We headed south to Camargue regional park; a vast expanse of wetland between a river and the sea. It’s home to many migratory birds, wild horses and big black bulls, but we were only there for one thing – the Flamingo.
As soon as we approached the park a menacing black cloud filled the horizon. It looked like a tornado was brewing. Soon enough, water-bomb size droplets of rain fell down and we were about to give up on the park. We drove along the shores of the main lagoon and couldn’t believe how high the water was; it was the same height as the road and only separated by a little mound of rocks. The road itself was flooded in areas and with the relentless rain and our bad luck with getting caught out on flood plains, we decided to head back to a safer spot, have lunch and re-evaluate the situation.
Much to our delight, the rain eased and we took Pablo swimming through the roads. We were soon rewarded with a flamingo sighting. Then we saw the rest of them, little dots in the distance, there were hundreds of them.
They were in shallow lagoons, quite far away, but they looked amazing through our binoculars. A pale pink colour, with fluorescent pink legs, and a matching beak. Like the typical neon flamingo sign. The best part was their wings, when they lifted them up to shake the water off the full beauty was unveiled; incredible bright pink feathers were outlined with a jet black trim.
They flew in flocks in bright swathes of colour. Their bodies were just tiny flat sticks when they flew, with huge burlesque style wings flapping in the air. There were lots of other birds flying around but we were only interested in the pink beauty’s. It’s amazing what colour does to an animal; a flamingo is basically a swan dressed in drag with stilts on.
They were hilarious to watch; they looked like posh snobs with their heads held ridiculously high. Then they all marched together in the same direction like they were off to a very important meeting with the queen.
Afterwards we drove south to the salt ponds. A view point looked down on a few of these beautiful ponds which were all various shades of pink and violet. I asked Craig what made them such a pretty colour, to which he replied ‘Flamingo poo’.