Parc du Marquenterre – Our Summer Abroad part 4

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A bird reserve. One of only two in France apparently (according to the Rough Guide). By the Baie de Somme. When we arrived the tide was on it’s way in and we could see, at the far end of the reserve, a distant cloud of back and white consisting of cormorants and spoonbills.

There was a lot to see and even S managed the 6km circuit of the reserve reasonably cheerfully, after some initial squabbles over our one pair of binoculars.

White Storks

We were fascinated by the storks by the entrance to the park. One pair were clacking their beaks at each other and also throwing their heads backwards along their backs.

Drinking stork

In flight the birds are spectacular because of their sheer size.

Flying crane

Living by the sea, I often see cormorants and I love to watch them fishing in the Kent estuary, but I don’t recall seeing facial plumage quite like this before:

Cormorant

Egrets too have become a fairly common sight at home in the last few years, but I have always struggled to get close enough to get candid pictures.

Scratching egret

Butterflies were plentiful too, particularly speckled woods, but few would land to pose for a photo.

Red admiral

I was excited by this fellow…

Holly Blue 2

….which I think is a holly blue and therefore not something I see regularly.

One of the impressive things about the park was the huge crowds of birds assembled there.

Oystercatchers

This is one tiny corner of a large sandy island which thronged with oystercatchers and …

Avocets

…avocets.

When something spooked the oystercatchers in another part of the reserve we had another demonstration of the size of the population here…

Cloud of oystercatchers

Although, again this is merely a fraction of the total flock which was airborne.

A small green-blue lizard skittered across the sandy path in front of A and I. B was understandably jealous, but then he found a large…

Grasshopper

…grasshopper, which when spooked would hop but then fly a few yards on apparently blue wings.

We also spotted this sandy toad by the path…

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When we finally reached the area where the cormorants and spoonbills where gathered, the tide had turned and there were fewer birds present then there had been. But they were still legion.

Cormorants and spoonbills

And the fishy smell was almost overpowering.

Egret

Another egret.

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Parc du Marquenterre – Our Summer Abroad part 4

5 thoughts on “Parc du Marquenterre – Our Summer Abroad part 4

  1. beatingthebounds says:

    Thanks Sheila. It was a great place to visit. It seemed to be relatively easy to get a good cloase view of the wildlife, which the kids really appreciated.

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