Posts made in May, 2013


Posted by on May 31, 2013 in Fieldwork, News, Photos | 0 comments

Laying is finally underway here in windy France, just as the first chicks are hatching in Portugal and Cyrpus. Even Latvia are ahead of us, with 10 confirmed clutches of Roller eggs, compared to 3 clutches here in Provence (1 in a nestbox and 2 in tree cavities). I’m back in Provence after 3 disastrous days camping in Roussillon – not enough tent pegs, gale force winds, a stove which wouldn’t light, a bike with only 1 pedal and a car which got beached on a big lump of earth. I mapped most of the habitat (a fabulous mix of vigne and steppe/savannah/prairie type stuff) and...

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Plaine de Roussillon

Posted by on May 20, 2013 in News, Photos | 0 comments

Yesterday I drove to Montpellier to meet a Frenchman called Patrick, then we carried on south to a Roller nestbox site which he’s involved in monitoring. It’s just north of Perpignan, in the shadow of the Pyrenees – a pretty fantastic location. It’s a bit more picturesque than the Vallee de Baux, with more vineyards & orchards and fewer rice paddies & cereal fields. There are lots of nestboxes and natural cavities, which host breeding Roller, Iberian Green Woodpecker, Little Owl, Hoopoe, Jackdaw, Starling, Spotless Starling & Scops Owl. We didn’t see...

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Wish you were here

Posted by on May 18, 2013 in Fieldwork, Methods, News, Photos | 0 comments

Well, the French weather has outdone itself this week. This was the view from my desk a few hours ago: So, I’ve spent the last few days doing ‘indoor’ jobs. I’ve had fun going through the videos from the 2 nestbox cameras which were deployed last year, trying to identify prey and record provisioning rate – it’s very time consuming, but also quite interesting. Here is a Cicadidae (I’m also learning my insect families!) getting fed to a brood of 5 chicks. I’ve also been testing the PIT tag readers, which are designed to measure provisioning rate...

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It’s all kicking off

Posted by on May 7, 2013 in Fieldwork, News, Photos, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Greetings from sunny France! I’ve been here for 3 weeks now, so thought it was time for an update. I saw the first Roller of the season for the field site on a very windy Friday 19th April – this was 2 weeks earlier than in 2012, and they’ve been building up in numbers ever since. Yesterday, I’m 95% sure that I found a bird with a geolocator (I couldn’t quite read the flag number unfortunately), but otherwise I’ve been unable to pin down any birds ringed in previous years. In total there are 6 geolocator birds at this site, which I’m very keen to...

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