Saturday 3 May 2014 50 °F
I guess I am going through a bout of electronic malfunctioning, because the reason I did not post yesterday was not because I didn't see any birds but because my iPad died. Since it was late in the night when this happened, I simply gave up and went to bed.
Anyway, I am getting ahead of myself: Yesterday was our travel day from Florence, Italy to Paris, France. After a half-day of sightseeing, my family and I flew a flight on a Vueling Airlines A319-100 to Paris' Orly Airport. Then, we drove the 1.5 hour drive to the small town of Chartres, where we attained our first glimpses of the majestic Chartres Cathedral.
After a bit of driving around town and even asking in one hotel where our hotel for the night was, we were finally headed in the right direction on the correct road. Suddenly, I made my dad stop the car in order to view my life bird COMMON PHEASANTS and RED-LEGGED PARTRIDGES. I was only able to gain decent photos of the partridges:
And no, they weren't in a pear tree. They were on the ground. Ha!
A bit of birding while my parents checked in at the hotel for the night yielded my life bird WHEATEAR:
As well as an EURASIAN MAGPIE:
Then, we spent a quiet evening at our clean, modern, and surprisingly spacious hotel for the night. This was when my iPad died, but you already heard that story.
Here is my summary of Italy:
7 life birds, which is pretty skimpy, even considering the fact that that leg of our journey was jam packed...I repeat jam packed...with sightseeing and museums. After museums. After museums.
Today my dad woke us up bright and early and we headed over to the majestic Chartres Cathedral. It was stunning, both inside and out!
Our next stop on the drive to Chinon (our destination for the day) was at a large, crowded, and chilly castle that was half covered in scaffolding. We probably would have appreciated it more if the scaffolding was nonexistant. Now we have visited three major structures covered in scaffolding:
The Colosseum in Rome, the Baptistry in Florence, and now the castle near Chartres. I should rename this blog "Birding and Scaffolding Around the World."
Speaking of birding, one good thing about the castle was that it was on a huge plot of public land, including a nature reserve. My family and I stopped at various points in the reserve and I managed to see some nice birds:
PIED WAGTAIL and EUROPEAN STARLING (these birds were distant so this photo is for identification purposes only):
BLUE TIT. Weird name for a bird.
GREAT TIT. Another odd avian name.
Can you find the TREECREEPER in this photo? Yeah, it was hard for me too.
Finally, a bad photo of a GREY WAGTAIL for identification purposes only:
Our third and final stop on the drive today was at another castle, Chateaux de Chenonceaux.
One cathedral and two castles in one day is pretty good. Bird-of-the-day to the BLUE TIT and runner up to the GREY WAGTAIL, which were both life birds today. For a full list of lifers I have gained so far in France, look below my signature.
Stay tuned for a post in three days because for the next two nights, we are staying in hotels without wifi.
World Life List: 733 Species
French Lifers (17 species):