Sunday, 23 November 2014

Le Parc du Marquenterre

Parc du Marquenterre

A long overdue visit to the Parc du Marquenterre nature reserve in the Baie de Somme last month was always going to be at the mercy of the weather gods, but - despite atrocious conditions on the English side of the Channel - we arrived to find the reserve basking in glorious (and warm) sunshine. The whole site was alive with dragonflies and damselflies, including this striking Willow Emerald, a first for me:

Willow Emerald Damselfly

Other firsts included Spoonbills, a White Stork, a Crane (not "wild" in the strictest sense of the word, but still very nice to see), a Cattle Egret, and several Great White Egrets, one of which flew right past the hide:

Great White Egret (Ardea alba)

The reserve is very well maintained and the viewing hides are large and numerous (there are thirteen of them). However, instead of using hinged windows (common to reserves like Stodmarsh) they employ a series of holes, only a few of which are large enough to point a camera lens through. It's also worth nothing that if you're of an average height or taller, these particular holes will require you to bend your knees in such a way that maintaining the same position soon becomes uncomfortable. Call me cynical, but I suspect this is a deliberate design feature so as to discourage individuals from hogging the best spots.

That minor quibble aside, if you've never been to this beautiful reserve it's well worth a visit ... or two ... or three...

See also:
More of my pictures from the Parc du Marquenterre
Parc du Marquenterre website