Birds in Provence

6 Replies

This afternoon I caught a brief sight of a vibrant royal blue bird about the size of a great tit near water but I have no idea what type of bird it was. This was the first sighting since my arrival to France in 1999. Does anyone have any idea what breed it is. Thanks, Maggie        

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Vanda56 1439200502

Probably a Roller.  They come up from Africa @ June and return @ September.  I see them most years in my part of the Var (just north of St. Max  de-Ste.Beaume/Brignoles).  Normally to be be seen on telegraph wires.

maggie-647100 1439202468

Thanks Vanda. While I didn't see any other colours the blue is certainly right. It was in a wooded area and close to a canal. I hope I see it again! Maggie

froggyfrankel 1439250739

European Roller is probably right but it is a lot bigger than a great tit, more like the size of a jay. Since it was near water it could also be a kingfisher. Jeremy

maggie-647100 1439467229

Many thanks Jeremy, I really hope to see it again.

Regards, Maggie

Vanda56 1439836282

Aha!  When I told my husband (the bird expert in our marriage) about my reply he immediately told me to look out for an avalanche of replies pointing out that rollers are much larger than great tits and that it was more likely to have been a kingfisher which is obviously more great tit size!  I hope that froggyfrankel would concur that, unless very fortunate, one only ever gets a brief flash of kingfisher, as per Maggie's sighting, whereas rollers will hang around on telegraph wires long enough to enjoy a reasonable view.

So thank you froggyfrankel for your probable correction. I'm sure that I know your real identity.  It's been too long since we've been on a walk together!


maggie-647100 1439849410

Thanks Vanda. I still haven't seen it again but continue to look. Maggie

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