Saturday, March 01, 2008

Wallcreeper and Northern France with Anser Birding 1 March 2008

Wallcreeper between Wimereux and Boulogne MJMcGill

Gloucestershire's celebrity birder Mike King (right) with MJM (left) and England in the distance, he is in a rather good mood after seeing one of his most sought after birds ever.
Snow Buntings, Grand Fort Phillipe Beach

1 March 2008 We set off at 0300 from Whitminster calling in at Swindon on the way. We arrived at Folkestone at 0600 and boarded our train arriving in France soonafter. A thirty minute drive and we were at our first stop of the day Pont de le Creche and thirty minutes of sarching and we were watching a Wallcreeper. The bird showed brilliantly for then on until we left, often in sunshine and at times very close as it fed. Fulmar were also seen here on the nest. We celebrated with a brunch in Boulogne and then searched the harbour for gulls, Kittiwakes were nesting and 3 Mediterranean Gulls were seen, a stunning adult in breeding plumage, a scruffier one and a second summer. A couple of Great Crested Grebe were also fishing but we could not locate any northern gulls despite them being present. A short drive south to the Hardelot Forest and we located Short-toed Treecreeper, Willow Tits, Crested Tits, Firecrests, heard Black Woodpecker, saw and heard male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. We tried for the Rough-legged Buzzard but the strong winds and rest part of the day did not help. Brown Hare, 7 and 3 deer sp and a female Hen Harrier were all seen. We headed north to Grand Fort Phillipe beach where 33 Snow Buntings and at least 5 Shore Lark were rather delightful and a female Hen Harrier hunted the saltmarsh. A few Gannet headed west and Little Egret was also noted.