Sunday 16 October 2011

Weekend in the Pyrenees

Lynne and I spent last weekend (Fri, Sat, Sun  7-9 October) with our neighbours in the Pyrenees. The flat was in Les Cabannes, about 600m above sea level. The weather wasn't brilliant but could have been a lot worse. We did some lovely walks in the mountains, especially up the valley of Orlu. Here I took some photos of raptors flying high overhead as well as some marmots. The raptors were difficult to identify on the spot being into the light and very high. At home, examination has revealed that they included a lammergeier (a lifer) and a griffon vulture. They are in the same poor shot, griffon above, lammergeier below.

Griffon vulture above, Lammergeier below
 The marmots are here:

Marmots, Valley d'Orlu, Pyrenees
While getting the morning baguette and croissants, I passed a small group of conifers on the side of the road. One morning, returning from the boulangerie, I heard firecrests. I looked to my right and there was one just a few metres from me at eye level! If I'd had my camera I'd have got a killer shot! I took the bread to the flat and got my camera. Needless to say the firecrests never came as close again. I did get one or two more distant shots though. You will know that firecrests are tiny birds.
In the back 'garden' there was a tree which attracted a lot of birds. One was a middle spotted woodpecker. Here it is, quite heavily cropped, I'm afraid.
Middle spotted woodpecker.
Most of these mountain villages had clear mountain streams near or through them. I was surprised not to see dipper until the last day in Ax les Thermes, when I found one just under a bridge in the middle of town.
The back 'garden' was actually the grounds of a dilapidated 'palace'. Black redstarts were present as well as a flock of serin.
Black redstart - male


Shame it was only 3 days!

1 comment:

  1. Very nice entrance, I live near the Pirineos in Pamplona and I recomend you this place, next time you come...

    Its called Lindux and in migration all the bird that come from western Europe and cross the mountains take this path....

    Congratulations for the difficult and escarce Woodpecker!


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