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Dordogne Wildlife Diary

  • autumn orchid surprise

    A few weeks ago I was mowing the lawn at our new home near Maurens, thinking about nothing in particular when I suddenly stopped in my tracks! I had been just about to mow an orchid, the only late flowering species in Dordogne: Autumn Lady's Tresses. It is a species that I never found at our house in Mauzac, perhaps the grass was always too tall and dense in September for this species. There we did a late cut in November to benefit principally the butterflies. Autumn Lady's Tresses like old lawns and dry stony walls. I guess our garden was previous fields and more recently has been regularly mown each summer - just what this species likes (ideally with more relaxed mowing in autumn which is often the cases as grass growth declines). Amongst our not-terribly-good lawn are patches which have been perhaps less treated and/or are remnants of older pasture/meadow which provide suitable conditions for the species. Anyway I avoided the orchids and eventually counted 10 flowering spikes plus some younger plants with just basal leaves. I'll leave these areas uncut until November and hopefully next year there will be more.


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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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