Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Pas de Calais and Dunge!

 Yesterday (19th) we spent the day in the Pas De Calais. The expected NW wind did not materialise so we cot short our Cap Gris Nez sea watch. We looked around the nearby wood but migrants were few and far between, though Spotted flycatcher, Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers, Common Whitethroats were seen. Also a Nuthatch which excited AJG (he doesn't get out much) as it it is the first one he has seen there in many visits over even more years.
Next stop was Tardinghen where the local council have put a view point over the ponds there. The ponds were nearly dry but still held 2 each of Common and Green Sandpiper and 2 Marsh Harriers. While scanning around I picked up 2 large raptors heading straight towards us on very flat wings, as they came towards us they separated, one swooped down and began wing clapping, Honey Buzzards! and displaying in mid August. I swung my scope 180 and I could see Dungeness Power station swing it back Honey Buzzards.
A brief look around Blanc Nez then onto nearby Guinnes boardwalk. Willow Tits were the stars here at least 4 heard and 2 seen plus Kingfisher.
As time was running out a quick visit to Oye Plage saw 7 Garganey, 3 Spoonbills, 4 more each of Green and Common Sandpipers and 2 Kentish Plovers. On the down side the shoreline and the dugouts were manned by many French Hunters. Sadly they do not seem to take much notice of the list of birds they can legally shoot. A list can be found Here    
This morning a plod around The Point, The Desert and part of the trapping area found 23 Willow Warblers, just 2 Common Whitethroats, 1 of the resident Black Redstarts, a juvenile Marsh Harrier spiralled up over The Desert and went out over  the fishing boats and a trickle of Hirundines headed south.
In 2 visits morning and early evening to the ARC, 4 Garganey, a Black-necked Grebe, a Water Rail, a Black-tailed Godwit, 2 Redshank, 4 Dunlin, 2 Ruff, 2 Hobby's, 100+ Sand Martins, 2 Swifts, 11 Willow Warblers, 2 Common Buzzards and 2 Marsh Harriers as well as all the usual wildfowl.  

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