Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A last blast from Provence


Firecrest

All things must pass - including the last month in Provence, a latter stage of what's now almost a full year on the road. We've been very lucky to have had the opportunity to hole up down here in the perpetually sunny south French countryside, all thanks to our dear as-good-as family Maryna, Richard and Frankie, who (as always) have gone the extra mile and beyond.


After the world tour ended (up) in Europa a while back, we've been waiting patiently for all of our cards to fall before deciding on our next move. These last few weeks here have given us the peace, space and clarity to reach our decisions undistracted, and as a result, the next phase of our adventures are about to begin....


Little new to report from Birdland - an always enjoyable trip to the nearby and very picturesque L'Isle sur la Sorgue had the expected roll-call of lots of Crag Martins, Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs, and Cetti's Warblers, Grey Wagtails, Kingfishers and breeding Dippers along the river (a pair pictured below).


The countryside and ridges around the village continue to hold eye-rubbingly large numbers of Blackcaps, plenty of Sardinian Warblers and Common Buzzards, a few Dartford Warblers, a scattering of Cirl Buntings, Black Redstarts, Chiffchaffs, Firecrests and Serins, and Starlings and Chaffinches in near-plague proportions.


Of longer-distance migrants, the almost always clear conditions coupled with the regular blasts of Mistral are the likely reasons there's been little visible action locally, with two exceptions - a Black Kite drifted low over Frankie's riding lesson (!) a short distance east of here a few days ago, and a Short-toed Eagle headed north just west of the village yesterday.