Monday, May 14, 2012

Tigertail Beach in spring~

 I saw quite a few Black-bellied Plovers in breeding colors - these birds at this time of year - are absolutely incredible to see!

 I saw a colony of Black Skimmers near a colony of Royal Terns - nesting & mating.
 A beautiful Dunlin in Spring breeding colors - stunning!
 The least terns were very very active, feeding, nesting, calling, mating, and became very anxious with my presence~
I only saw this one little Snowy Plover and a few Wilsons Plover, - and they do nest on this part of the beach. I was hoping to see more Snowy Plovers - but only this one was walking around - I never saw another~

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Flamingo, The Camargue, France

Forgive me for my two week absence, I have just returned from two weeks in Europe, having spent one week in Paris and one week in Rome.

The Flamingo - The bird most sought after by visitors, and the symbol of the Camargue, is undoubtedly the flamingo.  Wading with its webbed feet in the shallow saline waters of the large lagoons, it filters the mud with its large down-curved beak, and extracts the invertebrates on which it feeds.  Flamingos breed in colonies of thousands of individuals.  Pairs form in the spring and in May-June some 20,000 white chicks hatch in the Camargue, forming the new generation.  The flamingo  only attains its characteristic vivid pink plumage at the age of four or five years.  They seem almost motionless on their slender legs, but the slightest noise can cause them to take flight in a blaze of colours and with loud cries.  At the end of summer, part of the population flies south to the other side of the Mediterranean, where the winters are milder, others remain in the  Camargue taking the risk of perhaps facing an exceptionally cold winter~ (La Camargue, English version)