A Travellerspoint blog

“C’est fini!”

Périgord, France

all seasons in one day 105 °F

The last week of my program in France contained five performances meaning that birding opportunities were, for the most part, limited.

On June 16, I was trying to track down a calling GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER when one flew right on overhead:
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This GREAT TIT was nearby too:
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Happy singers after a successful concert! It was hot — 105F to be precise — and without AC, our nights were a little brutal trying our best to be well-rested for these concerts.
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The beautiful village of Montpaisier.
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Later that evening, some girls complained there was a bug in the bathroom and what do I find in there but a beautiful moth! How could you be scared of this?
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Another day and another concert, this time at a beautiful, 15th-century Abbey!
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Here we are posing at the Abbey with the sweet director, Glenn Morton.
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Rain on sunday broke the insanely hot weather.
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Another RED KITE made a beautiful pass over the pool:
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And an EURASIAN KESTREL hovered nearby, on the hunt:
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This EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE would always perch on this railing by the pool as its nest was nearby.
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COMMON WOODPIGEON flyover:
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Monday brought a beautiful sunset.
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On tuesday we all had an excursion to the town of Bergerac in the afternoon. I had had my fill of shopping last week so I ventured off by myself, birding the riverfront. I started off with this BANK SWALLOW at its nesting site on a bridge over the river:
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The river itself!
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A few BLACK KITES in aerial combat:
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COMMON WOODPIGEON:
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Juvenile EUROPEAN SERIN, my bird-of-the-day:
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A very cooperative GREAT TIT:
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And an EURASIAN WREN, nearly identical in song and appearance to our Winter & Pacific Wrens. Eurasians seem more adaptable in habitat, though.
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I was stoked to see this LONG-TAILED TIT, a bird I had only seen once before at the London Wetlands with my dad in 2014.
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Male COMMON BLACKBIRD:
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I had to swap out my camera battery in order to get a photo of this EURASIAN MAGPIE and I just barely accomplished it before it flew off:
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BLUE TIT:
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EURASIAN TREE SPARROW:
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Of course I had to reward myself with Gelato after the two-hour walk in the afternoon heat:
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Another walk closer to home in the evening made for cool photo ops of the local graveyard.
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Bird-of-the-day for sure to the European Serin!

Our final concert of the week, right at our Château, was a wonderful way to wrap up an enjoyable 2+ weeks of studying French operatic repertoire.
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We were treated to a most stunning sunset afterward during “aperitifs.”
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And a multi-course dinner featuring lobster, duck, and fruit tart with chocolate and infused Sichuan pepper. Absolutely incredible.
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On thursday, I was up bright and early for Glenn to drive me to the train station so I had to snap one last pool pic.
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And after a long travel day involving a van, train, bus, and 3 flights, I was back in Chicago! I ended up coming 1 species short of my goal of 1140 on my life list by the end of my France trip.
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And back home to the elderly 14.5 y.o. Daisy!
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More to come! My next adventure has already started as of the posting of this — I will reprise my annual 7-week opera residency at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York. I will be singing the role of the Forester in Janacek’s opera “The Cunning Little Vixen” with orchestra which I am stoked about because this role perfectly fits my voice. This period of the summer never features frequent birding, though I will still write from time to time. Then, it is off to Idaho in mid-August!

Good birding,
Henry
World Life List: 1139 Species

Lifers on my trip to France: Eurasian Hoopoe, Willow, Melodious, & Cetti’s Warblers, Cirl Bunting, Eurasian Green Woodpecker, Red & Black-winged Kites, Short-toed Treecreeper

Posted by skwclar 15:29 Archived in France

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Comments

The highlight is Daisy.

by Tian

What a trip! What an experience! Glad you’re home safe and we’ll be birding with you here before you know it. Enjoy this next gig until you arrive in Idaho!
Poo

by Poo

What great concert venues for operatic music. Glad you could work in some birding and I'm happy to see what you've posted. I'll have to look some of these up. Would be fun to hear you in "Vixen"!(nice pics of the great tit and others)

by Mary Mc

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