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Fabrice Schmitt on his quarantine in France

May 15: Fabrice Schmitt on his quarantine in France

Two months locked down at home during spring migration! The last time I can remember anything as painful was quite a few years ago when I made a much anticipated vist to a restricted wetland filled with waders... and I realized I'd forgotten my binoculars and telescope! At least I now have time to edit most of my pictures and some of my sound recordings (although I still have enough of these for Covid-20, 21, and 22, at least).

Luckily, after five weeks with my nose glued to my apartment window and my eyes scanning the sky for migrants, I am now participating in professional bird inventories in Lozère (South of France). This gives me a legal way to get outside, and enjoy at least the tail end of the spring migration. One of the places I am monitoring is filled with breeding Northern Wheatears and Meadow Pipits, and a male Whinchat was still waiting for his female during my last visit.

Northern Wheatear


Spring is delayed at this high-altitude location and the splendid Pulsatilla rubra are still in bloom, and Viviparous Lizards are just starting to warm during sunny days after their long hibernation.

Pulsatilla rubra

Viviparous Lizard

On the way to the study area I sometimes spot recently-arrived migrants, such as Golden Oriole, Western Bonelli’s Warbler or European Cuckoo.

Golden Oriole

Western Bonelli's Warbler

Stay safe and hopefully the fall migration will be more convivial!

Posted: May 15, 2020