Wildlife on the Gironde estuary - Our first garden Snipe

As my old thread is still locked up I thought I'd start & new one. New home, new thread, new forum!!

Since moving in we've been really busy but here are a few photos taken along the way, these are a pair of Gland weevils, up to something naughty on the moth trap,

a Shield bug (for Rockwolf, where is she?) ,Pantilus tunicatus,

A flight of storks passing over on migration, someone asked me once, how do you know a bird is on migration "Does it have it's suitcase with it?" & they are quite right, most of the time it's circumstantial evidence,

& a local stork flying around,

meanwhile, whilst insulating the roof space I found this perfectly dried Garden dormouse (male!) which obviously died a horrible death from poisoning,

a Robin on the overhead cable, they don't come too close;

This is it's & our view of the estuary marshes,

A spider visiting the moth trap, Hogna radiata,

A burying beetle, Necrodes littoralis, also around the moth-trap

& a hornet, who wasn't agressive fortunately,

a Migrant Hawker on the marshes,

some Great White Egrets,

Cattle Egrets (probably), sitting on the fence,

& finally another Spider around the moth trap, Xysticus sp,

I'll try & finish this update later. Thanks for looking.

Best wishes

Hazel in the Gironde estuary, France

  • Here we go, where was I?, Looks like the garden, Oh yes, I wanted to plant a hedge & border & discovered that the previous owner had buried all the stone & rubble from his DIY work there & held it back with some planks, so I started at one end, digging out all the stone & setting it aside to make a border. 

    I got there in the end & this is it nearly finished,


    this is what we call "Thousand legs" which is an exageration but a translation of the french "Mille pattes", you get them often in the house & they run at a very fast speed, but this one was trying to pretend I hadn't sen it,

    a Ruddy darter on the wheelbarrow, checking on the garden progress,

    & a more unusual Red-veined darter,

    this is the male seen a day or so later,

    We spent an hour at the Egret roost counting Cattle, Little & Great white Egrets. There were over 350 in the end, this is a poor photo of the roost at dusk before most of them arrived, they look so lovely, decorating the trees,

    & finally the caterpillar of a Sorcerer moth which was crossing the road & we put in the verge after the photo session,

    Thanks again for looking!

    Best wishes

    Hazel in the Gironde estuary, France

  • In reply to Noisette:

    Very nice!  I love all the egrets - it looks like you've moved into a long-legged paradise there.

    Our herring gulls are red listed birds.  Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.

  • In reply to Clare:

    Excellent post as always Hazel. I know you're only a click away but we're going to miss you in 'All Creatures'!

  • In reply to john_l_uk:

    Hi Hazel-what a view,and fabulous array of wildlife on your doorstep.Lovely shots, I would love to be able to see Great and Cattle Egrets from my house- I'm most envious, lol! Good luck with the garden and your new home


    See my Flickr photos here.

  • In reply to welsh lass:

    Hi Hazel, a great variety of shots from you, as is the usual. You've done well with digging out all of the rocks, no easy task I'm sure. You have a lovely view there, and I look forward to more updates of your sightings and adventures. I've never seen even one Egret, far less the vast amounts that you have there. Lovely.


    My bird photos HERE

  • In reply to Paul A:

    Wow, you spoil us with these brilliant threads Hazel, so many amazing species and loved seeing all the Egrets and where they roost  !  Looks like your new house/garden are fabulous, nice open views with the estuary and marshland.   The doormouse remains were very interesting but sad to think it died of poisoning :(    How lucky to get storks in the area and so many insects and birds we rarely see here in UK.    As for knowing if birds are on migration  ! ..... I haven't a clue so would help if they carried a small suitcase with them or a sign lol


    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • In reply to HAZY:

    Thanks all for your interest. The egrets in the trees are amazing, & as they fly in to roost they can be in flocks of 50/60 (they sometimes gather in a field & all arrive at once). When they fly over you almost feel like ducking they make so much noise! We've had lots of small birds too, but I've never had the camera handy at the right moment. Recently there was a Grey wagtail on the roof twice which was a big thrill. We also hear lots of Little owls at night & early morning, plus Tawny owls.

    The doormouse remains are in a little tub & I thought I'd pass them on to one of the LPO guys who visit schools, I expect the kids would be fascinated as it's quite ghoulish to look at.

    Best wishes

    Hazel in the Gironde estuary, France

  • In reply to Noisette:

    Great update from your new home, Hazel. I don't know how you've found the time with all the work you are doing. Terrific view over the estuary. Is that a vineyard just over your boundary? It all looks very green still whilst over here we are well and truly into Autumn with wind and rain and most of the trees without leaves.

    Nice selection of creepy crawlies but the egret roost is truly impressive. It reminds me of a trip to Trinidad a few years ago when all the Snowy Egret and Scarlet Ibises come into roost on an island in the Koroni Swamp. It was like a decorated Christmas tree.



    My Flickr Photostream 

  • In reply to TeeJay:

    That's odd TJ because I've often described the roosts as decorated Chritmas trees, that must be quite apt. There are quite a lot of vines around us & also a Kiwi Fruit farm. Unfortunately the Kiwi tres have caught a nasty virus & despite being there for probably 30 years or more, they are going to have to pull them all out & replant with vines.

    Our trees are going yellow & red & have started to lose their leaves now. Our Autumn began about a week ago & we've started to light a fire in the evenings.

    Best wishes

    Hazel in the Gironde estuary, France

  • In reply to Noisette:

    It's been ages since I posted last & not very much to post either. We're still very busy in the house doing jobs & trying to get quotes & get other people in etc etc. The weather has been very warm generally but dull & cloudy lately so less photo oportunites. A lot of the vines are still in full leaf, a sign that winter is really late this year.

    I'll start with a Grey Partridge seen wandering along in front of us. We normally get Red-legged ones, but this was probably raised & released for hunting. I hope it managed to escape.

    Looks like a drop of rain is coming!

    Time to hang the first of 4 pairs of curtains I'm sewing, all by hand!

    A trip in the camper down to marshes, which acted as a hide to take a few photos, Goldfinches love Thistles seeds,

    & a friendly Robin,

    There are lots of Marsh harriers around at the moment,

    & Hen Harriers too,

    We went to Meschers to see the ring-billed Gull, but he didn't arrive until 2 days later, but this Cormorant was exposing himself,

    More Goldfinches, this time eating the neighbours Cosmos seeds,

    We went on  Stork count, to see how many were overwintering. We had 23 on our patch, down on last year, but they may have been in some of the inaccessible areas. We really need one of these drones....

    This is a group feeding in a ploughed field with some Lapwings

    There were also 30+ Cattle Egrets who often feed in ploughed fields in winter, or between the rows of vines,

    & lots of Pipits,

    Another stork, this time on the move,

    & finally a Reed Bunting on another dull day

    Thanks for looking.

    Best wishes

    Hazel in the Gironde estuary, France