March/April 2012

March/April 2012
March/April 2012
March/April 2012

Family commitments mean that progress on the house is fitful. Efforts are made to clear the area around the house, and collect the dead wood below the site, which is a fire risk and adds to our wood pile. There is some replanting of the water treatment beds, and a constant battle against brambles. Travel up to the house is interrupted several times by a flock of sheep grazing the roadside vegetation accompanied by a shepherd.
A spell of warm weather in March brings out the butterflies, with green hairstreak, Cleopatra, Moroccan orange, swallowtail and scarce swallowtail all in evidence near the house. It is a changeable spring, however, and migration is delayed by a couple of weeks. By April there is plenty of action, with beeeaters, short toed eagle, merlin, peregrine, kestrel, woodchat shrike and pied flycatcher and cranes all noted. A visit to Canet lake found us surrounded by raptors (booted eagle short toed eagle, black kite, red kite), and white storks all trying to use the thermals to gain height. Round the lake there were egrets, (little, cattle & great white), black winged stilt, redshank, avocet, flamingoes and pied cuckoo calling noisily among the bushes. In the garrigue the cistus pink and white, burst into flower, as well as gorse, broom, orchids (violet birds nest again at the picnic site) and asphodel.