Monday 23 April 2012

Baie de Somme, Picardy, France, 21/4/2011

A very early start to the day, M.S., Kevin and I caught the Eurotunnel to Calais and then a 50 mile drive south to arrive at our first intended location, Sailly-Bray, a small village close to the Baie de Somme, Picardy.

08.00 hours, the weather was light rain and dark skies.

M.S., Kevin and I had come here hoping to see Bluethroat, we had seen 5 Bluethroat in this area last September !

Swallow, 2
Great White Egret, 2
Ring-tailed Hen Harrier
Marsh Harrier, 1 male
Kestrel, 1
Lesser Whitethroat, 1
Yellowhammer, 3
White Wagtail, 2
Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush.

There was brief bright spells but most of the time it rained !

No Bluethroat !

About 11.30 hours we moved to our second intended location, Le Foret de Crecy-en-Ponthiew, Picardy.
It continued raining, all viewing was from the car but we was able to find

Crested Tit, 6+
Marsh Tit, 2
Nuthatch, 2
Hawfinch, 2
Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1

The rain and bad light continued

About 14.30 hours we moved to our third location, La Basse, another small village on the Bai de Somme.

It's stopped raining, its getting brighter !

Gargeney, pair
Cattle Egret, 3
Little Egret, 1
Mediterranean Gull, 2 flew over
Common Redstart, 1f
Nightingale, 1, heard only

A photo at last !
Linnet, f

15.30 hours, we move to the final location of the day, Parc de Marquenterre

The clouds have gone, the sun has come out but it is still a cool wind, of interest

Greenfinch, flock of 40+
Spoonbill, 100 +
White Stork, 20 +
Cattle Egret, 1 flew over

 Pochard, m

Pochard, f



 White Stork

                        White Stork

leaving Le Parc du Marquenterre, we had another quick visit to Sailly-Bray where we added

Northern Wheatear, a pair
Corn Bunting, 1

 Northern Wheatear

Corn Bunting
as we drove towards Calais for our return journey

Whimbrel, 5 flew over

The weather was against us a bit but it was still a very good day out seeing a very good selection of birds !
I look forward to a return trip in May and hoping for a bit better weather and hopefully find a Bluethroat !

Monday 2 April 2012

Portland Bill, Dorset, 1/4/2012

Weather, sunshine and blue sky all day, cool breeze.

M.S. Kevin and I arrived at Portland Bill around 07.30 hours,
around car park by the lighthouses and on a cliff walk

Northern Wheatears, 20 +
Stonechat, several pairs
Raven, 3 flew over together
Meadow Pipit



Moved on to check out the Suckthumb Quarry area,

1 distant, brief sighting of a Ring Ouzel
Swallow, 1

Next place to look was for Barleycrates Lane, two birders had told us that 2 Ring Ouzels were showing well in the horse paddocks.

We could not even find Barleycrates Lane ! never mind find a Ring Ouzel !

Midday, we moved away from Portland Bill, a couple of miles along the Chesil Beach to Wyke Regis.

Here we was hoping to see two birds that have been well noted over the past few weeks.
Richard's Pipit and a Hume's Leaf Warbler.
We spent a couple of hours in the most glorious sunshine and saw neither !

Red-breasted Merganser, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, on the fleet lagoon
Returning to Portland Bill,
Another check out of Suckthumb Quarry, 2 Common Buzzards thermalled over, nothing else seen.

We then explored another area on the west side of the Bill, a Common Buzzard was hastled by the Gulls

                         Common Buzzard

not much seen, except now I met up with a local bird man who kindly told me where 'Barleycrates Lane' was !

'Barleycrates Lane', we found it !

3/4 Birders were there to tell us that 2 Ring Ouzels were in and around a hedgerow some 75 metres away over the other side of the horse paddocks. About 10 minutes conversation with the company, then, a Ring Ouzel burst into sight being chased by a Sparrowhawk, it was very close, the Ring Ouzel won and escaped, out of sight, not to be seen again.

Now late afternoon, we decided to return to Wyke Regis, again, no show of either Richard's Pipit or the Hume's.
Nothing new to add to the seen list, departed for home around 18.00 hours.

A superb day with so little photo opportunities !