Tuesday, June 15, 2010


This evening , just before it got dark , there were interesting clouds in the sky above Nice.

A thunderstorm has been threatening all evening and the sky was full of thundery clouds. Not the usual thundery clouds, but Mammatus clouds - which are named because they resemble mammary glands or udders.

Of course, once I noticed I had to take a photo but by the time I got my camera, the cloud formation had softened and a few minutes later , it had disappeared altogether.

The mammatus clouds aren't very common but they usually signify heavy weather -unfortunately the storm hasn't started yet so its very clammy and headache-inducing weather.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Pretty Flamingo

A few weeks back, I visited the Var estuary bird sanctuary with my new camera.
The area is called 'la petite camargue' since it is like a very tiny version of the Camargue , an area of river delta and salt marsh , further along the coast.

Its an odd little bird sanctuary, sandwiched between a huge shopping centre and the airport with the river in the middle , but its a very important stopping off point for migrating birds.

While I was there, I was quite privileged to see two Greater or European flamingoes flying in.
I didn't get any photos of the birds of the birds in flight but I was able to watch them land while I fumbled taking my camera out of my bag.

The flamingoes were slightly off course on their migration trip from North Africa back to the Camargue.
One immediately retreated into the reed beds, but the other stayed in the open.

They have such amazingly flexible necks - they manage to twizzle into snaky 's' shapes with ease.

I find it hard to see flamingoes and not think of Alice and Red Queen playing croquet -even though I know they are just quietly filtering plantkon out of the water with their peculiar-looking beaks.

The flamingo flew over to the reedbeds , nearer to its companion. The reeds grow to an amazing height and its really difficult to see anything once it has penetrated beyond the first layer.

The flamingo fluffed up briefly, showing off its bright pink feathers.
I'd love to go to the Camargue at some point and spend some time viewing [and photographing] the giant flocks of flamingoes . That is definitely something on my wish list.