Category Archives: Birds

(Very) good things this week

vivid-autumn-009

Please be warned – there are some seriously bad photographs to follow! However, I’m going to blithely continue in recording something that gave us a great deal of pleasure last week.

We were in the midst of one of those awful computer melt-downs that will be all too familiar to those (overly) reliant on the beasts.

I do use my computer for work (copy-editing), and I have had a fair bit of that recently, so perhaps extenuating circumstances?

picture-059

I was on day four of a marathon to save my machine. It had trembled and collapsed at the knees after the most recent Windows 10 update. Too much for the old girl, I fear.

She is now laid to rest. (Although the Bon Viveur is suggesting a new hobby for me: I should spend my ‘spare’ hours bringing her to life again. Thanks, Nick. I already have enough hobbies that drive me to distraction while I try to keep them simultaneously moving forwards.)

vivid-autumn-004

A new shiny piece of kit is currently winging its way by camel from Amazon UK (I am a touch-typist, so I have to have a Qwerty keyboard), and I am working courtesy of a friendly dinosaur.

In the midst of this gloom two Great White Egrets flew into our lives and settled on the river bank opposite the house.

vivid-autumn-012

Now the bank is a long way away and my telephoto lens is very poor. (This is where the bad photos of my earlier warning come into play.)

vivid-autumn-013

The pictures were taken in the grassy gap, dead centre in the photograph above. And unfortunately at dusk.

First there was only one egret – who appeared to be inspecting ant hills on the other side of the river. Doing his ‘hunchy’ thing.

egret-3

Then he/she was joined by a mate. They started to spread their wings and look about a bit.

egret-8

After much excited consultation of books and websites, we were sure that we were lucky enough to be seeing Great White Egrets. Until recently they were rare in this corner of France.

egret-7

A friend who lives at the other end of the valley confirmed that they had been present in recent years, owing (he thought) to the warming of our climate here.

egret-6

They were superb – if only I had had my camera to hand on Friday morning when one of them took off and slowly circled above the garden at about 7am.

Unfortunately they have been sharply seen off the premises.

A little later on Friday or Saturday the Bon Viveur saw a grey heron and a white egret standing next to each other on the river bank, appearing to have a bit of a barney.

Next day, we had only a grey heron circling the chateau grounds, river and garden, guarding his territory. He is there continuously now.

vivid-autumn-008

And I never even had the chance to say goodbye …