Flat Earth Society

by Stefan Fletcher April. 18, 2010 4772 views

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


The juxtaposition is more obvious when enlarged


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 11 comments , add yours!
Rodica O 9 years, 7 months ago

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.

9 years, 7 months ago Edited
Marisolsol 9 years, 7 months ago

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

9 years, 7 months ago Edited
Thebronzebow 9 years, 7 months ago

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

9 years, 7 months ago Edited
Sandra Vermeulen 9 years, 7 months ago

Fun post.
Neat shots.

9 years, 7 months ago Edited
Juan Bautista 9 years, 7 months ago

excelentes fotos en la naturaleza!

9 years, 7 months ago Edited
Helen Hooker 9 years, 7 months ago

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

9 years, 7 months ago Edited
Lynda 9 years, 7 months ago

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.

9 years, 7 months ago Edited
Hanna Westesson 9 years, 7 months ago

Great set, great birds!
I especially like no 6 and 10!

9 years, 7 months ago Edited
Nadoune 9 years, 7 months ago

Really beautiful !!!

9 years, 7 months ago Edited
Brian 9 years, 7 months ago

Those are some long legs.

9 years, 7 months ago Edited
Jarvo J 9 years, 7 months ago

Neat set - the sociobiology one was my favourite.

9 years, 7 months ago Edited
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