Thursday, 17 March 2016

Crecy and Le Crotoy!

This morning I met up with MH,CP and AJG then we caught the 05.45 chunnel train to Calais then drove straight to Crecy Forest. Although it was only 2C the sun was shining and just a mere zephyr of a breeze. Several Short-toed Treecreepers were seen, as were Nuthatches, many Marsh Tits, several Firecrests, Jays, a couple of Common Buzzards and a couple of Mediterranean Gulls flew over. At least 3 Middle Spotted Woodpeckers were heard as well as Green and Great spotted Woodpeckers, Redwings and Chaffinches were moving through the tree tops and Blackbirds were positively abundant. Unfortunately we were a little early for Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps.
We then drove through Sailly Braie seeing several Great White Egrets, 2 Avocets on a small pool, a flock of c70 Black-tailed Godwits put on a superb aerial display, also several more Common Buzzards, Mistle Thrush, Skylarks and 2+ Brambling among a flock of Chaffinches were seen. Great White Egrets were numerous in a scan of the Somme estuary from the sea wall, also 2 White Storks with another sitting on its nest.
In Le Crotoy harbour a flock of 171 Avocets, c100 Redshank c20 Dunlin, several Great-crested Grebes and 2 Little Grebes.
 Garganey at Le Crotoy pools
At Le Crotoy pools a gorgeous drake Garganey was sleeping, also there  Shoveler, Teal, Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Pochard, more Redshank, several Snipe, a Mediterranean Gull, several White Wagtails, a Water Pipit, 4 more White Storks, Several Great White Egrets, Little Egrets, 2 Cattle Egrets and superb pale Common Buzzard. Once again I found myself wishing I had my DSLR.
The pale Common Buzzard also had completely white breast and white underwing with dark trailing edges. The photograph does not do it justice.
Great White Egret Le Crotoy pools
Crested Tit, Marquanterre
We moved on to Marquanterre for lunch where a Crested Tit performed for us and a Siskin flew over.
Making our way back towards the A16 we came across some Grey Partridges. A real treat to see these days.
Many thanks to CP for doing the driving, also to MH for supplying the transport and entertaining us with loads of jokes that we've only heard a couple of times before, also to AJG for just being there, he knows what I mean.  All in all excellent day out in great company with a respectable 89 species. 

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