Terrific Tits at Tours du Tarn!

Updated: Nov 20, 2018


Ha ha - that got your attention and you'll be pleased to read that this blog post does indeed contain a lot of Tits - the winged variety of course!

Jim is very much our resident ornithologist spotting all sorts of things that many of us can barely see let alone identify, so it's great when Jim's parents, Jeff and Helen, are in town as they can see them and identify them too! It turns out that As Plos is a great place to see all sorts of special birds, butterflies, insects and animals, so much so that Jeff, has written a guest blog post all about the things he's spotted here. Over to you Jeff...

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As Plos is a wonderful place for birdspotting even in the third week in January 2018! At the bird feeders there are large numbers of Blue Tit and Great Tit. These don’t get all the free food though as Marsh Tit, Nuthatch and Great Spotted Woodpecker visit regularly and take their share. Underneath Jim’s feeders on the ground Blackbirds, Robins, Chaffinches, Goldfinches and House Sparrows get in on the act. For the U.K. visitor there has also been great excitement as Cirl Bunting, Brambling and Hawfinch have all been seen at close quarters. The latter usually very shy as well as rare has been at ease on the bird table.

In the fields and woods nearby Jays, Magpies, Buzzards and Kestrels can be spotted with little effort. Green Woodpeckers can always be heard if not seen whilst a keen eye may notice a pair of Stonechats. For those who enjoy seeing an owl there are Tawny, Barn and Little Owls in the area. This winter a Hen Harrier has been admired as it quartered the local fields. Little, Cattle and Giant Egrets can be seen along with Grey Herons in the damper parts of the region.

During our last visit in the summer there were many Swallows, Swifts and House Martins. No doubt various warblers are here to identify for the professional birder but the easier ones to pick out include, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Whitethroat and Blackcap. Other birds with interesting song include Skylark, Woodlark, Redstart (all easy to see) and Golden Oriole (a real challenge to observe!) In early summer of course there is the call of the Cuckoo. Birds of prey during this season include Red Kite, Black Kite and Marsh Harrier.


Warm June days see an abundance of butterflies. Skilled lepidopterists will distinguish the various, blues, browns and fritillaries but for the amateur like ourselves the following can be identified: Large White, Small White, Meadow Brown, Small Heath, Clouded Yellow, Red Admiral, Painted Lady, Small Tortoiseshell and Scarce Swallowtail. Amongst the moths there is the pleasure of seeing the ubiquitous Hummingbird Hawkmoth darting from one flower to another as it feeds. Jim’s flowerbeds also attract various bees including the big blue/black Carpenter bee.

Whatever the season you will see plenty of Deer. More challenging to spot but they are there too are the Coypu (not native to France, but definitely there!), Wild Boar and Hare. In the summer small lizards in their hundreds pop up in the sun and one or two larger ones too! Red Squirrels will also play in the trees by the cabin. Yes As Plos is a great place to relax and see a bit of the natural world.

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Thanks Jeff - we're hoping for an updated post after your next visit in the summer!

#wildlife #birds #butterflies