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December 2007 

4 December


After the awful stormy weather of the last few days the calm returned. Weather is covered but very mild 12°C.


There are crowds on the balcony. Always both great tits and the two blues and, sometimes, even three blue. Some brawls now and then but everyone eventually gets its share.


The two great tits. The one at right, the female, has a discontinuous ventral line on it is easy to identify with her dotted line; the other at the left has a large black continuous line (male).



The blues are much more difficult to differentiate.

The long yellow feathers of the chest of this one go back over the wing and over the legs, making it one yellow trim on the wing that stands out over the blue as epaulettes visible from afar.

The blues like to come late in the afternoon, no one to dispute the feeders. On the left picture it is 17h15 and it is already very dark. She stayed several minutes to pose and look to the right and to the left, quietly.



6 December

Bleue et nichoirIt rains, it rains and it rains again, all day long. Despite the rain our visitors are there a large part of the day.

Weather is very mild: 13°C..

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Acrobatics in the rain.


°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°°               °                                          °°°


Settled on the bignonia (yes, again; sorry, but I never get tired of it!).


10 December


Strong winds, heavy rain, cold (8 °C). The gale of this weekend is still there. Large gusts of wind NNW rough up feathers and make our visitors fly backwards.


A quick tour to the sunflower seeds feeder.


12 December

Cold but sunny, the wind subsided, everyone benefits, birds and ourselves.


One of the blue tits seems to have awakened badly tempered today. There are sometimes clashes between tits but more of the kind "beat it, you have eaten enough; my turn". But here, she charges any tit that happens to pass on the balcony, at feeder or not. Once rid of the great tit, on whose back she dived, she stays perched on the trees waiting, watching and singing even a few trills. It is behaviour similar to that of the beginning of the year, during the first visit of the previous season on January 5, but no hasty conclusions; it is still too early, perhaps she is just happy of a sunny day

A l'entréeA l'entrée

It is noon; the sun illuminates the interior of the box. Both blues are there as usual and ... a visit to the entry. She will be hang several seconds at the door, looking to the right and left. Then she leaves and returns immediately. She looks back on all sides.

A l'entréeA l'entréeShe looks again, put the head trough the entry, out again, and again inside to the shoulder. Hesitations.

To enter or not to enter?

Okay, go, I go

Voila, I am. Let's see these lodgings. A quick tour to see. 

dans le nichoir 976977979

Dans le nichoir 981982983

Dans le nichoir 985

The visit is short, less than a minute, busy looking around.

Here she looks at the entrance of the nest box.

Since the first visits to the entry in November, we have kept the cameras connected.
The photos are in IR. The brightness is important; the sun goes directly into the box at this time, so there is faint colour. There are two sources of light and we can see a double shadow of the tit.

Dans le nichoirDans le nichoirDans le nichoir

Dans le nichoirDans le nichoirDans le nichoir

Dans le nichoir

No more problems of intriguing protruding cables; all seems well.

A second at the entrance, head in the outside and she leaves.


Finally, a short visit to examine the foundations?

(More likely to seek a possible insect sheltered under the nest box.)

The picture quality is not very good, but watching the birds I forgot to watch the camera settings.


14 December

Gray and cold, 0-1 °C.

The tits spent much of the day on the balcony.

It is 17h and it is almost completely dark. The lasts flights of late starlings en route to the night roost pass speedily. In the balcony it is dinner time for the blue. As usual, one of them is still there shelling peanuts. The light in the room lighten a little bit, but we see very little. Strange impression that of this little bird in the night. One last bite, it is 17h15, it goes away.


18 December

Gelid, it freezes in the past three days. Yesterday, all grey all the day. Today the sky is blue.

Dans le nichoir

A new visit to the nest boxes. A 13h today. This is the time of day when the sun is on the balcony and gave in the box.

It remains fifty seconds as 12.
Yesterday I had already seen look at the entrance.


There are no more protruding cables, but look: this small screw...?  Well! Yes, it still intrigues!

Sorry, not yet translated. Translation in progress.


19 December


Brrrr! -4 °C this morning.
The ice piles up at the trough. It must be broken several times a day. When a sparrow discovers that it can drink, all his buddies arrive and the whole troupe follows, one after the other.

They seek shelter from the wind in a pot corner and double in size. Each coin hosts its sparrow.


For the blue, a little acrobatic ride for birch seeds.

Dans le bouleauDans le bouleau


21-22 December

Cold -4 ° ice.

The lake is frozen except for a small corner of open water. The mallard ducks are numerous, there is a hundred odd coming all together for distribution.

Le lacLe lac

History about legs. With the ice, the opportunity to see legs.

This strange paw belongs to a eurasian coot [Fulica atra] who hesitates between webbed or not webbed.

Pattes foulqueFoulque macroule

And here are the long fingers of the common moorhen [Gallinula chloropus] that allow it to walk over the floating vegetation using it as a raft.

Pattes gallinuleGallinule poule d'eau

These beautiful knees belong to a swan.


Pattes Sarcelle à collier noir.Sarcelle à collier noir.

And these flat feet, those of the Ringed Teal [Callonetta leucophrys] (this is the male; the female is less colourful).
With us, an ornamental duck, but this pretty little duck with soft colours is originally from South America, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, where he lives in the flooded forests and wetlands.

SarcelleSarcelle à collier

Elegance in black and white of the Barnacle Goose [Branta leucopsis] and its pretty stride.



Bernache canadaCanada

His cousin, the Canada goose [Branta canadensis]. White breast, black neck and white "chinstrap" against black breast and neck and white head for the Barnacle goose

Pattes oie


And the leg of the greylag goose [Anser anser], which is still there.


A Eurasian coot found a good bit. It has not escaped the eye of black-headed Gull who gang up and harass the coot. But she replies with a vigorous defence and also knows how to run on the ice as it does on the water.



[Phptos Lac des Minimes]

24 December

It is a little less cold but there is still ice on the balcony.

This morning a jay landed on birch. That is almost two years that we haven't seen a jay in our corner unlike previous years. Superb perched in the sun, but too late for the photo. I hope to see him again.


26 December

No more freezes (6 °), a small drizzle of melted snow falls and the last chunks of ice in the trough of birds have disappeared. Tits and sparrows are always present on the balcony and the small blue faithful to his arrival in the evening for his sunflower-seeds of 17h. The days will lengthen; it is going to have to change its schedules!


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