Showing posts with label bassin d'Arcachon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bassin d'Arcachon. Show all posts

Sunday, 20 September 2015

France - le fin

A dragonfly photo I missed out on earlier because it was the only photo from a walk in woodlands near Le Teich.

Le Teich reserve was our last day. We shopped for dinner on our way home, and after dinner, took down the big tent, set up the small one ready for a quick getaway the following morning, and packed up the car.
And then we decided to go and find the port that we were within metres of finding on our first night, le Port Des Tuiles. It was much less "developed" than Biganos, port, and the little cabins weren't as spruced up. But it was a lovely way to spend the last evening. The name comes from the fact that it was the port where tiles manufactured in Biganos were put on boats and distributed to all the ports around the bay, where the oyster growers used them as a substrate for growing the baby oysters.

We had a long drive ahead of us the next day - nearly 700 kilometres. We left in good time to fit in a supermarket shop in the town before Roscoff, and still had time for a short walk round the town of St. Pol-de-Léon to give our legs a good stretch after a day in the car.

One last bird...

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Le Teich Ornithological Reserve (4)

A final few birds, some non-bird photos, the local "harbour"...

Little ringed plover

Distant lapwing

Lizard in the sun

I remember when we had our boat trip in the Marais Poitevin, the "ragondin" was one of the animals our guide mentioned as being an introduced species and somewhat of a pest. We saw some of their tracks, but didn't actually see any. This little one was grazing happily away near the birds. I think he looks very cute munching away, but they can do a lot of damage to the local ecosystem. His coat looks so shaggy, and he was so small, that I find it hard to see why they were farmed for fur.
Coypu. Nutria (myocastor coypus)
This was the local harbour near the reserve. As everywhere else in the bay, it was very tidal. You would certainly develop a great awareness of time and tide, I am sure. The first photo was taken when we walked to the beach to look at the swimming area and lie in the sun for a while after our long walk round the reserve. Even by the time we were walking back to the car, the tide was already rising.

Friday, 18 September 2015

Le Teich Ornithological Reserve (3)

United (Bird) Nations

Did you spot the bird of prey in the background of the previous picture? I think it's a buzzard

Crested Grebe

LBJ in hiding...
The next three photos are all the stilts. They are so elegant, I wish we had them here! The first time we saw them was at Lake Korission in Corfu. In the second photo, taken from behind, you can see how the legs really widen out below the knee. They start tapering in again a little towards the foot. They are related to the avocet, which we don't have here either.


Grazing shelduck

With the golden eye-ring, I'm sure this was a little ringed plover

And more unidentified birds - perhaps one might have been a wagtail of some sort...

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Bassin d'Arcachon (5)

This is definitely the day we should have gone to the Dune de Pyla - it was cooler and somewhat overcast. But that made it quite pleasant for our boat trip round the bay - carefully chosen to depart as close as possible to high tide. The photos are far from the best, partly due to the haziness and partly due to the motion of the boat. We first went towards the île aux oiseaux (island of the birds) in the centre of the bay. Originally it was used as pasture for cattle and horses - but after severe storms in the eighteenth and late nineteenth centuries submerged the island and killed much of the livestock, it became used primarily for hunting and fishing. It had quite a lot of small buildings on it, used for leisure. The two most famous and picturesque are the "cabanes tchanquées" on their stilts. Both were built in the nineteen-fifties and one is still in the possession of the family of the original builder, the other is now owned by the state.
We then headed towards Cap Ferret peninsula and slowly sailed along it towards the tip. It was very interesting to see, from the sea, the other side of what we had seen from the road a couple of days previously - I think the restaurant with the "oyster tastings" sign was perhaps the same place as we had seen all the egrets. Unfortunately the amplification of the pilot's guided tour left a lot to be desired; his French was easy to understand but hard to hear.

Arcachon seafront

Whale fluke sculpture

Looking back towards one of the piers

Cap Ferret lighthouse

typical oyster-bed workboat

Life on the seafront

Floating dustbin

l'île aux oiseaux, cabanes tchanquées

l'île aux oiseaux