Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Birding with the Norfolk Boys

My pal Paul Williams also an East Anglian asked Malcolm Raines from West Norfolk and 7 mates over to do some French Birding. We began after they left the Ryanair flight at Beziers Airport and looked for Little Bustards.  We found plenty of Buzzards, a couple of Sparrowhawks and 4 Lapwings but no bustards.  A quick decision was needed.  We hurried to a site near Bessan and after a short wait 5 Little Bustards flew around in a circle giving excellent views and gasps of approval from the Norfolk boys.

Little Bustards in flight
We also noted a ringtail Hen Harrier, Cattle Egret and Zitting Cisticola before we departed.  I went to pick up Ron Bennett and we all headed for the wonderful village of Moreze.  This site is traditional for seeing that most spectacular bird Wallcreeper the birds winter here probably coming from the Alps.

Moreze - good Wallcreeper habitat
When Ron and I arrived our friends were 20 minutes ahead of us and when we met they were all beaming as they had enjoyed superb views of a Wallcreepr just after arriving.  It was a lifer for most of them.  It was another hour before Ron and I caught up and we enjoyed fabulous views as this jewel of a bird busily circumvented a cliff flashing its scarlet wings.

Wallcreeper - photographed on a previous occasion
Heading back to base we stopped off to look for a Southern Grey Shrike.  In a freezing gale we duly found the bird and enjoyed good view and discussion on the taxonomy of the "Great Grey" shrikes.

Southern Grey Shrike
Finally we headed for a site to listen for and perhaps see an Eagle Owl.  Sadly the wind was so strong we gave that up for another day.

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