Feathered Garden Visitors 2020

Cirl Bunting - this little chap and significant other were rummaging around in one of our borders on Sunday - similar in many respects to the yellowhammer.

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We used to get Yellow Hammers back in UK… not seen them here though… but they might well be about…

the birdlife is wonderful, I find… or perhaps it is because I have more time to notice…

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I saw a pair of yellowhammers about ten days ago.

If the cirl is present, then you will probably also have yellowhammers, they’re both members of the bunting family, and eat similar things (seeds left on stalks or ground in the winter, grubs and insects in the summer), but both require hedgerows or dense shrubs in which to nest, and a treetop from which to sing. We have both here where we live, the yellowhammers are one of the first vocal signs that the days are getting warmer !

Listening to the birdsong while eating ones breakfast in the morning has no equal IMHO.

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Pied Wagtail - this one came to check out our pond

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This morning’s treat - a Black Kite having an aerial dogfight with a Crow

We were at our last place in UK for 27 years… deepest countryside … and we benefited from the most amazing wildlife…

I started keeping a diary, noting what we were seeing and how many of each species… that sort of thing…
by the end of our time there, the change was clear… new buildings and changes of land usage wreaked havoc on the natural world…

Now, so glad to be here… in the French countryside and finding some of our old friends and discovering new ones…

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A pair of kestrels have their nest at the top of the sequoia at the bottom of my track, and there are various sorts of buzzard in the oak wood to the left of my house - my little field seething with voles etc is the cause of lots of aërial combat or rather games of chicken, fabulous to watch because from my terrace they are almost at eye level. Lots of bad language and showing-off.

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Can we have house and garden? We have rougequeue noir that come to nest in our barn every year. This one decided that our living room could be more comfortable…

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In a long life, I had never seen a woodpecker, but now I have one living in my garden. Delightful!

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We have the 3 most common in France, the Greater Spotted (your pic), the Lesser Spotted and the Green, all regular feeders. The Lesser and Greater Spotted are always drilling into the trees, whereas the Green forages for ants in the lawn. Occasionally, we also have the Black, a rare treat to our garden, but often heard in the distance. The jays are in abundance, I can see why the French call them Geai des ChĂŞnes, as we have oak trees all around and they like to come and drink at the watering hole. Noisy blighters too!

More than one bird in my post, look again, please!

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Ooops! Sorry Mike. :slight_smile: Coronabrain again!

Green Woodpecker

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Black Kite on the hunt

Pied Flycatcher

Spotted these little guys on the electricity cable that crosses our garden - observing correct social distancing!
Look a bit like swallows, but I didn’t think they perched. Not sure if the blue stripe is iridescence or just a trick of the light. Any sggestions?

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House Martin? image

You helped me remember an old song -

I’m in the lock-up 20 days, just 20 days ago
I met the judge, the kind old judge, who was feeling fine and so
He gave me just a year in jail
A sociable sort of gink
All on account of a gallon of beer that I thought I could drink

(Chorus)
In 11 more months and 10 more days
I’ll be out of the calaboose
In 11 more months and 10 more days
They’re going to turn me loose.