Monday, 12 September 2016

Brittany coast - 24th -28th August

This was my first trip to Brittany so wasn't quite sure what to expect but the coast is very scenic and very reminiscent of Cornwall to where the area has a strong affinity.
One bird I was keen to photograph was Red-billed Chough. Photographs of all dark birds are quite a challenge and need decent light and some colour in the background. The setting at Pointe de Pen-Hir was superb with a carpet of flowers atop rocky cliffs.
Red-billed Chough
There were not many other birds on the headland but Gannets were passing off-shore and I disturbed several Grayling from amongst the flowers.
Moving down the coast I visited the small pools of Le Petit Loch, just south of Guidel Plage. There were a few waders round the edge including Greenshank, Curlew, and Common and Green Sandpiper. I searched for Bluethroat without success but did manage a single Wryneck with a few Cetti's and Fan-tailed Warblers and family parties of Stonechat.
The next stop was on the Quiberon peninsula were we stayed for a few days. On the drive to the end we made several stops and came across a nice area with gulls and terns as well as Rock Pipits, they were all of the race petrosus as we have in the UK.

Rock Pipit

Amongst the mainly Black-headed Gulls were several Mediterranean including some reasonably fresh juveniles which I don't see very often.
Mediterranean Gull - adult
Mediterranean Gull - juvenile moulting to 1st winter
We stayed close to the tip of the peninsula near the town of Quiberon. The rocky headland had plenty of shorebirds with hundreds of Sanderling and Turnstone with a few Whimbrel and Dunlin. Some of the Turnstone were still in reasonable breeding plumage.
I had male Cirl Bunting singing at the campsite and several more in the last bushes on the point. Most were adult males but I did manage to find a couple of juveniles.
Cirl Bunting - male
Cirl Bunting -juvenile
The only other bird of note was the large numbers of Wood Pigeon flying down the peninsula, several thousand in number. I can only assume they stop at the end and eventually return.

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