Thursday, 4 October 2012

Another Day on the Coast

Picking up my pal Paul Williams in Beziers we started a day watching coastal sites.  We started by looking over Etang de Vendres where we found 2 Great White Egrets, 2 Marsh Harriers and a Sparrowhawk being mobbed by Starlings.  A group of 40 Little Egrets feeding altogether was also notable. We had more luck at Pissevache where recent rain had put a flush of water into the lagoon where c60 Dunlin, 6 Little Stints a 5 Ringed Plovers fed busily.

We moved on to Gruissan and found many more waders on the salt pans.  At least 70 Dunlin, 30 Little Stints, 2 Curlew Sandpipers, 4 Greenshanks, Grey Plover, Black-winged Stilt and Bar-tailed Godwit.  A solitary juvenile Black Tern hawked for insects around the lagoons and a solitary Wheatear was also present.  A Kingfisher flew in front of us and another close group of feeding Little Egrets numbered 50.

Juvenile Black Tern
There were many Greater Flamingos feeding on the lagoons - maybe 300.  It was also good to see a good number of young birds amongst the pink throng.

Juvenile Greater Flamingo
We moved on to the wet meadows at Le Petit Tournebelle where one Pectoral Sandpiper still remained.  A count of 28 Snipe was notable and 2 Curlew Sandpipers, 5 Little Stints, a Ruff, 10 Wood Sandpipers and 12 Little Ringed Plovers were also present.  Looking on other fields the Glossy Ibis and 10 Lapwings were still there.

A Pectoral Sandpiper
A sad end to the day was when we attempted to visit a small marsh on the edge of Narbonne.  Here we found a large concrete plant and fences and lorries barred our way.  Does this mean the end of this super little marsh where I have seen Great Reed & Moustached Warblers, Bearded Tits, Penduline Tits and nesting Marsh Harriers?  I hope not

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