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Pagham Birder: The Blog

A regular account of the birds seen mainly on and around Pagham Spit, the Lagoon and the North Wall plus other birding exploits from time to time.
Any news of interest regarding the ongoing erosion problems on Pagham Beach will, from now on, be shown on my other blog together with general beach photos.. Click on the link... Pagham Beach Blog on this page.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Magic of Marquenterre!

We have just returned from our annual pilgrimage to the Andre Rieu concert in the Vrijthof Maastricht, Holland but managed a few days detour in France and Belgium for a spot of birding!
This was our first visit to Le Parc du Marquenterre in the Baie de Somme, about an hour from Calais.

 We were most impressed with the facilities and the wealth of birds in this reserve which offered special discounts to RSPB members! Although it is summer and perhaps not the best time of year for birding the spectacle of breeding spoonbills, egrets, herons and especially storks was stunning. Here is a sample of photos taken during a couple of visits...the lighting conditions were not particularly conducive to good pictures but nevertheless there were good opportunities to practise on birds in flight and some less common British birds.

White Storks were nesting in the pine wood and repeatedly flying in to feed their youngsters.

 Spoonbills were much in evidence either on nests in the pines or gathering as non breeders in the adjacent fields ....

A couple of Common Cranes ....

Large numbers of Little Egrets were breeding and a few Cattle Egrets
..................rather distant !

Grey Herons nesting alongside the White Storks and Egrets.

...but perhaps the most impressive of all
....the Great White Egrets

....gorgeous birds!

Also in attendance...Coots on nests

 Busy feeding younsters

White Wagtails replacing our own 'Pieds'

 ......and breeding Black Necked Grebes...resplendent in summer plumage

 Waders were few and far between- just a couple of distant Ruffs, Little Ringed Plover, Black Tailed Godwit, one Oystercatcher  and these three Greenshank

Next stop was Nadrin in Belgium where birding was very poor and except for a distant Red Kite and a Short Toed Treecreeper (not photographed) little else was seen

....except that is, for a pair of breeding Fieldfares, which I had not expected in Achouffe, home of the well known brewery.!

 The parents appeared to be feeding two well grown youngsters.

and of course the ubiquitous Black Redstart

...with a nest under the eaves of the brewery shop.

The only excitement in Maastricht apart from  the main purpose to visit  the  concerts was a Capercaille in a back street...

                                            ...but I think it had seen better days!

..but the lasting memory will be the close up views of White Storks

But I forgot to mention the Wild Boar...only a fleeting glimpse but another highlight from Marquenterre...
                                  Cute 'humbugs' quickly disappearing into the forest

We will return!!!

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