Sunday, 10 May 2009

Reasons to visit Lénault in May - Part 1

Posted by Rosie

As I was working in the garden this morning I got to thinking how lucky we are to live here and how each month has something different and special to see and enjoy. Therefore, I thought I'd do a monthly blog about some of the best things to see or do in and around Lénault.

At the same time, unbeknown to me, Simon was setting up his camcorder on one of the subjects I was going to write about, the swallows, (les hirondelles) which is why they get a blog of their own and other May joys will have to wait a few days. Click play below and you can admire these most acrobatic of birds building their amazing mud nests.

The swallows arrive quite early here and for me herald Spring in all it's verdant glory. I love the first sight of a swallow, either sweeping across the lawn or resting on a telephone wire after their long journey from South Africa. This year though, came with a small problem for them and us; the gite. Previously swallows have nested in the barn that will become the first gite and as work is to commence in there this week we didn't want to allow the birds in. The door was therefore firmly shut and after trying unsuccessfully to get in for several days they gave up and looked elsewhere, finding the toy shed a perfect relocation home, helped by the fact the boys NEVER remember to shut the door! Now when you go in to get a football or put away a bike it is advisable to duck for fear of being dive-bombed by the several birds undergoing construction work in there.

I can also add that we are planning to add what I think are best described as swallow nest platforms under the eaves of the buildings to encourage more nesting birds. Renovation of old barns into houses has been one of the reasons swallow numbers have declined and it would be a sad May for me when I was denied the excitement of seeing the first sallow of Spring.

So, reasons to visit Lénault in May - the chance to get up close and fairly personal with our local swallow population. But if they're not for you, maybe you would rather have the buzzards soaring on the thermals above us, the cuckoo cuckoo-ing in the valley or the goldfinches feeding on the laburnum tree. Come and see us in May, bring your binoculars and see what birds you can spot.


  1. I saw my first one yesterday, but it wasn't at home. Nice post, look forward to reading more about Lenault as the months unfold.



  2. What a lovely idea ! It always feels good when the swallows arrive. We have them nesting in the yard buildings each year.

    Do you get bats in France? I love that magical time just before dusk when you realise that the swallows that you have been concious of swopping over you head have 'magically' changed to bats.

  3. sorry my spelling is dreadful today.* conscious & swooping


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