Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Marvellous Marquenterre

Crecy - cool, dry, sunny, w 3 - An early start for the guests with a day across the water and Marshman at the wheel. We arrived at the forest and virtually the first bird we saw was a pair of Hawfinches out in the open gritting, so a cracking start. We spent a couple of hours at two sites in the forest noting the likes of Greater pecker, Nuthatch, Short-toed Treecreeper, Yellowhammer, Jay, Goldcrest, warblers, tits and finches. Just as we were about to call it a day Marshman found our target bird, a stunning male Middle Spotted Woodpecker near its nesting hole and calling like a good `un; and as we were watching it a ringtail Hen Harrier flew over the canopy!

                                Hawfinches, Crecy

Le Crotoy - We hit the harbour at high tide and what a feast of waders awaited us. There was a flock of at least 2,000 birds, mainly Dunlins, Ringed Plovers and Redshanks being moved about by a huge female Peregrine that eventually accounted for one of them. In amongst this incredible throng was 20 Whimbrel, 10 Avocets, 15 Barwits, five Grey Plovers, two Sanderlings, Greenshank, Curlew, Curlew Sandpiper and Little Stint. It was wader heaven.
We then birded the roadside pools adding Garganey, Cattle and Great White Egrets, Shoveler, Med Gull and Dabchick.

                               Shorebirds, Le Crotoy

                                Marquenterre Reserve

Marquenterre - Well what can I say about this amazing place. First off it was packed with families walking the reserve, but it didn`t seem to matter as it was heaving with birds, and let`s face it, the hide slots are weird. Not sure where to start really but lets get the waders out of way: 30 Avocets and 10 Black-winged Stilts breeding, 50 Greenshanks, 10 Whimbrel, 10 Redshanks, Common Sandpiper, Lapwings, Dunlin, Blackwit and Spotted Redshank. Then the other long-legged jobs: 30 White Storks, 20 Spoonbills, 20 Cattle Egrets, Night Heron, Little Egret and Grey Heron around the nesting colony and on the lagoons, plus a lone Common Crane. And then the rest: Nightingale, loads of common warblers, hirundines, Swifts, Pintail, Black-necked Grebes, Wheatear, Cuckoo, Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Crested Tit in the car park.
What a superb days birding with 109 species recorded (including 20 species of waders) and many thanks to Marshman for driving.

                                Black-winged Stilts and Greenshank

                                Common Crane


                               White Storks


  1. What a fabulous day out and how lovely Marquenterre looks. How refreshing to see the remark about it "being packed with families but it didn't matter" - that would of been a regular cause for complaint by many birdwatching bloggers in this country. Good to see a variety of people enjoying the place.

  2. It was amazing Derek, and something you would never see here with so many families. Ok, so you have to pay to go in (about £8) but the place is dripping with breeding and migrant birds; and plenty of large obvious stuff like storks, spoonbills, egrets and stilts for the kids to enjoy.

    1. Hi, great write up...im looking to go...but the only time I can go is the first week of April, any ideas if all these species are around that early? Also, any suggestion of where to go in Crecy forest please. Thanks.

  3. A comment made at the recent KOS AGM was the fact that you rarely see children out bird watching these days in this country and in my experience that's true.