September/October 2013

September/October 2013
September/October 2013
September/October 2013

When the main holiday season passes the bookings become more varied. We have more bed and breakfast bookings: an entertaining week with a German family complete with two large motorcycles; a French father and daughter touring the area looking for peace and quiet; a surprise birthday weekend arranged by a French family for their mother; a doctor from Perpignan hospital taking a minibreak with his wife; a party of four French walkers who happen to pass and book up for the following week; an extended family from Toulouse meeting up for the weekend. For the French heritage weekend we put up an exhibition about the local fortifications and hold open house, and a lunch for 16 walkers from the FFRP (French ramblers). In October we host a group from a children’s home in Nimes, with their adult staff. All promise to return next year. If they do, 2014 could be busy.

For the second time this year we see the emergency helicopter which arrives to help a walker who has fallen and injured her face. By coincidence David had completed his First Aid course with the local pompiers the day before but did not get a chance to practise his skills. We set up an infra-red camera to take pictures of wild boar, but only succeed in getting photos of soldiers on night expeditions. The Refuge Madeloc Geocaching trail is completed. We take a short break in September to take our boat down the Saone, and relocate it near Dijon.

The bee-eaters continue into September. We hear both scops owl and eagle owl (after a long break) but see neither. Also on migration are marsh harriers (16th), short toed eagle and honey buzzard. 30 cormorants pass by in formation going south on the 16th, and booted eagles decide to avoid the traffic by going north, as they did three years ago, with 10 seen on the 16th. Strong southerly winds hold up the migrants for a few days, and black redstarts are suddenly everywhere. Robins are winter visitors here and our first arrived on 25 October. Although the temperatures are still in the mid 20s, changes are on the way.