Halfway up an Alp
No chores or looking after people today so I finally spread my wings and had a half day around Annecy, with the continuing thaw after days of heavy rain the lake was higher than I’ve ever seen it -Mute Swans and Black-headed Gulls grazing on the flooded green in the town which normally has people jogging and cycling through it! I thought I’d try my luck and have a look around the Chateau as the wintering Wallcreeper had been reported on and off during the winter, usually ‘off’ whenever I go AWOL from shopping visits to try and find it . But today I was in luck, no sign on it’s preferred tower when I arrived so I walked up the hill and did a full tour around the outside of the buildings before returning for a second look at the tower. I was just about to give up when it flew into view, the tower as you see in the photo has a pretty good resemblance to a natural mountain cliff face so its choice of this site is understandable. At the nearby port of Sevrier I set up the ‘scope beside the lake shore, the Great Crested Grebes were already displaying, it was a balmy 9C and one (fool)hardy gent stripped off to his boxers and waded in for a (brief, or should I say briefs?) swim😮. This unfortunately discouraged my target birds ( two wintering Black-throated Divers) from coming closer but it was nice to see them on the glassy surface, an adult and a 2nd year (I think). Divers are less than annual on the lake ( unlike on Lake Geneva/Lac Leman) so it’s quite an event this winter as there is a Red-throated being seen as well. My first Chiffchaff and primroses of the year were a nice foretaste of spring, which at home is still quite a long way off.