Monday, 9 September 2013

Along The Coast Again

With the rain behind us we headed for the coast and stopped first at Etang de Vendres.  There were masses of Little Egrets and at least 6 Great White Egrets.  A flock of 60 Greater Flamingos was mostly young ones which is encouraging.  We could hear lots of Bee-eaters passing overhead and 2 Swifts went battling south.  A couple of Marsh Harriers flew over the marsh and a Tree Pipit landed in a bush in front of us.  As we left a Squacco Heron got up and flew across the reed bed.

Little Egret
We moved on to Pissevache but were generally disappointed.  We only recorded a Great Reed Warbler, Common Sandpiper and a couple more Great White Egrets.  I did see a lifer though.  My first ever topless female birder.  I was staggered but like a true Englishman I averted my gaze and got out of their quick before she could engage me in conversation. Weird!

Whinchat - the black spots on the picture are flies in a cobweb

We made our way down to Gruissan finding s splendid Slender-billed Gull on the saltings and then moved on to Le Petit Tournabelle.  Still amazing conditions for waders but none on the meadows.  There were 60 White Storks loafing around in a field with the black cattle and 5 Curlews and a juvenile Purple Heron.  Checking out the saline lagoons nearby we did find 19 Grey Plovers and a Greenshank.

Young Osprey fishing on the salt marsh

We ended up at Mandirac and I made my way into the reeds to check out the waders.  I counted a hundred Snipe and 10 Little Ringed Plovers.  There was also a Ruff, 3 Wood Sandpipers, 2 Greenshanks and 4 Lapwings.  Heading back we encountered 2 juvenile Ospreys hunting in the small salt marsh pools. Later a Whinchat perched up by the side of the road.

Pied Flycatcher
Back home in the garden I found 2 Pied Flycatchers, Common Redstart, Lesser Whitethroat and a Subalpine Warbler.

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