Friday, 25 May 2012

France Day 6: A Scorcher, Scops Owl not bad either!

Was a scorcher of a day today, almost 30 degrees. We did a nice long walk during the morning before it got too hot, just along the River Benaize where we're staying. Beautiful scenery as it seems to be pretty much everywhere we've been.

Our Gite is in amongst the trees in centre of picture in the river valley 

Bridge near Thollet crossing River Benazie 

 View back across valley

The perfect location for my new house!

Its great having nice walks straight out of the gite, and didn't see anyone else for the whole walk - perfect! We spent the afternoon lazing around the garden and pool and I enjoyed watching the IPL again, one more match to go, come on CSK!

Highlights from the day are pretty similar to other recent days locally but can't be complained about with numerous Hoopoe, Red-backed Shrike, Honey Buzzard, Hobby, Cuckoo, Cirl Bunting, Golden Oriole etc. Also today a female Montagu's Harrier, family of Marsh Tits and Spotted Flycatcher all in/around the garden. The male Common Redstart continues to sing, but this morning for some reason didn't wake me! Or maybe it's the French Cider!

Got a couple of pictures of it below on my phone. Also this evening the Woodlarks were busy feeding up their nests right up to sunset.

The male Common Redstart - still singing (Phone-scoped)

The male Common Restart - still singing (Phone-scoped) 

Woodlark busy feeding nest until dark (Phone-scoped)

There was lots of butterflies on the wing today and I managed to ID Painted Lady, Peacock, Red Admiral, Southern White Admiral, Large White, Glanville Fritillary, Heath Fritillary, Small Heath, Orange-tip, Speckled Wood, Common Blue and Scarce Swallowtail. There were many others that I couldn't get to quick enough! Also unfortunately saw a road kill Grass Snake. Sent Jenny through first to see whether 1) it was in fact dead, and 2) to see whether it was venomous if 1) was not correct!

However it wasn't until I started writing this at 1030pm that a call outside our gite alerted me to the presence of a Eurasian Scops Owl! What an amazing bird (as long as it doesn't keep me awake all night). It can only be the size of a Starling!! Will see if I can locate it on its day roost over the next few days to try and get a photo, unlikely I'm sure! A great end to the day! Cuckoo still singing too!

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