It is surprising what goodies can be found on the nearby continent. I always try to nip across the channel for a days birding here and there, and this week 5 of us decided to make a trip over to northern France to see what we could find!
After driving onto the ferry, our first priority was breakfast, and after a hearty Full-English we headed onto the deck to sea-watch. The bird movements were fairly quiet, but we did see plenty of Gannets and Kittiwakes once we were half way across, joined occasionally by a couple of Fulmars – gliding by on their stiff wings. As we sailed alongside the sandy beaches on the French coast, a Black-throated Diver flew north, several Cormorants were fishing, and lots of Sanderling were feeding along the shoreline. Gull-wise, following the boat were Herring, Lesser Black-backed, Great Black-backed, and a single Yellow-legged Gull.
Once in France we headed straight for Dannes. We aimed to locate Black Woodpecker, but it wasn’t to be unfortunately. The forests in France always provide a nice selection of woodland birds to see, and with Crested Tits and Short-toed Treecreepers, you really can’t go wrong!
Next, we headed further south to areas around Le Crotoy. Highlights here were without doubt very close views of Spoonbill and Great White Egret, but we also noted White Stork, Garganey, Mediterranean Gull, Knot, Avocet, and other wetland species.
Overall a brilliant day with fantastic company as always.