Eggs

Posted on May 31, 2013

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).

Roller eggs! (Or perhaps Little Owl, I'm no expert)

Roller eggs! (Or perhaps Little Owl, I’m no expert)

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 checked all the nest boxes. Most are occupied by Little Owls and Jackdaws, but I found a couple of incubating Rollers (one was sharing its nestbox with a dispatched Jackdaw) and several clutches of eggs belonging to either Roller or Little Owl. 

Shocked owl

Shocked owl

Roller, on eggs and Jackdaw

Roller, on eggs and Jackdaw

I only saw one Roller with a legflag – dead in a nestbox. I suppose it either starved, succumbed to disease or was beaten to death by a Jackdaw / Little Owl. Pretty grim anyway, I won’t share the photo.  So unfortunately no geolocator birds were seen, although they must be out there somewhere!

Roller

Roller

Hunting

Y/X, which was ringed as a pullus in July 2010, meaning that this bird as survived 3 return flights to southern Africa

 I saw some other interesting birds, including little bustard, stone curlew, red-footed falcon and great spotted cuckoo. 

Little Bustard

Little Bustard

Turtle Dove

Turtle Dove

Marche arrier

Marche arrier

Great spotted cuckoo

Great spotted cuckoo

Short toed eagle

Short toed eagle

And finally some scenery

Forteresse de Salses

Forteresse de Salses

Scenery...

Scenery…

Prairie

Prairie

Vigne

Vigne

Pyrenees

Pyrenees

More scenery

More scenery