Sunday, July 19, 2009

Birding During Le Tour Part Deux

Yes it's true! Phil Liggett is a birder. Cycling and birding. That sounds like somebody I know!

I was viewing Friday's Stage 13 of the Tour de France on Saturday and as three breakaway riders approached the Col du Platzerwasel (Cat. 1) Phil and Paul discussed a European migratory bird.

The stage was passing through the Alsace Region of France and their topics of conversation went from the smelly Muenster Cheese to the European Stork. Paul Sherwen commented that Phil would be happy to hear that this region was home to the European Stork. Phil then added a few facts on the rising number of breeding pairs (from 5 to 148) through the aid of conservation efforts. Phil is always pointing out wildlife during the stages of Le Tour, especially birds. A few days ago he mentioned that a marsh seen from the helicopter camera was probably good for birdwatching. I knew it! "Phil's a twitcher." I commented to Jean.

It was an exciting stage, Heinrich Haussler of Team Cervelo taking the stage win after a great day of riding in the rain.

Shortly after discussing the stork and two commercial breaks, the helicopter camera picked out 3 European White Storks on a rooftop. Will we see any more birds? With a birder at the helm, most likely so. I wonder if Bobke is birder?

1 comment:

  1. I've also seen him identify raptors when the helicopters want to get an arty shot of a soaring bird. Usually, they're Black Kites.