A morning in good company

It’s migration time again, and “migration in Grenoble” rhymes with “Col du Fau”, the pass at the end of the valley, to the south, where all migrating birds have to go in the autumn. On a sunny Sunday morning, I arrived there at 8, shortly after sunrise. The light, low and warm, was beautiful, and a constant flow of swallows, mainly Barn swallows (Hirundo rustica), was crossing the pass. Four or five European stonechats (Saxicola rubicola) and a Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra) took a break along the fence, looking for insects then plunging to the ground to catch them. From time to time, a Yellowhammer (Emberiza citrinella) and a Common redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) joined them.
coldufau coldufau-5
All morning long, swallows came and went, while some raptors appeared later, when the ascending air currents started. A few distant Honey buzzards (Pernis apivorus) were a challenge to identify for our “pro birders”, but a young Red kite (Milvus milvus) flew rather close (closer than the other raptors, at least), and we could admire its wonderful colours. The icing on the cake was a Merlin (Falco columbarius), the smallest European falcon, flying fast and straight to the south. It was quite early for the season, and with the one seen the day before, we were already approaching the year record 😉
Many thanks to all the birders I met at the pass, for the awesome atmosphere there, and especially to Laurent, for all the precise explanations on all sorts of bird-related things.

13 thoughts on “A morning in good company

  1. Nice countriside. No bird pictures. I also am fascinated with birds here in Helsinki but feeding them is something of a crime here. Nevertheless I can get closer to them in Keskuspuisto which is right across the street where I live. Small wild animals are a lot smarter than people give them credit for and make interesting friends.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I oftensneak a few crumbs to friendly birds but the furious reactions from passers by when I am detected are very unpleasant and not to be ignored. And most of the parks in the city present signs requesting people not to feed birds. You cannot haave missed them.


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