Sunday, 29 May 2011

Day trip to Parc du Marquenterre in the Somme region of France

 Had a very early start, being picked up at 4.45am by Steve Ray, along with Martin Wilson and Peter. We met up with the Steve Ashton, Tim Gutsell, Alan Ashdown and Mike Gould at the Euro tunnel site and got on the 6.20am train.
An hour after arriving on French soil we were at Marquenterre. It was 9am local time and the park wasn't open yet so we birded the woods around the car park. Chasing Crested Tits, we all failed miserably they were too quick and high up in the pines. I did see a Nightingale and Steve A saw a Garden Warbler and I think we all saw about 4 Cuckoos. 

Once the Park was opened we immediately saw a couple of Black-winged Stilts in the front scrapes, they weren't very close though.

The usual "Plastic" Common Crane and Whooper Swans were there and suitably photographed.

All the time we were around the scrapes, White Storks, Little Egrets and Spoonbills were continually flying over with nesting or food, taking it to the "Heronery" where an amazing amount of birds were nested.

Steve Ray, Pete, Alan, Martyn and myself left the others at the Heronery and started walking around the hides. We found several more Black-winged Stilts, thirteen in total for the day.
At hide No:6 we were watching another Stilt when Martyn pointed out a Temminck's Stint, only my second one ever. It was accompanied by a Ringed Plover and a couple of Little-ringed Plovers.

At hide No: 9 after initially drawing a blank and walking off, Steve Ray called us back when he discovered at least 4 Black-necked Grebes, all in stunning summer plumage. I'm afraid my photo's are very disappointing of these stunning birds, check Steve Ray's, Steve Ashton's or any of the others really for much better photo's. I don't know what went wrong with mine...

At one of the other hides I had a male Yellow Wagtail in front of me, which the other treated with disdain but I just love them.

All the time there were White Storks flying over these are some of my better photos

On returning to the Heronery, we were lucky to see a pair of Cattle Egrets come into their nest and I managed a couple of distant photos.

 Even more shots of the White Storks were taken

and a couple of fly over Spoonbills

We left the park and returned to the cars and were lucky enough to find a Crested Tit which allowed a quick snap, and a couple of Nuthatches

All in all an excellent day, my deepest thanks to Steve Ray for driving, it made for a very pleasant change. I was shattered when we got home so I'm sure Steve was even worse. Thanks again mate..

1 comment:

  1. A good account Steve, some nice photos, and I think we all failed on the Black-necked Grebe. A good day out and I enjoyed it.