Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Marshes all day

Black Stork photographed on a previous visit to Capestang

Together with Serge Nicholle we met up with John Andrews and Ron Bennett for a good walk at Capestang marshes.  A Kingfisher flew up the canal as we arrived and began our walk.  There was a large area of flooded marsh to our right and there were plenty of Little Egrets and at least 6 Great White Egrets.  Closer inspection also revealed 5 White Storks, a single Black Stork still in juvenile plumage, 8 Black-tailed Godwits, c30 Snipe and a Ruff.  Everything was briefly disturbed as a Peregrine flew over.  Later 8 Golden Plovers flew over.

Four Cranes flying over Capestang

Checking the reedbeds there were Cetti's Warblers singing and plenty of Reed Buntings and Bearded Tits.  Everywhere was so quiet and without summer visitors we could clearly hear 5 Moustached Warblers singing.  Only occasionally could we see them in the thick reed cover.  A Bittern walked across the path and an early Black Kite soared overhead.  Even better was 4 Cranes flying low to the north. The only negative was finding the corpses of 6 Greater Flamingos which had obviously succumbed to the recent freezing weather.

Moustached Warbler
Parting company with Ron and John at Lunch time Serge promised to show me a marsh called La Liviere near Narbonne.  This was a new site for me and proved very interesting.  There are a good number of paths circling the extensive reedbeds and it was not long before we heard yet another Moustached Warbler.  Two male Penduline Tits were located feeding in small bushes by the reedbeds and a pair of Marsh Harriers displayed overhead.  Thereafter a small passage of White Storks and Buzzards also passed over.

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