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Perhaps you wonder why this blog nearly only displays pictures with cloudless skies and hardly ever a pearly background which could suit some landscapes. Is the sky always blue in Provence? Of course not and it does rain sometimes, but we like to take outdoor pictures in optimal conditions, so we usually wait for fine weather when we can afford. But you’ll have a series of photos taken in the rain some time. Sunny weather was necessary for to-day’s outing. Good photos of wild birds demand a strong light and a sky with some contrast. The sun must shine and heat the ground to provide the upward airstreams the vultures need for their gliding flight.
From St.May small village, a narrow road leads up to the former Bodon abbey. Certainly life used to be very peaceful here for that tiny religious community in such a remote place, except of course when a band of looters was reported, prowling about in the neighbourhood.
We park a little further and after a fifteen minutes’ walk, we reach Rocher du Caire top. Here is our first vulture.
Facing east, this rock catches the first morning sun rays efficiently. This enables the thermal currents to occur and the vultures to feel warm and get their lift early.
Looking toward the opposite direction, you enjoy a very fine view of the Drôme département mountains.
Rocher du Caire is a spur overlooking the rivers Eygues and Oule valleys.
Let’s say just now that we have been a bit disappointed about the photos: The great raptors wouldn’t settle close enough for us to photograph them on the ground, so we could only take them in flight from rather a long way and it was challenging. But here are a few snapshots, and thanks to the birds for the show and to the photo software for enhancing.
Vanished from the Alps, the vultures were successfully reintroduced here in Rémuzat and Saint-May in 1996 and they are now thriving.
Here is our best picture. Three species dwell here. Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus), the largest, can span 2.7 metres. We’ll come again some day and perhaps be luckier, hoping to see a carrion-eater group resting on a rock within our telephoto lens range. It was a very fine and commendable nature outing anyway. Huberaime