Thursday, 29 September 2011

Ruff & reeves

We left for the coast before the heat became too uncomfortable.

One of the Reeves at Mandirac

Stopping off at Lespignan there was little to seen except 2 Green Sandpipers and 3 Lapwings.  In fact we did not see much until we reached the Gruissan area and made for Mandirac.  The wet meadows were productive as usual with lots of Little and Cattle Egrets and the White Stork with the damaged wing which will probably stay there for ever.  In addition there were also 17 Curlews and 9 Ruffs.  The latter were all juveniles and there was only one male the rest being females or Reeves.  Up to a dozen flava  wagtails were feeding around the Black Cattle and overhead a Hobby was hunting the abundant myriads of dragonflies. 2 Marsh Harriers and a Buzzard passed by.  On the saline pools c200 Greater Flamingos were feeding.

flava wagtail.
We then left the meadows and driving down the main road by the rice fields we noticed a large congregation of herons and storks on a raised bank.  It seems that the fields are being drained prior to harvest and the birds were gorging on trapped fish and amphibians.  There were at least 40 White Storks a few Grey Herons and Great White Egrets and c30 Little Egrets and Cattle Egrets. 

Part of the feeding fenzy of herons and storks
It was very hot now so we checked the reedbeds before leaving.  Here again were plenty of Greater Flamingos and 2 Greenshanks.  Overhead 4 more White Storks were soaring south with 3 Common Buzzards and 2 Marsh Harriers.

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