A family summer break to southwestern France began with a flight to Poitiers Airport and then an hour or so drive to Barbezieres. We arrived at our destination late afternoon and while relaxing in the garden a Eurasian Hoopoe appeared and began hunting insects on the lawn.
An early morning walk around a nearby small lake with a man made beach produced a Common Kingfisher, several Corn Bunting and a lovely Red-backed Shrike. Throughout the remainder of the day many Hummingbird Hawk Moths were observed feeding on Buddleia flowers around the garden.
An early morning walk around the local fields produced a wonderful male Hen Harrier, a single Eurasian Hoopoe and a female/immature Pied Flycatcher. After breakfast we headed off to La Rochelle and nearing our destination a Little Egret and three White Stork were noted briefly. Along the old fort area of the old town Lesser Black-backed, Herring and Black-headed Gulls were all observed. We then visited the nearby beach area of the coast which is all man made and located a few kilometres south of La Rochelle. Along the shoreline several Ruddy Turnstone were observed.
A lovely hot, sunny day spent mainly around the garden. Species observed of interest included a stunning male Golden Oriole which was feeding in a nearby Oak. Several Barn Swallow were observed drinking water from the swimming pool while on the wing as did a small species of bat.
Another early morning visit to the lake produced five Red-legged Partridge noted feeding in a field.
A full list of species observed as follows:-
Mallard, Red-legged Partridge, Great Crested Grebe, Little Egret, Grey Heron, White Stork, Black Kite, Hen Harrier, Common Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Coot, Ruddy Turnstone, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Little Owl, Eurasian Hoopoe, Common Kingfisher, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Barn Swallow, House Martin, White Wagtail, Wren, Dunnock, European Robin, Black Redstart, Common Blackbird, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, Great Tit, Red-backed Shrike, Common Magpie, Eurasian Jay, Western Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Common Starling, Golden Oriole, House Sparrow, Common Chaffinch, Common Linnet, European Goldfinch, European Greenfinch, Corn Bunting.