings too!

Straight after tutoring finished I left to start exploring in the motorhome. This meant I missed spring in the lowlands. I still got to enjoy spring/early summer in the mountains and here in the Vanoise National Park, in the French Alps, I saw incredible flowers and butterflies.

This Burnet Moth is feeding on a wild pea flower at Bellecombe, high in the Vanoise Alps.

As usual in high European mountains there are Marmots. They can spend well over half the year hibernating in their tunnels underground. This is why they are so much larger and have thicker fur than something like a rabbit.

I found Chamois to be relatively common in the Alps. However, to see them it really helps to be up at dawn.

Next on my summer trip I visited the Cevennes. This is not so high and I spent a summer as a guide here a few years ago. I knew July was going to be too late for a lot of the flowers and insects. However, plenty of insects were still around and some flowers can still survive in the dry conditions of mid-summer. These two large butterflies are Great Banded Graylings.

And here is a cricket on a type of wild leek.

Before driving onto Spain I visited the Carmargue and saw lots of waterbirds on this large estuary. Black-winged Stilt seemed to follow me around all summer and I saw them feeding in the mud a lot here.

Late July is already a good time to start seeing migrating birds. These are not so colourful but I was really excited to see these Curlew Sandpipers showing off their purple summer plumage. I have only seen one or two of them before. Here there were maybe 60 in one flock.

On my way back to England from Spain at the end of the summer I passed through France again. I purposely visited the Charente coast on the way back to look for migrating birds. These Black-tailed Godwits were feeding during a pit-stop on a lake here in late August as I was passing through.



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