Scott and I took a nonstop flight to Paris
This is the Arles River along which we often walked...just two blocks from our hotel.
We met these Camargue horses on our first morning out. These horses used to run wild in the Camargue, and later were domesticated. They are small, but strong and durable. They are famously used by Provence cowboys to herd the black bulls used in the bullfights. They are beautiful horses!
We did some marsh birding on our first full day and soon found a large number of birds...here are some of them:
In some light the head looked brown rather than black.
Bee-eater These birds travel in flocks and on one day we hit a large flock of about 50 Bee-eaters, but we were not allowed to park for pictures. These captures were taken at a different time.
In a cage was an Eagle Owl
and in another cage....not sure...a Black Kite?
Pair of Purple Herons
Purple Heron looking dashing in the dark. I'm not sure I really appreciated the beautiful purple lore until I looked at these pictures
Purple Heron in flight...yellow feet like Snowy Egret
A Grey Heron...very like the North American Great Blue Heron, but different species
Sometime while we were still at Arles we visited the cute little town of St. Marie-de-la-Mer. It is a beach destination on the Mediterranean Sea at the southern end of the Camargue.
Again with the bullfighting
We had lunch
Lady serving paella
Spring is a nice time to go to Southern France
Greater Flamingos against beautiful blue
This is my best close-up of a flamingo...not bad..given my struggles with my new camera lens.
Yep, those wings are black
Common Tern and Little Tern
Common Terns copulating
...and sometimes we walked the town. Arles has a Roman arena that is still in use...for bullfights, I think. Bullfighting is still very big in southern France. The bull meat from the bulls is served in local restaurants.
And many narrow dark stone streets
There is a lot of history here.
This is a main square
On the way to the park near the market
I loved visiting the open-air market...it was HUGE!!!, blocks and blocks.
A few spices from Africa...actually there were a LOT of products from Morocco and probably other African countries...just across the Mediterranean Sea, you know...not so very far away.
Many narrow streets to walk
We ate at a cafe where Van Gogh used to eat, and visited the pool room upstairs where he was known to hang out. Some of the group took the walk around Arles that showed you places where Van Gogh painted.
Loved reading about your trip!! I love the flamingo and bee eater pictures!
June 28, 2018
Carol Blackard says...
I am so gratified to find that my friends find this blog on the European trip to be satisfying or interesting. Thank you for following and for making these kind comments.
June 23, 2018
Carol I just love your commentary and you continue to be such a fine photographer. The birds are beautiful and I just love European towns with all the richness of history. Thank you for sharing your experiences.
Lovely pictures Carol. Thanks for sharing. Would love to go to Provence.
Michael Bowen says...
Loved all the photos, Carol, but especially the Spotted Redshank. I’ve never seen that species in breeding plumage. Just exceptional!