Black Kites ( Milan noir) – three flew over the garden on 18 th and further sightings of individuals over the garden came on 19 th and 20 th .
Swallows (Hirondelle rustique) – Three flew over my car in Pénéstin on 18 th . Two were over our garden on 20 th and another on 21 st .
Sedge Warblers (Phragmite des joncs) – several individuals singing and parachute displaying over the reed beds in Pénéstin on 18 th .
Chiffchaff (Pouillot véloce) – singing on 18 th in Pénéstin and again along our lane on 21 st .
Cattle Egrets (Héron Gardeboeuf) – a group of 7 continue to patrol the fields surrounding our garden and on the 12 th two individuals actually came into the garden and hung around the agility course. This was repeated on 13 th .
A Grey Heron (Héron gris) visited the pond on the 11 th .
Black woodpecker (Pic noir) – continue to be heard in the woods close to our garden (first and second week). The calls vary from a “buzzard impersonation” through to a rendition of what I call their “Nights in Africa ” call (like cicadas calling).
Crested tits (Mésange huppée) – are still around in good numbers in the same woods. These lovely little birds leave us briefly to breed in the area; our local wood must be lacking something obviously! We hear and see them in the area during the summer, so they obviously find better nesting sites close by.
Little Owls (Chouette chevêche) - are very vocal both by day and in the evenings. One has his favourite perch on a chimney on the roof of a house in our hamlet.
Woodlark (Allouette lulu) – began singing again very close to home on 12 th
Cirl Bunting (Bruant zizi) – several singing males around the garden. One was singing in the same tree as they have nested in for the past two years.
Stonechat (Tarier pâtre) – singing male near home on 21 st .
Song Thrush (Grive mélodieuse) – at least 2 pairs are regularly seen feeding in our garden and I have been hearing this species' beautiful song for about 3 weeks now.
Mistle Thrush (Grive draine) – a pair are now regular visitors to our garden.
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pic épeiche) – a pair busy in the woods (13 th ), one drumming whilst the other kept watch in a nearby dead tree.
Short-toed Treecreeper (Grimpereau des jardins) – one seen busy feeding on a dead tree on 21 st .
Buzzard (Buse variable) – several pairs have been seen circling together over the fields and woods nearby.
Magpie (Pie bavarde) – a pair began building a nest in one of our oaks (chêne) in mid February. That nest was later abandoned, but then another was started almost immediately just a few feet away in the same tree. This nest is now almost complete – sporting the customary “roof”. Whether built by the same pair or not, I cannot say.