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|
Grey Herons nesting alongside the White Storks and Egrets.
...but perhaps the most impressive of all
|....the Great White Egrets|
Also in attendance...Coots on nests
White Wagtails replacing our own 'Pieds'
......and breeding Black Necked Grebes...resplendent in summer plumage
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.!
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 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...
We will return!!!