Saturday, 13 July 2013

By The Coast

Shopping was needed in Narbonne so we started with a birding trip to the coast first.  Leaving home we passed a male Montagu's Harrier near Olonzac and later noted a Roller and Black Kite near Capestang. We headed for Lespignan and then realised it is Bastille Day which explained the heavy traffic.  We found a Turtle Dove and plenty of Fan-tailed Warblers and moving on found a Lesser Grey Shrike just where we expected.

Fan-tailed Warbler
We passed on through the minor road at Fleury counting 7 Rollers and a single Lesser Kestrel.  Eventually we ended up at Pissevache where there was little water on the shallow etang.  We found three Mediterranean Gulls, 15 Kentish Plovers and c40 Sandwich Terns before we moved on to Gruissan.  We spent the rest of our time at the rice fields at Le Petit Tournabelle.  There were hordes of birds on the flooded meadows.  We counted 130 Black-winged Stilts, 30 Wood Sandpipers, Common Sandpiper, 7 Lapwings and a single Ruff.  A Black Kite flew over and flushed a mixed flock of Cattle and Little Egrets.  Finally 11 Glossy Ibises flew over and carried on south.

One of 130 Black-winged Stilts
Common Sandpiper
Wood Sandpiper
We moved on to the nearby rice fields and immediately came across a White Stork.

White Stork
Moving on we counted 9 Purple Herons feeding in the rice fields and one particular bird was very co-operative.

Purple Heron
Close-up of Purple Heron
Success at last!
A truly great day.

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