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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Parc du Marquenterre

During our short visit to Le Crotoy on the Somme Estuary (Baie du Somme) I just had to spend a day, or maybe half, at the bird reserve. Famed for its migratory spoonbill population I was expecting much, but chances of close encounters are a bit slim. It is an ornithologists paradise, the hides are well built and the holes suit bird watching with binoculars...but not 500mm lenses :( Yes, the majority of the hides sported small slits which suited binoculars perfectly. A few visitors have enlarged some of the holes but this still meant I had to hand hold my kit and be very aware that vignetting would occur at some point if I was panning. 

Adding to my misery the water was at its lowest for years, so the birds were further back and at a lower angle. Already for photography the hides are a little high but hey, it was a day out. 

There are more avocets than I have ever seen before, a shame that they are usually too far off.

 I have never photographed a crane before so managing to stalk this fellow in the long grass was a bonus on the day.

 At one hide I nearly moved on due to the only species being black headed gulls. I stopped for a quick drink just long enough to get this storks arrival. The gulls went wild and it soon became apparent why.

Somewhere between the gull chaos a pair of avocets had managed to nest. 

As the park began to empty I was able to sit still by one pond long enough to have a couple of lapwing chicks approach. By this time of night it was getting dark, a rainy day, and hand holding the 500+TC on the 7D was becoming hard work. But I put up with shoulder ache and was rewarded with a coypu swimming right at me. 



  1. A good variety of shots and you did well considering the less than ideal conditions! Love the coypu!

  2. Like the pics of the Heron a lot ! Nice series Neil ;-) Cheers, Hans Overduin