Christmas Eve in France

Paid a visit to one of my favourite places on the morning of Christmas Eve, the cliffs of Tracy-sur-Mer, overlooking what remains of Mulberry Harbour. I used to go there looking for fossils when I was a teenager, now I go looking for birds as Peregrine Falcons have been nesting there for a few years. We saw one fly by but couldn’t find one perched on the cliffs.

We found quite a few Fulmars, some of them zooming past below, over the sea.

We also had great views of a pair of Ravens displaying, my second sighting of this species there 🙂

I was surprised at the number of Meadow Pipits, I had never seen so many there. On the other hand we failed to find Linnets and only heard one Skylark (they were a lot more common in previous years). Other birds seen were Kestrels, Stonechats, Chaffinches, Gulls, Great Crested Grebes, Cormorants and, non bird, a Seal in the sea below.

In the afternoon, we went to check for Peregrine Falcons on the Cathédrale de Bayeux. We’d found one in August and were hoping to repeat the experience. We didn’t have to look for long, within seconds of walking towards the Cathedral, I’d spotted one and a few minutes later (once we’d changed our angle) the second one perched by it.

We walked towards the front for better views and were not disappointed, for one of them at least, as the other one was a bit obscured. Can you spot it in the shot below?


We shared the birds with some passers by, showing them the birds through the scope. One couple thought these were falconry birds left there to scare the pigeons… As night was getting close, one of them treated us to some fantastic fly bys, going after some pigeons almost to the ground at some point. Absolutely amazing! A definite Christmas treat!

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