Saturday, 26 May 2012

Northern France 25/05/12

With thoughts of a 0300 alarm I was unable to sleep. At midnight I got up and drove as well as plodded round my Nightingale tetrads. I only heard 2 singing males which hopefully means all the other birds are paired up and breeding.
 At 0415 I met TG,MH and PT our chauffeur for the day, we then picked up CP en route to the chunnel. First stop Sailly Bray a superb area of wet meadows managed for hunting. Larson Traps were much in evidence and seemed very effective as few corvids were seen but passerines were numerous and much to our delight several Grey Partridges were present. The star birds here were at least 3 Bluethroats, 3+ Marsh Warblers, Serins, a reeling Savi's Warbler (which myself and CP could not here but seemed to deafen the other 3) 3 Fly over Black-winged Stilts, a Great white Egret (which I missed) a supporting cast of Stonechats, Cuckoo's, Turtle Doves, Yellow and White Wagtails, Corn Buntings, Yellowhammers, Skylarks and Reed buntings, also most the common Warblers.
Turtle Dove
Nest stop Le Crotoy where some road side pools with lots of Breeding Black-headed Gulls, a couple of fly over Mediterranean gulls, 4 White Storks flew over, 10+ Turtle Doves, 2 Garganey another Black-winged Stilt, a Common Sandpiper and a few other commoner ducks.
Next stop Marquenterre where in a single Pine tree a White Stork on its nest with Spoonbill, Grey Heron, Night heron, Little Egret and Cattle Egret  an marvellous sight. As this is a popular site we had a quick walk in the woods where we glimpsed a Tawny Owl thanks to a Jay, saw more Turtle Doves, heard a Nightingale and had good views of a Crested Tit.
Honey Buzzard
Our last stop was Crecy Forest. Where a Honey Buzzard gave superb views and at least 3 more were seen, as were several Common Buzzards and Hobby's. Also there 2+ Short-toed Treecreepers, 3 singing Melodious Warblers, more Garden Warblers and a nuthatch bringing our species tally for the day to a very respectable 96. A great day out in superb company.

A darker HB

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