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Photographer's Note

I went birdwatching for a day around the western Camargue. It was a cold rainy day and we were basically confined to birdwatching from inside the car. Nevertheless, I got to see my target species, the Greater Flamingo in this scenic part of France.

The Camargue is located south of Arles, France, between the Mediterranean Sea and the two arms of the River Rhône delta. With an area of over 930 km² (360 sq. miles), the Camargue is western Europe's largest river delta. It is a vast plain comprising large brine lagoons or étangs, cut off from the sea by sandbars and encircled by reed-covered marshes. These are in turn surrounded by a large cultivated area. The Camargue is home to more than 400 species of birds; its brine ponds provide one of the few European habitats for the greater flamingo.

The Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) is the most widespread species of the flamingo family. It is found in parts of Africa, southern Asia (coastal regions of Pakistan and India) and southern Europe (including Spain, Sardinia, Albania, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, and the Camargue region of France).

This is the largest species of flamingo, averaging 110–150 cm (43–60 in) tall and weighing 2–4 kg (4.4-8.8 lbs). The largest male flamingoes have been recorded at up to 187 cm (74 in) tall and 4.5 kg (10 lbs). Like all flamingos, this species lays a single chalky-white egg on a mud mound. Most of the plumage is pinkish-white, but the wing coverts are red and the primary and secondary flight feathers are black. The bill is pink with a restricted black tip, and the legs are entirely pink. The call is a goose-like honking.

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Additional Photos by Chris Chafer (sandpiper) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 767 W: 87 N: 1198] (6788)
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