A morning or two ago, I walked into the kitchen and looked out the front window. What I saw was a bird on a wire — it was a hoopoe, a bird we hadn't seen for a few years. It's called une huppe fasciée in French, and it is a summertime visitor from Africa, I believe. These are not the best photos I've ever taken, but I think they are worth posting. What happened was that, in my hurry to take a picture, I grabbed the wrong camera — not the one with the longer zoom.
The first time I ever saw a hoopoe was in 2008 on the île d'Oléron, just off the French Atlantic coast not far north of Bordeaux. I wrote about it here (two linked posts). We knew there were hoopoes around the vineyard this year because we've been hearing their distinctive poo-opp-poo call in the distance. I didn't expect to see one so close to the house.
P.S. France has been experiencing a large number of hailstorms this month. Hailstones the size of ping-pong balls or even tennis balls have fallen all around Saint-Aignan, — as close as 10 miles north in the town of Contres. We have been spared. We got more than an inch of rain over the past two or three days, but no hail.