If you are in south-eastern France and go up Mont Ventoux in winter should you go that way for example on the piste as France has the largest skiing resort in the world at Three Valleys being the most visited country by tourists in the world with 80 million visitors every year not bad for a country just over twice the size of the UK with over 3 million tourists alone visiting Mont St Michel Abbey every year. Even in winter along the coasts in the area are filled with interesting birds like numbers of colour ringed birds like good numbers of wintering colour ringed Kentish Plovers which move around like Ferrari Countache Plovers so difficult to read colour rings but interesting if you do if you are into waders as there are many species of colour ringed waders wintering here in north-western France.
In south-eastern France a short TGV train trip away via Paris a few hours from Provence by TGV is excellent skiing and birding is possible whilst you ski!
Great fun on the piste with possibilities of nice colour ring reading of some raptors for example or other mountain birds fitted with id's!
Snow Finch Niverolle alpine Montifringilla nivalis at Chalet Reynard, Mont Ventoux-84 are regularly present here in good numbers alongside other nice birds.
If you take to the piste you can often get a healthy suntan up above the clouds! And the views are superb up there in resorts up in the mountains in winter in southern France. Mont Blanc is the highest peak in Western Europe.
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I'm skiint at present so I am saving up to fly down direct from Jersey to Switzerland with direct flights direct to Geneva and Zurich daily from Jersey airport! Switzerland has great birding including a roost in one valley sometimes of over 100 million Bramblings which has to be the biggest roost of Bramblings in the world.
I contact Sempach bird ringers to join them up in the mountains ringing migrants in Switzerland where I have many contact through Swiss Club in Jersey.
Kind regards from sunny Jersey Swiss banking enthusiasts in nature club.
Bertram.E.B.BREE (ICSA Dip.) CRBPO CNRS.