Sunday, 22 September 2013

Normandie (14-21 September)

An enjoyable, relaxing week in Normandie with Megan, based on the coast between La Havre and Caen at Houlgate.  It was very quiet for birds with the few highlights being 3 Spoonbills over the Orne Estuary, 150+ Yellow-legged Gulls at both Orne Estuary and Houlgate, a Black Tern on the Somme Estuary and singing Black Redstarts at Houlgate and Honfleur with two juveniles at Mont St Michael.  On our way back we stopped at a pool north of Le Crotoy  which had been good the previous year (Spotted Crake, White Stork, Black-winged Stilt, see http://birdingneversleeps.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/2-9-september-2012-st-valery-sur-somme.html) but the water level was higher and only Coot and Mallard were present.  Nearby two Crested Tits saved the day performing well in the car park at Marquentere.  We visited Cap Griz Nez for a couple of hours on our last morning.  An interesting site although rather lacking in cover.  Here we saw Whinchat, 4 Wheatears, a drake Eider, ring-tailed Hen Harrier and a Yellow-legged Gull.  Two Peregrines were flying around Calais Harbour where there were a Little Gull, two Black and two Arctic Terns.  A Great Skua followed the ferry almost to mid channel before continuing south.


Arromanches and some of the remains of the wartime Mulberry Harbour
more bits of the Mulberry Harbour off 'Gold' Beach
some were very large when close up
Honfleur



'Black Cows' and gulls on the beach at Houlgate
Mont St. Michael, along with the 'big knitting' (Norman the Bastard's propaganda) in Bayeux this was the best known tourist site we visited
the tide receded for miles but unfortunately the rain didn't do likewise

Tuesday 10-Friday 13 September.  1-2 Peregrines on Southwick Power Station chimney and 1-2 Wheatears on Southwick Beach.

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