We went looking for spring in Provence - and found it briefly. Just a bit early, just a bit windy, and certainly too wet - the locals complained in January that there had been no rain for six months and it has made up for it since then, so it was very lush.
But we had some good sunny warm days, and bizarrely saw alpine swifts before martins or swallows, and heard nightingales before chiffchaffs or blackcaps. There was much history to see
Truchere nature reserve, a marvellous collection of woods, etangs and heaths which shows what a healthy ecosystem looks like - middle-spotted woodpecker and wood warblers gave me my best views ever, and the chateau that we stayed in had nightingales and a cuckoo at the bottom of the garden.
Back to Provence, the number and variety of birds in the countryside were disappointing, and again we were too early for rollers or bee-eaters. We staying the Alpilles hills (pronounced "Alpeeees" according to our strict guide and interpreter) and there is an impressive project to encourage rollers by the LIFE group.
The limestone flora was beautifully full, prior to burning off in the summer sun.
I just love limestone, leaping from rock to rock, my best girl by my side....
marvellous Capilliere reserve where you can see wild nature up close, including white storks, glossy ibis, wood sandpiper, tree pipits, nightingales (and more flamingoes) - all for 3 euros.