Wednesday, 18 April 2012

At Last a Good Migrant Day

The weather improved to day with a fresh westerly wind and sunny periods.  I picked up Rod Leslie and we went south starting along the shore near Port Leucate.  First we tried the fish market and soon located 4 Spotless Starlings.  We then drove down the shore finding two groups of Whimbrel totalling 15 birds.  They were a wonderful sight and allowed close approach. We also noted a Green Sandpiper and 2 Black-winged Stilts.

Part of the group of 15 Whimbrels

Time for a wash and brush-up

Then time for a feed again
We then moved on up to Leucate lighthouse.  We had not gone far when we almost trod on 2 Short-eared Owls and then later another.  A Tawny Pipit attracted our attention by its call and Rod found a splendid male Whinchat.  We stopped to watch 2 Thekla Larks and considered the differences with Crested.  We also noted a steady movement of Kestrels and Sparrowhawks which continued for most of the day.  We could not find any Spectacled Warblers or Black-eared Wheatears so moved on to La Franqui.  Here we immediately found 8 Slender-billed Gulls feeding by the roadside again letting us get very close.

One of the super Slender-billed Gulls
After lunch by the beach where a splendid male Common Redstart entertained us we moved up the road to the sewerage ponds at La Courselle.  Three Hoopoes, a Whitethroat, Nightingale and 3 Willow Warblers were noted as well as 3 Little Ringed Plovers, Green Sandpiper, Black-winged Stilt and 2 Blue-headed Wagtails.

Part of the group of Sanderlings

Next stop was the beach at Port Nouvelle where we found a large flock of small waders.  60 Kentish Plovers, 5 Dunlin, 8 Little Ringed Plovers and c30 Sanderling made up the flock.  We checked Peyriac and Bages but apart from a few lingering Greater Flamingos not much else.

Yesterday's Common Redstart

The splendid male Black Redstart
Arriving home after dropping Rod off at Oupia yesterday's Common  Redstart was still in the garden with a bright male Black Redstart who was new today.


  1. Wow! That's what you call a good day on this side.

  2. Cracking photos of some birds I'd love to get my bins on again.