The most amazing thing for me about our trip to France this time was the wildlife and flowers. We were awoken the first morning at daybreak by the sound of tweeting. This was not the internet variety but real tweets from birds. Closer investigation revealed a bird's nest in the roof. The mother bird did not seem to be particularly bothered by our noise and continued to go in and out for food tirelessly from day break to sunset. Looking up into the nest we saw three little chicks poking their heads out. Even the sound of Ian firing his nail gun into a wall did not deter them and they continued feeding throughout. After a few days the noise got less and less frequent and the baby birds seemed to have moved around in the roof. By the end of the week they had flown the nest but were not far away as we saw them learning to fly from the safety of the llama house. Our neighbours had also had a nest in their outhouse and from discussions and subsequent internet research it looks like they were black redstarts. We were also woken the first morning by another strange noise that I had never heard before. It was a kind of low grunting noise and I sent Ian out to investigate! It turned out to be a rather randy male pheasant trying to attract the two girls that live in Herman’s farm. We didn’t hear him for the rest of the week so I assume he got lucky!
The rain and sun had caused the plants to grow. The dock was 4 foot high!
Ian and I walked around the land. Herman had told us that the end meadow was full of wild flowers in May but we had never been there before and couldn’t see much from the house but thought we should wander over to look. Well, we were not disappointed. Coming over the slope in the field we were got our first view of a sea of pyramid orchids and daisies. I would say that there was about two acres altogether of totally untouched meadow.
The pictures really do not do it justice. Within that we also found some of these which I think are bee orchids and probably a whole lot of other things that I don’t know about.
Unfortunately the field was also full of ragwort, which is toxic to horses and llamas so will have to go!