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Thread: Green Heron back in southern France for 3rd winter!

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Default Green Heron back in southern France for 3rd winter!

    Hi there,
    The Green Heron which turns up every winter in southern France at Etang de Berre is back again for the third winter on the run!
    Héron vert Butorides virescens : 1 dans le canal de station d'épuration de Berre l'étang-13 le 11/11 (P&A. Mansart), revu le 14/11 (M. Loubon et le 16/11 (P. Foulquier), 3ème hiver consécutif de présence.
    It is still at Etang de Berre in Provence now and is likely to stay there over this winter as usual so if you are down there it is always in the same hangout.
    Worth a trip to the site if you want to see this bird.It is strange it comes back every winter to the same spot! It would be interesting to know where it goes in the summer! Down there also many Cranes, raptors and a few late migrants which are benefiting from the mild weather like the Swallows still on the island of Jersey.Sometimes Swallows over winter in northwestern France in Brittany in small numbers and head north in late February towards the UK!
    We have had them in the Channel Isles in February. They winter in good numbers in Spain now near Tarifa but small numbers hang around all winter north of the Loire estuary.Alpine Swift still in northern Italy.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Little Chalfont


    Hi Breee

    Are there any other good birds in the area this winter - Spotted Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Red-breasted Goose, Lesser Flamingo, Terek Sandpiper.

    Also any recent stake-out news on Sacred Ibis or Moustached Warblers or Calandra Larks

    Very best wishes


  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Default Green Heron still at Etang de Berre in the Camargue area

    Hi there,
    The Green Heron is still around at Etang de Berre and in the area hundreds
    of Common Cranes in flocks, wintering Bonellis Eagle, Booted Eagle, Spotted Eagle, Terek Sandpiper,Bewicks columbianus Swans, Great Grey Shrikes, Pallid Swifts, Alpine Swifts and possiblities of many interesting birds moving in from Italy breeding areas where they have bred in good numbers in the summer.
    Now in northern Italy Pygmy Cormorants are becoming a common breeding species amongst Flamingos with a Lesser Flamingo seeming regular at Pont des Cinq Gorges in the Camargue amongst wintering roseus Flamingos of the Greater Flamingo group. Now at the Ecomusee de St Martin de Crau near the Hotel Restaurant Camping site at St Martin de Crau great in summer for the great swimming pool where you can lounge in the sun and spot huge numbers of interesting birds drift overhead as you enjoy a drink of local fresh juice brew by the pool in from of the Hotel Restaurant and Camping site which I find very cheap and near the Ecomusee where you can get all the latest birding news and natural history information as well as meet birders who will take you to stake outs for rare wildlife if you become a member of their group (the CEEP) and tell you the latest news of what to see in the area but they do not like details in the hands of birders who do not put the birds wellfare first. So you can email for example
    a CEEP contact like Etienne Becker at:-
    who may invite you to the monthly meetings at M....ille St Charles University
    nearby the first Wednesday of every month (except in July and August when things are so hectic the best spot to get the details is in the Ecomusee in St Martin de Crau east of Arles in the Camargue area and Crau area to the east of the Camargue). The Ecomusee visit is free and interesting to see the displays in the buliding but to join the CEEP you get a regular natural history bulletin called Faune de Provence and get the chance to be invited to outings and to share details which are not publicised as for example sites like Calandra Lark sites are numerous in the Crau, but very restricted to non
    CEEP contacts as they are near military areas where you will be arrested if you don't have the right credentials, as I don't want people to go there and
    find themselves in prison from being in a sensitive area and hold me responsible for their problems. However if you get
    permission from CEEP at the Ecomusee you will be in safe hands.
    Red-necked Nightjars appear to be in the process of becoming established in the area coping with sometimes rather cold weather occasionally although it is normally mild like nearby Corsica accessible from M....ille as a foot passenger quite cheaply on the car ferry, and it has been around 20 degrees celcius there in Corsica recently on the coast but quite cold in the higher spots in the centre of the island. By TGV from the UK in London to the Provence area like Avignon in a few hours for around eighty pounds return it is possible to book a break by train to the Camargue (without having to fly) there through RAILEUROPE. I go by train sometimes or by car which is a longer journey but you can put your car on a TGV train and drive off in Provence and travel down as a train foot passenger. Car hire there is not too pricey and the cars are all comfortable French cars which don't use much fuel!
    I recommend training it down by TGV and hiring a car from the station either Arles,M....ille,Nimes, Montpellier, Aix, Avignon or Nice if you want to go nearer Italy where there are some great bird reserves near the Po delta for example.Further north you are in Switzerland where you can watch the culling of Ruddy Shelducks which include some wild birds doubtless not of captive orign but from the Italian population which migrate to the Balkans and back! So we know they are wild birds doubtless joining the Swiss feral population.The whole are is fantastic for a winter birding holiday with huge numbers of wildfowl in the area now including numerous Ferruginous Duck in the Camargue as they are in the Loire delta and in Italy in the north-eastern area.Northern Italy is fabulous for birding if you contact LIPU contacts to find the best reserves.I love the area around Venezia, or Venice as it is better known, from Gull watching in particular possibilities, and as it is a good destination near the birding areas nearby on signs used to navigate.It is an easy drive along the motorways or by train between northern Italy and Provence.The motorways are excellent.Birding great all along the route now. Further dee
    tails at CEEP on telephone from the UK if you want to join at
    0033 4 42 20 03 83,
    CEEP, 890 Chemin de Bouhenoure- Haut, 13090 Aix-en-Provence, Le Departement des Bouches du Rhone!
    Kind regards,Bertram.E.B.BREE in mild Jersey closer to France than you think with direct flights to Nice, Paris, Dinard, (and Switzerland both to Zurich and Geneva on a daily basis).

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