Monday, 1 October 2012

More Raptors and Wetland Birds

Waking this morning to sunny skies and a northerly breeze.  It was soon obvious that raptors were still on the move.  Between 10am and 11,30am I counted 41 Short-toed Eagles, 6 Griffon Vultures, 2 Red Kites and 6 Sparrowhawks. Thousands of Swallows and House Martins were passing over constantly.  A quick look round revealed 3 Spotted Flycatchers, 2 Common Redstarts and lots of Blackcaps.

One of the 41 Short-toed Eagles passing over our house

Inspired by the morning experience I set off for the Gruissan area. Between Cesseras and Olonzac a splendid Southern Grey Shrike sat on a snag by the roadside.

Southern Grey Shrike

I headed first for the wet meadows at Le Petit Tournebelle because I had been tipped off the 2 Pectoral Sandpipers had been there for a few days.  After a lot of searching through the telescope I found one Pectoral amongst about 10 Wood Sandpipers, 2 Ruff and 3 Snipe.  On another meadow the Glossy Ibis was still with the egrets.  Coming out of the meadows I counted 25 White Storks and a single Black Stork in the rice fields.

Little Stint

I then moved on to the salt pans at Gruissan.  There were still 200 Greater Flamingos and still a good show of waders.  In all I discovered c60 Dunlin, c20 Little Stints,6 Avocets, 2 Redshanks, 2 Sanderlings, Curlew Sandpiper, Bar-tailed Godwit and Greenshank.  There were also 12 Shelducks.  As I left a Sparrowhawk flew over and 2 Marsh Harriers made my total to 10 for the afternoon.

Marsh Harrier

A great day for watching migrating birds.

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