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Our travels took us to the Camargue region, south of Arles, a beautiful low-lying area that is part of the Rhône river delta.
The region is not only known for its beauty, but also also a number of other gems that we will try to cover in future blog posts. This one is mostly focused on the Camargue wildlife. We ventured in the Parc Ornithologique du Pont de Gau where we took most of the pictures below.
Interestingly, the bird population constantly changes. Migration takes place throughout the year, and constantly changes the population, though some stay there permanently.
All the bird pictures were taken in the park. Started in 1949 by André Lamouroux, it has been a family business and is now run by his son and a team of passionate nature lovers. It is an enchanting experience not to be missed. We hope you enjoy this little immersion as much as we enjoyed our visit, and you should definitely make plans for your own visit. Wearing your favorite Provence Market tee, of course.
This Grey Heron seemed to be looking at me, evaluating whether to leave or perhaps get some food. No food for you, heron, sorry. That’s a no-no here.
On to the flamingoes...
There are many of them. Water or air bound, with their interminable necks that gave me a lasting torticolis just looking at them… The eyes are yellow, and they spend a fair amount of time with their head under water. Quite a show. But watching them fly is just mesmerizing. After takeoff, they quickly take positions in the typical V formation with their legs stretched straight back so as to minimize the drag. We saw a few groups circling around, as if to do a reconnaissance flight. Were they getting ready for their next voyage?
This young Western Cattle Egret is the most huggable of all birds. You would like to touch and kiss these fur-like feathers on the head.
Next up is a Little Egret.
Standing tall, this Little Egret is not that little.
Of course, there are the bulls.
We were told that they have poor vision and if one of these single bulls will rapidly move away when approached, a group of them may easily charge. We were driving through the marshes when we saw a herd and stopped to take pictures. These bulls were clearly as interested in me as I was in taking their picture. Every time I got back into the car to take a picture a little further down the road, from a different angle, they would just move closer, still a safe distance, and stopped, neatly lined up for a picture. Nothing scary. Until the mosquitoes found me that is. Forget the nice pictures, I had just jumped over a ditch to get closer to the fence but landed in Mosquito-City. I immediately jumped back over the ditch, slapping my face and neck like a mad man, and lunged back into the car. But I did like the bulls! And do check our Camargue bull tee…
And then, there are the “cheveaux de Camargue”. Mostly white, a lot of them roam freely. And they are just beautiful.