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This member of Phasianidae family grows up to 35 cm in length, and it has a large white chin and throat patch, bordered with characteristic large black-and-white-streaked 'neck-shawl', which differs it from other partridges. It has a greyish body with bold black-white-rufous flank stripes, and a chestnut-sided tail. The wings are short and sturdy, enabling a powerful flight although this bird prefers to flee danger running. The legs , bright red, are fairly long, strong and particularly suitable for walking on open ground.
Found in France and Spain on rocky slopes with low vegetation - here seen in NP Calanques, in Mediterranean environment, in garrigue type of wind beaten vegetation.
I must admit that this was a more-than-lucky encounter. We drove very slowly through Calanques national park, using narrow and very curvy roads, when I saw, in a fleeting moment, these two ramping through the vegetation... Fortunately, there were some space to park quickly and retrace our route on foot - luckily enough, after five minutes of walk I saw them again, almost like waiting for a photo session! They were not "lifers" for me, but they were definitely first photos worth keeping - every other time, flocks were quick to move away and all photos were too blurred. So thanks, little fellas...
Spotted on Apr 14, 2016
Submitted on Nov 8, 2016