Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Arctic Charente

It was a bit nippy today to say the least and a walk across the plains revealed a landscape that resembled the Cairngorm plateau (but sadly with no ptarmigan). In fact there were few birds at all and I struggled to clock 20 species. Many of those I did see began with 'wood' and the best of these was woodcock, two this time and very close to where I saw yesterday's bird but giving even better views as I was on foot.
On a patch of road that had been blown clear of snow five woodlark were busy foraging for something and eventually flew off making their musical call. Woodpigeons were trying to feed on roadside verges that were partly sheltered form the wind and snow by trees and both green and great spotted woodpeckers showed themselves.
Blackbirds and song thrushes are still plentiful and desperately trying to find food where they can.

Still no cranes--and I don't blame them--- but my brother reported seeing some yesterday near Roumazieres.


  1. It seems that the weather is taking it's toll. We regularly had between 10 and 20 goldfinches around our bird feederd until about 2 weeks ago. Now we are lucky to see two.

    Still lots of other finches and tits though.

    1. I have been surprised by the resilience of the very small birds though. Over a dozen tits at a time are regularly feeding on the fatballs which I have put out at La Tache and I have seen plenty of wrens in the woods. As far as finches are concerned, very few venture to feed at the house --but then we are in the middle of Le Bourg with no garden around-- but there are flocks of chaffinches in the fields, and there was a flock of about 20 goldfinch in the alders at Valence this afternoon. Perhaps most curious is the absence of regular winter visitors such as brambling, siskin and fieldfare. Perhaps they have moved even further south. I have seen a few redwing but virtually all the thrushes that are about are song thrush, mistle thrush and blackbird.