This morning CP, MH and myself caught 06.50 chunnell train to Calais followed by a 20 minute drive to Hemmes de Marck in the hope of catching up with the Elegant Tern. On arrival I wasn't hopeful as it was low tide so the sea was c3 kilometers out. The huge sandy beach stretching from Calais to Dunkirk lay before us. Scanning the horizon we could see a group of 4 birders way out on the horizon so we started to move towards them, at about half way we could see that they were all looking in different directions, we could also see that there was a group of Terns fairly near to them, also another group of Terns in the distance in the opposite direction which we decided to head for. We stopped several times to scan the flock but heat haze did not help scope viewing of the Terns, from c300 mts we could at least make out individual birds in haze so began scanning back and forth through the flock, after a few minutes a Yellow bill appeared and much relief for CP who hadn't seen the bird at Pagham. We moved nearer the flock getting excellent scope views of the Elegant Tern.
Out on the sands of Oye Plage among the many holiday makers and dog walkers we eventually managed to find a Kentish Plover with a beautiful fluff ball, sadly not a single Little Tern was seen, I can only hope they have already fledged as the Sandwich Terns seemed to have done well with good numbers of juveniles still being seen today. Around the pools 26 Spoonbills, 3 Cattle Egrets, c100 Avocet, 4 Green Sandpipers, 4 Common Sandpipers and 2 Little Ringed Plovers of note. Another excellent day trip to France in excellent company,
Ringed Plover top left. Kentish Plover Fluff Ball mid left. Female Kentish Plover mid right.