As I rather vaguely “forecast" in my last, something like winter has come eventually to the Pyrenées-Orientales; today is cold, wet, and very grey. We managed, however, in the last week, to have three lovely sunny days in an almost deserted Costa Brava, which was delightful. On the way home, we spent time at one of our favourite places, the wetland nature reserve in the Emporda. As we approached, we passed through an astonishing shower of seriously heavy rain (the purple of roadside almond orchards glowing eerily in the gloom), but it then cleared away completely and all was lovely. In fact, the combination of that rain, and generally high water-levels meant that the whole reserve was wetter than we had seen it before, which the ducks certainly seemed to be enjoying.
As I joined Martine in one of the excellent hides, (this one quite tall, with a splendid outlook over a channel between two very wet meadows), she gestured to me to be quiet and sit down quickly; there was a kingfisher sitting on the top rail of the fence below us. It was some distance away, it is true, but in the wonderful light, the brilliant colours were very noticeable-a dazzle of blue and orange when it eventually flew.