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Ventoux Trip - Day 8 - France


N 43.62806°, E 04.42801°


Last night's camp was a good one, the cicadas and frogs did a good job of providing background entertainment and the sky was dark and massive: the Milky Way was clearly visible.

This morning we walked for an hour or so in the baking heat being mesmerised by the natural history. Seeing flamingos flying about is a surreal experience. We also saw  yellow-legged gull, sandwich tern and loads of smaller warblers and a couple of raptors that I couldn't identity.

After lunch we visited the western part of the reserve which is far more heavily populated and altogether more sanitised. We didn't hang around long but did see plenty of Camargue horses and far more bulls than on the eastern side, mainly due to obvious animal husbandry.

Towards tea time we left the bounds of the reserve proper but for a few kilometres continued to see some brilliant bird life. Indeed as the salt marsh began to give way to open arable land we saw a total of three purple herons, a couple of dozen rollers and an absolutely fantastic sighting of a squacco heron that the noise of the truck flushed from a reed-lined drainage dyke at the side of a barely trafficked road.

A bit of petered out road (we seem to be finding plenty) led to today's overnighting spot (coordinates / pic) where we sat out in some hard-won shade for a couple of hours just to try to come down (and cool down) a bit. Even lazing about here brought sightings of bee eater, glossy ibis, yellow-legged gull, roller, kingfisher and yet another unidentified smaller heron species (bittern sized) nonchalantly flying overhead.

In summary, the Camargue is every bit as good as its reputation and is well worth a visit if natural history is your thing.

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