DORDOGNE BUTTERFLY BIRDWATCHING WILDLIFE DAY TRIPS AND TOURS

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Dordogne

la roque gageac

Dordogne Wildlife Diary

  • a late summer damsel...amongst the butterflies

    Last week I was out exploring new butterfly sites in my local area with a bird-watching friend from Bergerac, Claude. We were looking for the local "coteaux calcaire" (open limestone slopes ) in the northern Bergerac district as mentioned in a catalogue of Bergerac butterflies written in the late 19th century. Sadly most areas have been lost to housing, natural succession to woodland or to tree/vineyard planting. However around the nearby pretty village centre of Queyssac we found a large slope still open and grassy with charcteristic limestone flora. The town hall appears to mow it once or twice a year maintaining the habitat, which is great. We found eleven species of butterfly including plenty of Adonis Blues and Berger's Clouded Yellows. It was especially pleasing to find two Oberthur's Grizzled Skippers which are rather scarce in Dordogne. Definitely a place to check more carefully next year.

    Claude also found a beautiful Swallowtail caterpillar.

    We moved on to another meadow area mentioned in the 19th century catalogue not far away in the commune. We were pleased to find that it still existed - although in a reduced area, as the higher ground had been recently converted to vines. Fortunately what was probably always the more interesting area in the valley bottom has survived although it is now being invaded by scrub. Here we found fifteen species of butterfly including a more woodland component with several Southern White Admirals and Silver-washed Fritillaries. I was surprised to see a small rather drab damselfly here on a dead bramble stem - a Winter Damsel. This is a species which can be seen at almost any time in the year but is especially active in spring with a secondary peak in late summer/early autumn.

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David

Welcome to my Dordogne Wildlife Diary

In it you will find regular wildlife sightings in the d├ępartement of Dordogne, notably of birds and butterflies in southern Dordogne where I live. In adddition there will be occasional references to neighbouring d├ępartements such as Lot et Garonne, Gironde, the Lot and places further afield. Check out the Faune-Aquitaine website for the latest wildlife sightings in Dordogne and Aquitaine.

Where possible I will add photographs to illustrate the entry. Many thanks to Margaret Mills (family photo) and Denis Cauchoix (birdwatcher photo).

I hope that you enjoy my diary and look forward to your comments.

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