Thursday, 1 March 2012

sunshine and cranes

It's been a gloriously warm and sunny week and the still conditions seem to have been ideal for the crane migtation. Well over a thousand have passed over La Tache in the last few days, usually in flocks of about 300. The highlight for me was yesterday as I was driving to La Poterie at 9.30. What I first took to be a large flock of sheep on top of the plains turned out to be about 300 cranes standing in the sunshine. Luckily I had a small camera with me but unluckily as I was about to snap them, a gyrocopter put up the whole flock.
I have seen small groups of cranes on the ground in the past but this was the first time I had come across a large flock which had presumably rested overnight.
Other birds of interest this week include my first yellowhammers of the year at Fontenille. (This species seems to be very localised in these parts.) A little owl was calling this evening at La Tache and a barn owl was screaming aroun the village on Tuesday night.Two snipe were in the wet meadow of the bio farm yesterday. Song thrushes are singing and I heard my first chaffinch song of the year at La Poterie yesterday. A male hen harrier has been a daily sight  hear La Tache and the very pale phase buzzard which seems to have been around for several years now, has frequented the road to La Poterie. Skylark flocks are still in evidence but some individuals are in full song.
This evening a flock of about 200 lapwing which was moving north included 6 golden plover.

                      The cranes which are taking off in this photo are hard to see against the trees behind.

Red admiral and peacock butterflies are on the wing, violets, celandines, daisies and dandelions are brightening everywhere up and my first house lizard of the year appeared under the gate at La Tache today.

1 comment:

  1. We went for a walk on Tuesday afternoon and the noise overhead was amazing. There seemed to be hundreds of them in the sky. Diane