Bird Life in France

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As we moved north in France, the birdlife became more abundant.  By the time we were north of Paris, they were everywhere.  It was such a stark contrast to the Med, where there was so little bird life.  Or, for that matter, wildlife of any kind.

We know, we know — you’re looking at these pictures and saying — what?  it’s just a a lot of birds!  But it was just that — a lot of birds.  They were coming at us all of the sudden. We were no longer along the coast, but among inland waterways, which gave rise to a tremendous amount of birdlife.  It probably helped, too, that Leander was relatively quiet, ghosting up the river.  We were able to sneak up on things that we might not otherwise have been able to see.  The birds have proabably learned, too, that they need not be afraid of boat traffic on the rivers and canals. 

A sea gull keeps watch atop a lateral marker.
A sea gull keeps watch atop a lateral marker.
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Alexander feeds a swan. They had no fear, and this one, in fact, chomped on Alexander’s finger in the eyeblink after the shutter opened and closed, and just before Sima’s flashing hand (seen as a blur in the upper left) was able to pull him away.

Neck tucked in, this Grey Heron waits for lunch.Neck tucked in, this grizzled Grey Heron waits for lunch.

A goose going about daily grooming.
A goose going about daily grooming.

A crow watches us pass.A crow watches us pass.

A gaggle of Grey Geese.A gaggle of Grey Geese.

IMG_5582Birds would take different defensive actions as Leander approached on the waterways. Some flew away long before we arrived, while others took flight at the last minute. Cormorants and some ducks would dive, and some, such as this one, would quietly meld into the underbrush.

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Birds of a feather flock together. The coots take wing early, while the others are, well, sitting ducks.  

A seabird flits over Leander.A seabird flits over Leander.

Gulls following a boat.Gulls following a boat.

A cormorant takes wing.
A cormorant takes wing.

It made the days on the canal pass quite pleasantly, seeing them all about.  We felt we were keeping good company, as October turned to November and we moved north to cooler climbs. 

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