Tuesday, October 20, 2009

French Birds

Mmmm - I wonder how many hits I'll get from that title? I wonder how many disappointed men of a certain age there'll be?

Mrs The Millbrooker and I make a pretty decent bird spotting team. I have some obvious defects in the bird watching department, not being able to see properly is not the best qualification for being a feathered friend enthusiast. Nonetheless, it seems to work quite well as Mrs The Millbrooker uses her much wider field of vision to spot the wee fellows and I then snap away on the old digital thingy in the hope of getting something resembling (a) a decent photo or failing that (b) at least something which I can then zoom in on and perhaps identify what we've been looking at.

Last week in Brittany, I got lucky with a French bird on several occasions; scoring in both the (a)'s and the (b)'s with my special extending lens.

Just because I can, here's the pick of the bunch. I should probably admit that these five photos are from a selection of somewhere around a hundred and fifty (that's just the ones of birds), most of which barely fall into being any good for purpose (b).

First up, this chap didn't really require any identification books or such like. Frankly if you don't know what he is, you're not going to enjoy the rest of this posting. He was alarm-calling away on a small island off the GR34 coast path at l'Aber nr Telgruc sur Mer.
There also seemed to be inordinate numbers of stonechats around, especially in the Baie de Douarnenez area (where we spent a lot of time).

The shots aren't quite as clear as Mr Robin above, but I'm quite pleased with them.
The next is one of those that I can't quite be positive about with the identification; I'm more or less certain that what we have here is a wheatear in autumn/winter colours (or possibly a juvenile/female). I've sent this photo off to an expert friend, so I should get a definite ID soon. I'm very happy with the photo, though.Last, but certainly not least, I've been waiting years to get a shot like this. A very obliging kestrel remained hovering as I crept closer and closer and got almost underneath him. What an experience.

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