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Flat Earth Society

Today was bird sanctuary day in the Camargue.
Why? Because my knees wanted something FLAT.

I was lucky to go with a friend who has an amazing eye for nature. She kept pointing out extraordinary things to see, which I would never have witnessed without her. She also has enormous patience and a contagious love for wildlife.

I am absolutely hopeless at recognising birds, apart from the obvious ones, I mean: the talking variety on pirates' shoulders, phoenixes in Harry Potter films, chicken macnuggets. So, all you nature photographers have my renewed and increased respect.

The bird sanctuary is also a wildlife reserve. Some early lizards ran terrified in front of the hordes of tourists and quite a few of a species called "ragondin“ in French. My dictionary says it’s a ”coypu" in English, which leaves me none the wiser except for tricky Scrabble situations. If Linnaeus had asked me for my opinion, I would have said: rat crossed with guinea pig and bad teeth. It also fails the macnugget test. Apparently, the main difference compared to otters is that the tail is flattened vertically, not horizontally. I have opted to respect this animal’s privacy.

The bird sanctuary thoughtfully provides hides and very informative panels, in addition to vast numbers of animals you really can’t miss.

They are beautiful wetlands (as I’m also repulsive to mosquitoes, they aren’t a problem, but come equipped if you’re not). If you’re planning a holiday in Provence / Camargue, the bird sanctuary is a short drive East of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. If you read French, click here [parcornithologique.com].

If you're interested, I took photographs in December in the same location [photoblog.com].

Not chicken macnuggets

This one was caged

Kerfuffle

The juxtaposition is more obvious when enlarged

Heckles?

Sociobiology at work

Ragondin / Coypu / whatever the hell that is.

Dedicated to all the parents out there

And why we rush off to work

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    There are 12 comments, add yours!

    • # Redro

      Amazing place.
      Flamingos - fascinating birds...I've seen a documentary and the way they move paddling through the water and change direction suddenly all at once like a compact cloud or a school of fish - is intriguing.
      The ruffled flamingo in #5 looks like a magnolia or a chrysanthemum in bloom.

      2010.04.23 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Marisolsol

      Thank very much....tambien mi ingles es insuficiente...pero tus fotos muy lindas....una imagen vale mil palabras....ok

      2010.04.21 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Thebronzebow

      Beautiful place, The color on those flamingos is amazing. I was going to give you huge props on #2 without your little note. :)

      2010.04.21 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Helen

      LOL, you really had me chuckling with your text! Great set of photos too :-)

      2010.04.19 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Lynda

      Just love these Stefan. I'm a real bird and animal lover and it's not often you post something like this. I remember you've shot (not literally) flamingoes before but a treat to see the eagle, herons and black headed gull and even the coypu.

      2010.04.19 Edited Reply Cancel

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