Thursday, 18 August 2016

White Storks

There were 101 of them and they were black and white but they were storks rather than dogs and they  
were standing in a field in Valence. They were first seen there on Tuesday evening and some were even sitting on roofs and telephone poles. By wednesday morning they had moved to another field closer to the church but when I last went to look late that afternoon they had moved on, presumably towards Spain. While I was photographing them I heard a stone curlew call several times but I was not able to locate him.
The storks show us that migration is under way. The swifts have already left of course and probably quite a few of the swallows as well although many of them are still to be seen gathering in flocks while house martins are now only occasionally glimpsed.
I'm still waiting for the first pied flycatchers of the return migration but there are plenty of the spotted variety to be found at the moment. An unexpected early individual was a female wheatear which I came across near Artenac last Saturday.
Other recent birds of note include an obliging sleek Cetti's warbler which allowed me to watch him by the footbridge at Le Moulin d'Oiseau for some minutes, kingfishers on both the Charente and the Son-Sonnette and several hoopoes but it's now difficult to find any red backed shrikes in their usual haunts.


  1. Hi Paul - have just been staying with friends in Ribérac and I came across your blog as I was curious to see what birds we might see whilst here. You probably won't remember me but I was in your A'level English class at Medina High School back in the 80's. Fascinating blog and I can quite see why you have chosen to live in such a beautiful part of the world. Anyway - thought I would just say hello. Back home now in wet and windy Mid-Wales! Regards, Sue Lithgow

    1. Hello Sue,
      I did try to reply to your comment just after you posted it but I think that it never got published for some reason.
      Anyway, I've just come across it again and wish to greet a former student who was kind enough to remember me.