Sunday, 6 January 2013

France at Last

We eventually arrived in France yesterday morning this time with no problems.  The weather here is amazing.  Cool but bright sunshine giving tremendous light.

Black-necked Grebe photographed at Port de Vendres last year
We headed for the coast to see how many new species we could find for my 2013 list.Approaching Port de Vendres a Merlin dashed across the road and in the harbour we found 2 Black-necked Grebes fishing.  A small flock of Greenfinches and a Black Redstart were also noted.  We headed for Pissevache where we found 4 Marsh Harriers and a ring-tail Hen Harrier as well as 3 Great White Egrets.  On the sewerage ponds there were at least 500 Northern Shovelers and c30 Shelducks.  On the large shallow lagoon 15 Greater Flamingos huddled against the wind.

Northern Shovelers on the sewerage ponds
We moved on south to the Gruissan area.  On the salt pans there were more Greater Flamingos and an unseasonal Common Sandpiper.  Little else so we headed for Mandirac.  Windy conditions made birds difficult to find but single Marsh and Hen Harriers caught our attention.  Checking out the small lagoon at Le Grand Castelou I was amazed to find 30 White Storks present.  At this time of year an odd bird is possible but this was an exceptional number.

White Storks at Le Grand Castelou
We were nearly home and approaching our house when a superb male Hen Harrier crossed the road and on arriving home a Sparrowhawk came hurtling out of our hedge.

No comments:

Post a Comment