The Etang de Capestang is one of my favourite birding sites anywhere. It is best in winter, spring and early summer and I had heard it was very dry just now so I had stayed away. Anyhow I was moved to go this afternoon and see what was there.
Etang de Capestang
On my approach I noted a Honey Buzzard coming in high from the north-east which I hoped was a good omen. I set off walking the central track. It was immediately obvious that all surface water had gone and the only standing water was in the main channels and the main reedbed. It was so arid that water birds were few. Only a few Grey Herons, Cattle Egrets and Little Egrets. A few Coots huddled on one small pool and Moorhens and Water Rails occasionally called from deep in the reeds.
Passerines were hard to find but I managed Cetti's Warbler, Stonechat and a couple of Fan-tailed Warblers. Migrants were represented mainly by hirundines. Dozens of Sand Martins were feeding and moving through with smaller numbers of Swallows. Two Whinchats clung to reed stems nearby.
Fan-tailed Warbler or Zitting Cisticola
Walking back I added little more except for a gathering of c500 Starlings being watched closely by a Common Buzzard and another Honey Buzzard battling south.