Over the past few years when visiting Dee's parents we've been keeping a close eye on one of the new local nature reserves at St Cyr, which seems to have taken forever to complete. Well I'm delighted to say that finally we were able to take our first tour of this impressive site yesterday afternoon.
Unfortunately, impressive though it is with it's six large and spacious hides, I feel that like most reserves I've visited in Spain and France the finer details are lacking. For example it appeared that no thought had gone into the approach to each hide, which were completely open to the elements, affording no protection to the birds as the intrepid birder approached! In fact most birds were spooked as we tentatively made our way to each one. There was also a definite shortage of reed planting throughout which I feel will be detremental to the site in later years.
Having said the above a good number of birds were on display and these included good numbers of Pochard, a single Red-crested amongst them, two Great White Egret also flew in during our tour and Goosander, Wigeon and Tufted Duck were also on the pools. Within the surrounding area I was also lucky enough to locate Stonechat, Cirl Bunting and Kingfisher.
The bird of the day however was a stunning Hen Harrier (ringtail), which was trawling the fields close to Dee's parents, a species which I'm always lucky enough to come across every time we visit.
To finally log off on this years diary, I wish my reader a very prosperous and Happy New Year. Whatever your plans are for 2011 here’s to more excellent birding adventures.