Saturday, 9 July 2011

Hot Day birding

Waking up at 7am I got up and made my way to  Lespignan.  The weather was gorgeous and already warm and a Hoopoe and female Golden Oriole flew across the road.  Hay making was in full swing on the meadows and dozens of gulls and Cattle Egrets accompanied the workers.  A quick glimpse of an Ortolan Bunting as it flew into the vineyards was the last moment of interest before I moved on. 


I drove down atrack by the marsh towards the sewerage works.  A Black Kite was being mobbed by Magpies but I was stunned as a small crake ran across the track.  Apart from the shape I could see nothing else and the most likely is Spotted but best forgotten.

Black Kite

I then went on to Pissevache where I was astonished to find the water completely gone from the brackish lagoons and only water on the sewerage lagoons.  Not many birds but lots of young Shelduck in a large creche.

Juvenile Shelduck

Moving back through Fleury there were plenty of Rollers on the wires by the nest boxes.  A few Bee-eaters were  feeding over the meadows and at least six Lesser Kestrels hovering over freshly cut hay.  On the way home I stopped in at the marsh at Capestang but by now it was very, very hot.  I took a quick walk and noticed 150 Cattle Egrets accompanying cattle and horses.  This is a very high number for this area.  Little Egrets were also present and a single juvenile Purple Heron.  Two Black Kites were overhead with hundreds of feeding Common Swifts  The heat finally made me turn around and head home.

Cattle Egrets

The day ended in the garden of the village restaurant in Azillanet when a superb Short-toed Eagle soared overhead.

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