Welcome to Birdquest

THE FRENCH ALPS

Saturday 10th May - Wednesday 14th May 2008

Pete Morris

Our first short tour to focus solely on the French Alps and the immediate vicinity of Marseille was a wonderful success. Fine food and wine, glorious weather, fantastic scenery and excellent birds and flowers, all combined to make the trip a really enjoyable mini-break. It was a real delight to see the variety of wildflowers along the roadsides, and to admire the huge snow-covered peaks of the Alps. You really do not have to travel far from the UK to get amongst some of the finest vistas on the planet! In just five days, we explored from the lakes, marshes and plains at sea-level to high alpine crags at well over 2,300m, though this year, late snowfall meant that deep snow was still lying at the higher altitudes. We recorded a very impressive 148 species during our visit, including most of the specialities that we had hoped to find. Top of the list was Rock Partridge which, although elusive at first, showed very well to all on a couple of occasions. Other favourites in the Alps included a fabulous pair of Wallcreepers, Rock Ptarmigans wandering about in the snow, stunning Black Grouse, Alpine Accentors, Citril Finches, Golden Eagles, Firecrests, Crested Tits, Bonelli’s Warblers and many more. Elsewhere, our morning visit to La Crau was a real highlight with stunning views of Little Bustards, Pin-tailed Sandgrouse, European Rollers, Calandra Larks, Lesser Kestrels, Red-footed Falcons, Great Spotted Cuckoos and much, much more!