Sunday, 1 May 2011

Northern France

We joined Bob Knight and Jeremy Hall this morning for our near annual day drip to France to visit some of the well known and easily reached birding spots within easy reach of Calais. Our first stop was Sailly Bray where aided by fine weather, we were soon watching: Marsh Harrier (2), Hen Harrier (male), Bluethroat (2), Whinchat and Grey Wagtail (2) among an assortment of the usual summer migrants.

Following our enjoyable start, we headed towards the coast and the area of Saint Valery sur Somme and our run of good fortune continued as we added a well observed Black Kite to our days tally. Also, circling on a different set of thermals was a single flock of ten White Storks.

With time pushing on, we continued our drive to Le Bois de Cise adding a Red Kite on route and a further three Marsh Harriers. The birding quietened down at this time but for a small number of Mediterranean Gulls offshore so we took the opportunity to enjoy some lunch and a well-earned (if not expensive!) beer at a beach front restaurant before continuing.

From this location, we had noticed that there was some significant flooded areas at nearby Hable D'Ault so we started our journey back via this location. This proved to be an inspired decision, as before long we had added Little Ringed Plover (5), Spoonbill (1), Kentish Plover (2), Crested Lark (1), Garganey (5), Red-crested Pochard (5) and a Caspian Tern to our list of sightings.

Time really had marched on considerably by the time we had soaked up these delights and there was now no alternative but to begin the journey back. As we passed the area of Saint Valery sur Somme, we noticed from the car a large Egret feeding in a roadside pool. After turning the car around to confirm our suspicians, we were able to see that there were actually two Great White Egrets feeding together!

Caspian Tern


Kentish Plover

No comments: