In reply to welsh lass:
Thanks Tony & Jayne, there seem to be a lot of Kingfishers about at the moment, if we take a drive we regularly see 3 or 4. There aren't many Black Redstarts which stay for the winter so it's nice to see one close by. I think another name for the fan tailed warbler is a zitting cisticole & they are coastal in France, but maybe you'll get them eventually Jayne.
Hazel in the Gironde estuary, France
In reply to Noisette:
I've not had a lot of time to post lately, still trying to put in a new kitchen & now trying to turn the mud into a garden again,
This is the first day of diggers in the garden putting in a new septic tank & digging all the necessary drainage trenches, no drains for a few days & as we'd moved the water heater at the same time, no hot water either!!
A week later & they've just redug the drainage ditches to put in a step halfway (they had this silly idea that I wouldn't mind them running the pipes straight & having 50cm of soil added to the garden- I soon put them right!!)
However they put the rain-water soakaway too close to the end where the new garage base was going, the first heavy shower & it washed away the bank, another re-work job!!
So they moved where it should have gone in the first place, 5m higher up the garden. By the time it was all done we had 300m2 of mud,
Our cat had the idea that if she'd made that much mess she'd be in real trouble!! Last week we had 6m3 of topsoil delivered which we spread over the area & reseeded & rollered with the help of a gardener,
Now all we have to do is keep the pigeons off it.
However we've still managed to get out for a few walks, a pretty Blue tit eating the seeds on the reeds,
& a Coypu with a corn cob it found in the field, chased by 2 youngsters,
In mid february the Marsh Harriers came into a lovely plumage, brighter than ever & not done justice by my distant photos,
We had some lovely views of a Grey wagtail catching flies from a riverbed,
Oh dear, I've noticed I've labelled the photos wrong, the French name is Bergeronette des ruisseau (not printanière), silly me,
& a few bugs, a Wireworm Click beetle,
a Walnut Orb weaver Spider,
a burying beetle Nicrophorus humator
Spring is well & truly coming with Black kites & Swallows already here & heard the first Hoopoe yesterday. The Song thrush & Larks are singing & at night the little owls are calling all the time. Love is in the air!!
Thanks for looking!
Great update Hinge, so interesting to share your new experiences & the lovely pics ... you have Coypu, we have Rat!!
2013 photos & vids here
eff37 on Flickr
In reply to WendyBartter:
Hi Hazel, what an interesting read and update and how beautiful to see a Marsh Harrier plus the other fab species, looks like a lot of work you are having done but worth it when you see what wildlife and birds you get. Good luck and keep the updates coming when you have time.
"Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again"
In reply to HAZY:
Thanks Hazy & Wendy, I spent part of this afternoon digging the clay out of the area the far side of the seeded bit as we want a veggie plot there. I did a smallish area but ended up with a HUGE pile of clay to take to the dump. Never mind, it'll all be nice in the end, I hope. We still managed a 2 hour walk & saw some Willow warblers going through with the Chiffchaffs, but they jumped around too much for photos!
Industrious lady, put me to shame but have got another cold!!! Grrrr
Sorry to hear that Wendy, wrap up warm, Spring is coming!Honest!
Thanks Hinge, very irritating & just started a week of chilly easterlies here! Brrrrrr
Crikey Hazel, did you realise what a task you were undertaking when you moved to your new house. I'm sure it will be worth it in the end.
Glad to hear spring is arriving in the Gironde and that you are seeing the migrants passing through. Lovely shots of the Marshies.
Still rather grey and cold here with a few slightly warmer days thrown in.
My Flickr Photostream
In reply to TeeJay:
As TJ says that looks like one heck of a project you have started,you don't do things by halves do you,good luck with the project but do not forget to leave a little time for birding.
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