Our friends Tim and Pauline, who live in the next river valley, rang to say they had a flock of European Bee-Eaters Merops apiaster (le Guepier d'Europe in French) feeding over the lucerne just down the road from their place. There is a nesting colony of these colourful little summer migrants on the sandy banks of the Creuse River not very far from Preuilly, and there are always smaller flocks around in the area, but you have to be in the right place at the right time to see them.
of years ago near Yzeures-sur-Creuse.
I think a Swallowtail butterfly Papilio machaon (Le Machaon) like this one below might be a bit unwieldy for a Bee-eater, but all sorts of insects love the lucerne. The field is traversed by some power lines too, which the birds love to perch on once they've made a kill. It's no wonder they've chosen this site to roost at and take another opportunity to fatten up before the migration.
The lane up to the farm house is buzzing with wildlife in this warm September weather we've been having lately, so it wasn't an entirely wasted visit. I'm still green that I didn't get to see the Bee-eaters though.
A Mallow Skipper butterfly Carcharodus alceae (La Grisette) feeding on Red Dead Nettle Lamium purpureum (Le lamier pourpre), below. I love their subtle blend of browns and their hooked antennae.