On Monday I decided to go to Dunkerque (France) and not in Zeebrugge. I started very late (7:00). It’s not a bad choice because when we were on the highway in Lille (Fr) a flock of 40 WAXWINGS passed just in front of the car !!On the coast, There was a big migration of chaffinch and starling but few song birds in the bushes. I began by the the western jetty. Only 2 robins, 5 reed bunting, 2 skylark and a group of linnet and goldfinch…no big arrival of song birds...I decided to go west of Dunkerque, a less birded area.
I tried 2 unknow spot that were looking good on Google Maps. The first was fenced off but it's possible to see somes trushes and crests. The second was full of hunter (the very big problem here…).
I went to Grand-Fort-Philippe. The park was completely empty and a very stupid guy was walking on the little protected beach with his two dogs…flushing all the birds including 2 brent goose and 3 lapland bunting. The problem is that the area surrounding the protected beach are also full of hunter... In Oye-plage, the usual waterbirds (I didn’t saw the cattle egret which is there for a few days) and the usual tens of hunters all around the nature reserve…
I was sick and tired of all theses hunters and gun shot and I decided to go to the Clipon (Eastern jetty) to do somes seawatching. At this time I received the news that Christophe Gruwier while guiding a group of birder has just found a Pallas’s warbler in the park of Nieuwpoort (Belgian coast) ! Great ! I was there a big half hour later. Christophe was eating his lunch with his group and there was only a few birders there. Most of them hadn’t seen the bird yet. After more than an hour searching still no sign of the bird… Then Christophe came back in the park and relocated the bird after only a few minutes! We saw the bird well for a few minutes before loosing it again…In the estuary next to the park, good numbers of waders : golden, grey and ringed plover, bar-tailed godwit, eurasian curlew, common redshank, dunlin and a late spoonbill but nothing rare.
here is a very bad record shot of the pallas's warbler :
Johan Buckens "The Pallas-Machine" took somes good pics the next day
I went to Oostende to see the long-tailed duck. It’s a Belgian tick but I've seen them often in France and Netherland
I finaly went to the Weiden Pompje before sunset but I'd no luck with the white-tailed eaglebut there was a lot of birds : hundreds of golden plover and curlew, somes snipes, dunlins, tens of ruffs, a green sandpiper, 1 peregrine falcon, somes flock of white-fronted geese in flight and 1 lapland bunting (self-found tick!)