Friday, 22 May 2015

Baie De Somme Thursday 21/05/2015

Another excellent day out in Northern France with Tony,Chris and Trevor where we managed 109 species in a fairly laid back back trip, unusually most of today's sightings were fairly camera shy. 
Last of the Summer Wine at Le Crotoy!
We started off at Sailly Bray where as we got out of the car one of many Turtle Doves seen today flew over, Blackcaps, Garden Warblers, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaffs and Song Thrushes, were all singing, a Cattle Egret fed among the cows and a Marsh Harrier, Hobby, a Common Buzzard, White Stork and Wood Sandpiper were seen. A Leveret grazed by the track, further along a Savi's Warbler buzzed and Sedge and Reed Warblers sang in a reed bed, a pair of Stonechats perched fly catching, a Grey Partridge and Mediterranean Gull were seen in an adjoining field. On small pond 6 pairs of Avocets and 5 pairs of Black-winged Stilts were on nests while being serenaded by Nightingales and more Warblers including Marsh Warblers. 

Black-winged Stilt
From the sea wall near Le Crotoy the first of  20+ Great White Egrets seen today flew by, Little Egrets were abundant here, a White Stork strutted in the field by the wall before flying overhead. Several Yellow Wagtails and a Great Spotted Woodpecker were seen but the stars were the Savi's Warblers which were collecting food for there nestlings. The first Honey Buzzard of the day was seen distantly and some Bearded Tits were recorded. 
White Stork fly by
Savi's Warbler (heavily cropped)
Savi's Warbler
Icterine Warbler (heavily cropped)
At another site near Le Crotoy an Icterine Warbler was singing, competing with a nightingale and Garden Warblers. 
Icterine Warbler (heavily cropped)
A  stop off at La Basse pools was disappointing by its usual standards as not a single Garganey was seen (9 in last months visit) though a Cattle Egret, White Wagtails, Mediterranean Gulls a distant White Stork and another Marsh warbler were ample compensation.
Melodious Warbler (heavily cropped)
Our last stop was Crecy Forest, at our usual raptor viewpoint it took at least 5 minutes (usually quicker) before the first of at least 3 Honey Buzzards appeared though unusually they were all high and quite distant. While there, several Common Buzzards and 2 Hobby's were seen, also a super adult male Hen Harrier. In the forest proper, a fabulous woodland made up of towering ancient Beech and Oak Trees, Hornbeam, Birch, Pine, coppiced Hazel and  Broom which grows in the cleared areas and appears to be the favourite of the Melodious Warblers. Although it was mid afternoon and very warm when we were there, Garden Warblers, Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs, Willow Warblers were all singing, as were 2 male Melodious Warblers, we had several sightings of Middle Spotted Woodpeckers, stunning Firecrests, Crested Tits and more. Where a small fresh water steam runs by the forest Grey Wagtail, Black Redstart and another Marsh Warbler were seen. All in all another fabulous day out in great company. Many thanks to Tony for doing the driving and the organising, also to Chris wife Carol for making the lovely Victoria Sponge. (retirement rocks)
Map Butterfly in Crecy Forest

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