Monday, 27 February 2012

Étang Purais - the start of a good Sunday out.

Last Sunday, a nice sunny Sunday, we went to the Brenne.... for the first time in about nine, or even ten, months.... made note to get out more.
We travelled via Yzeures-sur-Creuse to get some sunflower seed for the birds from the Intermarché and then continued, via Tournon St. Martin and towards Martizay because we wanted to visit the new hide by the Étang Purais. It was just being completed when we last visited Brenne territory... when the orchids were just coming out last year.

Everything looks very new... and it doesn't look much used, yet. We arrived towards 11AM... and quickly realised that the middle of the day was not the time for this hide... the sun is directly towards you. There were some duck shapes, some heron shapes and some LBJ* shapes... none of which were identifiable... except a couple of Tufted duck males... however, it is a large expanse of water and apparently rich in life.

The hide is called the Observatoire Luc Hoffman, the founder of the Tour du Valat private research station in the Camargue... he's a really dedicated naturalist as can be read in the photograph below. But without him we wouldn't have the Ramsar convention that has helped drive the conservation of some of our favourite areas of the UK.

And there is more here at the Tour du Valat website

But apart from visiting at the wrong time, the entrance to the hide is magnificent... it has these beautiful murals that are shown below....

Purple Heron, Marsh Harrier and Wigeon
Pochard, Great Crested Grebe and Whiskered Tern
Whiskered Tern, Coot and Black-necked Grebe
Those grebes again and a couple of Tufted Duck males

We intended to go back on the way home... but got caught up with events, at another étang, and left it too late.... now there's a reason for getting out more. You can't do the Brenne justice in a day!
More later on the other things we saw on Sunday, including getting a stiff neck from a pike....

The surprise inside... the Chocolate-headed Landgull

*LBJ =  birding talk for small birds... "Little Brown Jobs"
Chocolate-headed Landgull... Black-headed Gull... everywhere in the Brenne... centre of France!


Susan said...

I drove by the new hide one day last year and the carpark was packed, so it has had good use, just not for very long.

Tim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim said...

Deleted that question Susan... discovered that the hide is best used in the afternoon! Pauline read the new leaflet!

Colin and Elizabeth said...

The murals make a splendid addition to the hide and beat the usual light-faded posters. Glad you clarified LBJ's, by the way...!

Tim said...

In many of the other hides the artwork has been recently given a makeover... at last they seem to be taking notice of the naturalist tourist. There are even Panda Gites in the Brenne... the gites owners offer equipment and local knowledge in addition to the normal gite expectancies.