Saturday, 14 April 2012

Day By The Coast

I first awoke at 6.30am and from the bathroom window I could hear the lusty song of my first Nightingale of the year.

Nightingale in song

We were off to the coast and started by scanning Etang de Vendres.  Predictably Little and Cattle Egrets and Grey Herons were at their nests.  Otherwise we only noted 2 Marsh Harriers and a pair of Red-crested Pochards.  We moved on to Lespignan and flushed a Purple Heron on arrival.  We watched 2 Short-toed Eagles one of which landed on the ground giving amazing views.  A Water Rail called loudly and then the wonderful booming of a Bittern.

Great views of this Short-toed Eagle on the ground

We then headed for Pissevache via the Lesser Kestrel reintroduction site and at least 6 birds were in attendance.  Pissevache rarely disappoints and today was no exception.  The two tern islands held about 120 Sandwich Terns, 3 Common Terns and a single blushing pink Slender-billed Gull.  A single Kentish Plover was present as well as 6 Black-winged Stilts and c60 Avocets.  A Greenshank and c20 Redshanks were also there the latter resplendent in breeding plumage.  Another pair of Red-crested Pochards were on the sewerage ponds.

Redshank in breeding plumage

We then carried on down to Gruissan.  The vineyards again produced a super male Black-eared Wheatear but not much else except at the lagoon by the Telephone Museum.  There were 4 Gargarney again but this time 2 pairs.  After that it was back home to hear the disastrous news that Norwich had succumbed 6-1 to Manchester City.

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