November/December

November/December
November/December
November/December

Five days of incessant rain in mid November cause chaos throughout the Pyrennees Orientales. There is serious erosion to river beds and footpaths, retaining walls collapse, and everyone complains of leaks and jammed doors etc We get off relatively lightly, although work is done to drain water from the terrace and keep the access roads from eroding too much. The South wall is most exposed and will need repointing in the near future. Linda also learns to tile in the main bathroom. We have joined the local walking group and have two group visits to the house for a welcoming glass of muscadet.

As we dry out, the last of the migrants pass through, with 70 cranes above Port Vendres on the 22nd Nov. Activity settles down, with the winter residents in charge. Once the last of the swallows and martins disappear, the crag martins return around the rocky outcrops. Blue tits, great tits, robin and dunnock reappear close to the house and on the feeders. The kestrels, sparrowhawks and peregrine no longer need to chase off migrant raptors. The eagle owl can regularly be heard at dusk.Black redstart, dartford warbler, sardinian warbler and stonechat have the tree heath to themselves, while blue rockthrush, and crested lark are on the rocky areas, and groups of red legged partridge now much larger, race up and down the access road in front of the car. They had better be more careful – the hunting season is now well under way.