Saturday, 8 April 2017

Northern France!

As a NW wind was forecast for Friday AJG and myself  decided on a day out in Northern France. We picked Trevor up in Dover and caught the 04.20 ferry to Calais.
At 07.00 we were in Crecy Forest where we were greeted by a cacophony of bird song, Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps were positively abundant, joined by Robins, Blackbirds, Song Thrushes, Chaffinches, Blue and Great Tits, Nuthatches, also seen Firecrests, Green, Great and Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers, Yellowhammers, Common Buzzards and more.
 Crested Tit at Marquanterre
We next visited a reed bed between St Valery and Le Crotoy where we saw 3 Bluethroats, 3 Savi's Warblers, numerous Sedge Warblers, Bearded Tits and Water Rail were calling, overhead  a flushed Jack Snipe was chased by a Hobby but got away, several Great White Egrets and Little Egrets were on the marsh also several White Wagtails. 
At La Basse pools 4 Garganey, a photogenic Scaup, 3 Cattle Egrets, 6 Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, and the usual wild fowl.
Next stop Marquanterre an excellent reserve with lots to see and is always busy. Spoonbills, White Storks, Great White, Little and Cattle Egrets are easy to see here, Avocets were plentiful as were Pintail, Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler and Garganey. Sedge Warblers were singing all over as were Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs and Blackcaps, another Bluethroat was seen and more. The only downside to this reserve is the dire design of the hides. 
White Stork Marquanterre
This one of the better hides at Marquanterre, most have much narrower viewing slits than this one!
Coming back we just had time for a quick look at Oye Plage where we found 8 Whimbrel, a Red-crested Pochard, Black-necked Grebe, Sandwich Terns and Avocets. As we boarded the ferry to come home we had managed 90 species, on the crossing we added, Common Tern, Turnstone, Fulmars, Great Skua, Kittiwakes, Gannets, Guillemots, Common Scoter and a Sooty Shearwater finishing on 99.  

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