Les Tourbières de Vendoire, Jun 2012

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Les Tourbieres de Vendoire map 0La tourbe is French for peat and les tourbières are peat diggings. Les Tourbières de Vendoire lie in the Périgord vert region near the small village of Vendoire, north-west of the gastronomically famous town of Périgueux – truffle country – and south of Angoulême. They were worked until the 1950s but the old diggings are now flooded and maintained as a nature reserve. It doesn’t appear to have a very high profile but I learned of its existence from a BDS [British Dragonfly Society] publication which mentioned, I think, that it supported in excess of 40 species of Odonata.

What a draw! We called in for our first exploratory visit on our meandering way back north from the Languedoc to visit friends in the Marais Poitevin. We stayed at a campsite that turned out to be literally 200m/yds away from the car park for les tourbières. Since we were outside of the main tourist season, it was relaxingly quiet. There appeared to be a few long-term installations but those units turned out to be unoccupied. With the added advantage that the couple running the place were delightful, finding a pleasant campsite so conveniently situated to our target habitat was bliss.

We were at Vendoire for only two days and, given the weather we had been experiencing, I couldn’t believe our luck; the weekend was perfect for Odos and me. The nature reserve is a series of some ten or so now flooded pits, bordered on the west and east by two modestly sized rivers. The mix of habitat types provided by the ponds/lakes is quite varied. These, together with the two rivers, offer a grand variety of conditions for the Odos. Hence, presumably, the boast of 40+ species. Actually, the couple running the campsite mentioned a number more like 50 species.

Les Tourbieres de Vendoire 1In our short visit amounting to a day plus two hours, we amassed a count of 28 species, one of which remains uncertain because it refused steadfastly to settle for a positive id, though I’m cautiously confident. In any event, the weather certainly showed off this place to very good advantage. I loved it, it’s brilliant!

Here’s what we spotted.


  • Banded Demoiselle
  • Beautiful Demoiselle
  • Willow Emerald
  • Winter Damselfly
  • Blue-tailed Damselfly
  • Common Blue Damselfly
  • Azure Damselfly
  • Large Red-eyed Damselfly
  • Small Red-eyed Damselfly
  • Goblet-marked Damselfly
  • Large Red Damselfly
  • White-legged Damselfly
  • Orange White-legged Damselfly


  • Emperor Dragonfly
  • Lesser Emperor
  • Yellow Clubtail
  • Green-eyed Hooktail
  • Yellow-spotted Emerald [this was the uncooperative best guess]
  • Four-spotted Chaser
  • Broad-bodied Chaser
  • Scarce Chaser
  • Black-tailed Skimmer
  • White-tailed Skimmer
  • Southern Skimmer
  • Ruddy Darter
  • Common Darter
  • Southern Darter
  • Scarlet Darter

Technorati Tags: travel,France,Vendoire,nature,wildlife,dragonflies,damselflies,odonata,photography

Posted in 2012, France, Trip reports

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