Sunday, 20 May 2012

France Day 1: Not quite the local patch, but a bit better!

After 700 miles of driving, and whatever the channel tunnel crossing was, we've arrived for a spell in France. We're staying in a very nice Gite near a place called Thollet in the middle of nowhere. It was a long drive but thanks to the Sat Nav lady it was fairly enjoyable.

The drive down went through some pretty impressive farmland and some really nice woodland. I saw a few birds but as I was driving I probably missed an awful lot. I did manage to see 1 Black Kite, 2 Harrier Sp (I think 1 was Marsh and the other Montagu's harrier but views a bit inconclusive and brief as was going about 140kph at the time!), 14 Kestrel, 9 Buzzard, 1 probable Booted Eagle (brief views), 1 male Red-backed Shrike, 1 Stone Curlew, 1 Hoopoe, Cuckoo, Mediterranean Gull, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, White Wagtail along with a lot of less exciting stuff (SG, HS, SI, H., HG, SL, JD, TU, CO, RO, WP, MG, C., BH, B., Y., CB, J., CH, M., WR, CC, LI, CD, MA, GG, S., GR). Jenny gripped me off with Little Egret but I was overtaking so missed it!

We got to our Gite late afternoon and we were surprised by how beautiful and rural it was, really peaceful, with a nice river running along the end of the garden (it even has a WIFI connection!).  After a quick unpack of the car we sat in the sun and had a nice cup of Yorkshire Tea! There was lots of song and birds busily flying around in the garden and the wider landscape. We went for a walk across the river and round some farmland where we came across a couple of families of Black Redstart provisioning nests, whilst the background noise was filled with vociferous Nightingale, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Turtle Dove - pretty impressive stuff. Other bits seen included Swift, Swallow, House Martin, White Wagtail, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Wood Pigeon, Great Tit, Grey Heron, House Sparrow, Common Buzzard, Crow, Jackdaw, Starling, Jay and Common Redstart.

I'm sure there will be much more found around here over the next couple of weeks....


  1. Sounds good Andy, though the 2 Temms on Hes East were nice too! Have a good un, Russ

  2. Cheers Russ, I hope you ruled out Least Sand and Common Sands!