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Phoenicurus ochruros                      Black Redstart

One of my favourite summer residents.  This year 2021 the male (pictured) reappeared in the garden on 26 March and immediately took up his sentinel position on the gable of the barn roof.  The female will doubtless follow shortly.  The faithful pair used to nest in a niche under the front stairs but this became too dangerous (easy access for cats) so they moved to somewhere on the north side of the barn.  Hops low around the garden collecting insects and seeds.  The male has an attractive chittering call.


1.  Fledgling redstart on the railing of the front steps

Huppe                                                                Eurasian hoopoe

Upopa epops

A migratory bird, it appears in Haute Provence in late spring/early summer.  Distinguished by its beautiful feathers and its hoop-poop-poop call heard far away in the woodlands.  It nests in dead wood and can sometimes be observed strutting along the ground in search of insects.  Seen once in my garden (1996) on the top lawn and often heard nearby.


A pair of goldfinches has adopted the shrubbery between the Cool and the Hot Gardens.  They return faithfully every spring (March) and delight us with their song.

Tourtourelle    Streptopelia decaocto    Eurasian collared dove

Ici sur leur perche favorite, le toit de la grange.

A pair of collared doves (or ringed doves) was attracted to this garden one year when I was reseeding the lawn.  They have since made their home in the blue fir tree and like to perch on the western gable of the barn to observe their nest and the landscape in general.  Their characteristic cooing accompanies us all through the spring and summer.  (Yes, the sky is nearly always like this, winter or summer!)

Hirondelles                                                           Swallows

 De moins en moins chaque année !  Ici les jeunes perchent sur la pergola en attendant d'être nourris.

The swallows breed in the barn of a dairy farm opposite my garden and bring their young into my garden to practice flying and get extra food.  Here the fledgelings perch on the pergola over the terrace.   Sadly, each year their numbers diminish. I like to imagine that their other home is in East Africa, where I grew up!

1. Parent feeding young on the arch over the roses      2.. Fledgelings on the front balcony

Un nid de qui ?                    Bird's nest spoof

Quel oiseau rare a construit ce nid ?  L'oeuf ne s'accorde pas avec le nid et l'endroit est ridicule !

Qu:  What's wrong with this nest?

Ans: 1.It's built by a sparrow but a sparrow would not place it at that angle

         2. A sparrow would not build in an open place in a lilac bush

         3. The broken egg does not belong to a sparrow - it's a pigeon's egg.

This nest actually fell out of a cypress tree last year (2020).  The construction is quite beautiful: perfectly round, the outside is woven of grass stalks and moss (good reason for not removing all the moss from your garden), strengthened by dog's hair and the inside is softly lined with down under-fur from my cat!  The whole thing is weightless.  The arrangement of the outer twigs means that the nest holds fast on almost any branch.

Un assortiment de nids                                                 Various bird's nests

1. Sparrow, using grass and chicken feathers

Étourneau                                               Starling

Une belle chenille sous le bec.  Mais qu'en faire ?

A pair of starlings have stolen the Ringed Dove's perch and now seem unsure what to do.

Mésange charbonnière                                                                Great Tit

fam: Paridae

Plutôt rare dans ce jardin.  Vu en septembre 2021.

A passerine bird not often seen in this garden.  Here it blends with the autumn roses, September 2021

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