Holiday for 2 Lot Garonne South West France

Bird Watchers Lets Talk Birds In South West France

The Grue on migration over the Lot et Garonne

In particular the Common Crane known as the Grue that has been flying over your ‘holiday home from home’ here at Gone Fishin’ in the sunny Lot et Garonne..

You don’t need Bird Watching Binoculars to find them because you hear them!

This Beautiful and picturesque area known as the Lot et Garonne Nouvelle Aquitaine  is a flight path for the grue also known as the common crane .A moment in time enjoyed by bird watchers.

They are seen and enjoyed by birdwatchers that watch with fascination their migration overhead ,recently there has been thousands of these majestic birds actually flying over our home here at Gone Fishin’ in the sunny Lot et Garonne.

Le Grue passing over Gone Fishin
La Grue passing over Gone Fishin

La Grue ( common crane) are flying on their annual migration from Scandinavia and Germany to Africa to avoid colder months.

They remind me of Canada geese migrating to the states with their trumpets sounds whilst flying.

 

 

There are many flocks, dozens at the time , flying overhead this the past week or so but today here at Gone Fishin in the Lot et Garonne it seemed like a red letter day as we saw so many mostly in the long V formation, but sometimes when they encounter a thermal it seems they all take a break to swirl around in the air current like a giant bird circus, then floating in a spiral before coming out of the thermal and it continuing on their way .

There are many reports in the newspaper of this spectacular sight and sound.

You hear them before they emerge through the clouds, it seems so natural to look up and wish them a safe journey.

Drivers stop at will regardless so they can be at the side of the road looking up to the sky to watch them and of course many enthusiast Bird Watchers have actually been following their flight path .

When you look at the migration maps it appears they take a diagonal to a central route from the north-eastern France, through the Central regions to the south-west and in a similar trajectory  through Spain.

map showing nesting and migration route
Showing the nesting and migratory routes

Apparently they do most of their flying at night, it takes less energy. An interesting bird much to be admired.

Sometimes when passing over the centre of France they are seen resting up for the day and eating and drinking.

 

 

Crane Grus grus – Grue Cendrée

What is the wing span of the Grue (Common Crane) ?

The Common Crane is one of the largest birds in Europe with a wingspan of 2 meters and a weight of 4 – 6 kg.

Overall plumage is a nearly uniform grey with long legs and neck. Adults are distinguished by the black and white contrast to the neck and head, marked with a bright red spot and young Cranes have a brownish plumage that they keep for a year that gradually changes to adult plumage.

On the ground they appear to have a fluffy puffed up tail that is actually formed by the last wing feathers that are very elongated. 

Cranes are very sociable and gregarious during their migration and wintering when they can form very large groups, especially on the ground which can be many tens of thousands. They are however extremely territorial when nesting.  

Crane known as the Grue
Majestic Crane known as the Grue

Breeding grounds are situated principally in Russia, Finland, Sweden, Norway and the Baltic countries where large solitary nests using dry grass are constructed on the ground situated in large areas of marsh or swamp forests that can occupy up to several hundred hectares. 

Usually a couple will produce one or two eggs in May that take about 4 weeks to hatch.

Shortly after hatching, the chicks are able to follow their parents and sneak into the swamp in search of insects, molluscs and small vertebrates which then make up the bulk of their food.

Thereafter, they consume more plants: tender herbs, aquatic plants and berries.

The young start to take to the air at around two months between mid July and August when they have to prepare for their first migration when they will stay with their parents until their return in the spring. Sexual maturity isn’t actually achieved for between 3 and 5 years when, assuming they find a partner, they pair for life. Bless!

In August and September thousands of cranes gather on the Swedish island of Oland from here they can cross the Baltic sea to the Island of Rügen where around 30000 birds gather in October with about another 15,000 on the German mainland with the birds moving through in groups, arrivals and departures staying perhaps two or three days, possibly longer.

As with all things natural nothing is precise and much is determined by weather and temperature. It is access to food on the ground that is most important both during their migration and where they over winter. What we can say is that the main migration is October to December with small movements from September and possibly continuing sporadically until early Spring and that therefore the “migration” is both gradual and partial, spread out over several months with them wintering at various locations stretching from north-eastern France (Lorraine and especially Champagne) to Morocco with various locations in between, however the majority will end up in Spain with most of them in the large wintering areas of Extremadura Spain.

Migration map of the Grue Common Crane
Migration of the Grue

hey have been a protected species in France since 1967 further details about the Grue here and much more about protected species here in France

Speed of flight: 40 to 80 km / h on average. If the winds are strong and powerful, the crane moves at over 100 km / h. The crane can therefore cross France in one day.

Flight altitude: from 200 to 1,500m.

Population transiting through France: approximately 360,000 individuals 

Population wintering in France: approximately 100,000 / 120,000 individuals

Cranes transiting through France nest mainly in Sweden, Finland, northern Germany and Poland.

Why read about them in Bird Watching Magazinwhen you can see the real thing here at Gone Fishin the beautiful Lot et Garonne. For those that love fishing as a hobby we are here at Gonefishin-holiday4two and a reminder this is not a fishing holiday its just a bonus and its free. You can also find out more here at 2france4two.com and oodles more with videos here at france4two.uk Enjoy a good read you will need a cup of tea and a scrumptious piece of cake.

France 2019. How Much For A Taxi – Stamps – Whats New In French Currency

French Taxis Cost 2019

France 2019. How Much For A Taxi – Stamps – Whats New In French Currency.

Taxis: New Fares for 2019

Taxis In France 2019 prices
Taxis In France 2019 prices

What you need to know when booking a taxi in France.

 What is the minimum price you will be charged? 

What is the price to go to an airport?

 Taxi fares for 2019 are set by official decree in December 2018.

In 2019, the minimum fare for a journey is set at € 7.10 for all taxis (Parisians and non-Parisians).

In addition, taxi fares are capped at:

  • € 4.10 
  • 1,10 € for the kilometer traveled
  • 36,73 € for the hourly price concerning the waiting period when reserved by the customer).

For Parisian taxis, booking supplements are, as in 2018, to:

  • 4 € in case of immediate reservation;
  • 7 € if booking in advance. 

    Moreover, for all races of Parisian taxis, only extra ” passenger ” of 4 € may be applied from a 5 th person carried.

    There is a flat rates set for the Paris taxis between Paris and the Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle and Orly airports (in both directions) remain unchanged compared to those in 2018: 

    • € 50 between Paris – Charles-de-Gaulle airport and Paris rive droite;
    • 55 € between Paris – Charles-de-Gaulle airport and Paris rive gauche;
    • 35 € between Paris-Orly airport and Paris rive droite;
    • 30 € between Paris-Orly airport and Paris left bank.

    There are also flat rates for shopping related to Nice Côte d’Azur Airport:

    • 32 € between Nice airport and Nice-center.
    • € 80 between Nice airport and Cannes;
    • 90 € between Nice airport and Monaco;

    Finally, for travelling for example to Toulouse Blagnac airport, these flat rates vary between € 15 and € 45 (depending on the area of the city). Please check on booking.

    How Much For Stamps In France 2019

    French Stamp New Prices For 2019
    French Stamps New Prices For 2019

     Stamp price: new increase on January 1, 2019

  • Priority letter (red stamp) or green letter (green stamp):

    Rates for stamps for individuals increased by an average of about 10% from 1 st  January 2019.

    This is indicated by a statement of the Regulatory authority for electronic communications and postal services (Arcep) on 2019 universal postal service tariffs.

    For individuals, the price of green stamp (distributed within 48 hours in France) will increase from 0.80 €  to  0.88 € , the red stamp (priority mail delivered within 24 hours in France) will now be priced at 1.05 € (against 0.95 € today).

    The ” Ecopli ,” the most economical way (sending in 4 days on average), will go from 0.78 €  to 0.86 € .

    For parcel post called Colissimo, the public rate Colissimo France metropolitan less 

    than 250 grams will remain at the same price as in 2018 ( 4.95 € ).

    Whats New In French Currency 2019

  • French New Currency For 2019
    French New Currency For 2019

    New Currency Notes of 100 and 200 Euros Arriving May 2019

  • The new € 100 and € 200 notes  are due to enter the euro zone from May 28, 2019, as part of the gradual renewal of the European currency denominations. They were presented by the European Central Bank (ECB) on 17 September 2018.

    These new notes are part of a series called ” Europe ” because two of the security signs used include a portrait of Princess Europe, a character of Greek mythology that gave its name to the continent. Tickets of 5 € , 10 € , 20 € and 50 € are already part of this series.

    The security markings in this series are perfected to allow better protection against counterfeiting. These new notes will be easier to verify the authenticity through feel, scrutinising  and tilting to the light .

  • The new € 100 note retains green as the dominant colour while taking inspiration from the Baroque and Rococo architectural style.

  • The New 100 Euro Note in circulation in May 2019
    The New 100 Euro Note in circulation in May 2019

    The new note 200 € shows secure gates , the yellow colour and the glass and steel architectural style of the XIX th  century.

  • The New 200 Euro Note in circulation May 2019
    The New 200 Euro Note in circulation May 2019

    These two new notes will have the same height as the € 50 note, but they will have the same length as the €100and 

  • €200 notes currently in circulation (the longer the note, the higher their face value).

The Best Cycle Route in South West France

Cycle route close to Gone Fishin Aiguillon

Enjoying the cycle paths down the canal just 15 minutes away from your holiday home here at Gone Fishin’ Aiguillon. If you want to hire bicycles they can be brought to your door .

The Canals cycle route continues along the greenway beside the Canal de Garonne, passing through the very lively port of Buzet-sur-Baïse. You reach Agen itself via one of the longest canal-bridges in France, at 600m. The town is both capital of the département (French county) of Lot-et-Garonne and French capital of prunes… and it conceals many other curiosities, which you can discover in the remarkable monuments in the historic centre.

Agens famous long bridge
One of the longest canal bridges in France more than 600m

Explore Agen with its winding medieval streets and elegant boulevards, discover history going back 2,000 years, via St Caprais Cathedral, Rue des Cornières, the Musée des Beaux Arts (its art collections occupying four Renaissance houses) and Les Jacobins Church… not forgetting the splendid canal-bridge over the Garonne – with four locks and 23 stone arches, it’s the second-longest canal-bridge in France, after that over the Loire at Briare.