Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Birding during Le Tour

On Saturday the 96th Tour de France commenced and I'll be viewing 3-4 hours of cycling each day for the next 3 weeks. During Monday's coverage, Stage 3:Marseille to La Grande Motte, Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen brought up the subject of flamingos. The peleton would be passing through an area with brackish lakes, suitable habitat for the Greater Flamingo.

With under 40 kilometres to go, the first flamingo sighted, wearing a straw hat and sunglasses, was of the plastic variety. A fan had placed it along the roadside for a nice camera shot as the peleton passed.

With 25 kilometres to go, the set time for taping ran out. Mon dieu!! Luckily the replay was on at the same time but it was back to 40 kilometres remaining.

The tempo picked up and the team Columbia-HTC breakaway occurred. With all the excitement there was no time to show any captured footage of the Greater Flamingo. What a finish by the man from the Isle of Man!!

During future stages I'll watch for any sightings by Phil and Paul. Sitting in the commentary booth for many hours they'll need to discuss many interesting sites. Let's hope it will include more birds.

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