Friday, 8 July 2011

Birds in the heat

A morning trip down to Olonzac revealed both Bee-eater and Roller the latter at a new site for me.


By noon the temperature went past 30 degrees and very little was seen.  By late afternoon small groups of Black Redstarts were noted and Cirl Buntings singing.

Female Black Redstart

After lunch we drove up to St.Jean de Minervois to get some white wine and still the countryside seemed largely birdless.  It was not until we were almost home again that we found two Woodchat Shrikes and a Southern Grey Shrike on overhead wires.

Southern Grey Shrike

After supper I decided it was cool enough to try again so at 8.30pm I set off for the area behind Minerve at Buoy Bas.  As I hoped I soon found a pair of Red-backed Shrikes nesting in a thorn hedge on an alpine meadow.  Cirl Buntings were in full song here and a lone Buzzard cruised over.  Small family parties of Woodlarks were sighted in several places and more Woodchat Shirikes were also found.  A Tawny Pipit was also on overhead wires near Minerve.

Juvenile Woodlark

I finished off by cruising the road between Aigne and Azillanet and was not unhappy because in the twilight a Nightjar hawked up and down the road calling loudly.  Arriving back to Montcelebre I was amazed to find another Nightjar close to my house.  This was the first time I have seen this species in this area.

More predictable was a Scops Owl starting up its sonic song as I entered the house.

That's more like it!

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