03 July 2009

2006: Birds in Lannion

03 July

Well, the weather certainly wasn't delightful this morning, but I headed out to the Samson "River" estuary anyway in the hopes of photographing that unidentified shorebird at high tide (or a reasonable facsimile). Heavy showers mixed with gunky cloud cover made the wait less than pleasant, but get the photo I did. Even so, the birds got no closer than 30 metres, and as I'm notoriously poor at identifying shorebirds, it is my considered (and entirely fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants) opinion the flock is 30 or so Whimbrels. Tall, downward-curving bill, racing stripe on top of head and another through the eye, mottled in the right places... OK, it's just a guess, but I think it's a good guess... I'll know when more knowledgeable people stop laughing and tell me what it really is. Later. :)

During four hours at the estuary, I had also bagged another four or five new passerines I have not seen before and, therefore, have no idea who they are. Research fodder when I return, which is coming up in less than 5 weeks now. Wow.

Oh, and I appear to be pretty memorable around here. Saturday, after the boat tour, I went once again for a few hours to Perros-Guirec (hereinafter referred to as PG) to check out the birds as the tide went out. And, if I say so myself, I got a few nice shots of Little Egrets. Well, today, I'm returning from the Estuary and spot what I think are Bonaparte's Gulls in Lannion, and I pull over to take a few photos. Not five minutes later, a nice gentleman comes up to me and starts asking questions in English, stating he loves birds as well, and had spotted me in PG on Saturday while on business. Apparently, I was currently parked in front of the real estate business he works for. Curious. He then asked if I would be interested in a site not far from PG where Common Terns congregate, and proceeded to go into his shoppe to draw me a quick-n-dirty map that I will use in the next few weeks...

Very nice chap. I'm only now trying to figure out why he started out in English and not French. To the best of my knowledge, I don't own a portable neon sign that shines and states "AMERICAN HERE"... (grin)

[ 2009: FYI - The gulls you see above are Black-headed Gulls, which don't have black heads (like the Bonaparte Gulls I thought they were). I before E, except after C, and a bunch of exceptions.

I still don't know how that gentleman knew I was American :) ]

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