|Reed at the Étang Ricot|
If you are coming from the direction on the Maison du Parc there is, at the bend just before the entrance to le parking for the 'original' hide overlooking Étang Ricot a point where you can pull off the road. This overlooks the Étang de Monmélier, opposite the bulk of the Cherine. The bank of the étang rises quite steeply away from the road to a flat area overlooking the water or, sometimes, mudflat if the lake has been drained.
This is a fabulous spot for a bit of "birding"... we've watched Stilt, Whiskered Terns , Purple Herons and deer at this spot... and the new clearance work gives you a very good view over some of the reed beds and clear water that can't be seen from the hide on the Étang Ricot... look out for harriers working the reed beds.
Étang de Monmélier didn't disappoint on our "Grand Day Out" either.
There were two large groups of Greylag geese in the distance, and we heard, then saw, Wigeon [Anas penelope] Canard siffleur - the whistling duck... there were Shoveler [Anas clypeata] Canard souchet, Pochard [Aythya ferina] Fuligule milouin and Teal [Anas crecca] Sarcelle d'hiver... but the sighting that excited me the most were some Pintail [Anas acuta] Canard pilet [here is a link to a super picture taken in the Brenne]**... my best sighting for around twenty years... they were hidden in the reed when on the water, but were flying around quite a bit; the male looking quite spectacular in the low angle, harsh, golden sunlight. **[the picture link opens in a separate window.]
We then drove on to the Étang Ricot... and the 'original' hide.
|New Étang Ricot board and map of Cherine Reserve.. click to enlarge and read.|
|Ricot Reflection [enlarge this]|
|Étang Cistude board and map of Cherine Reserve.. click to enlarge and read.|
While Pauline took pictures of the cistudes[Here's the link back], I concentrated on trying to get a good shot of the ducks. They were swimming quite close by and the light was still good.
|Gadwall pair... the blue LED light is not a recognition feature!|
[Caused by reflection through a water droplet!
They are "dabbling" ducks.]
|The male Gadwall... the subtle colouration shows up well here.|
After a bit more watching we decided it was time to move on to the other new observatory at the Cherine... the Étang de la Sous.