Calais Honey Buzzards

A brief but relevant interlude; on the 11th of August I arrived at calais after a week ‘working’ in Marseille (great birds here of course, lots of Western sub alps, Bonnellis warblers, Alpine and Pallid swifts… all that stuff, lovely). I wanted to spend some time birding just other side of the channel before my return.

Forêt de Guines was the chosen site, recommended to me by Martin Casemore as a good site for Honey Buzzard. I initially intended to do some headland birding too but in the end I settled for just watching the Honey B’s from a vantage point in the woods.

Its hard to say how many individuals I saw but a conservative estimate would be 8 in the woods itself and during the quiet period of the day, where none of the local birds were seen above the woods, I picked up 6 HBs moving together from far to the north to far the the west , very high up they looked like they were migrating.

Also during this time I had a few Hawfinch fly over, 2 Marsh harrier, a juv Marsh warbler in the willow herb infested clearing I stood in plus Short toed treecreeper, Marsh tits etc etc.

The local HBs re surfaced right on cue at 2.30 and there was much wing clapping and calling, Great birds and the mad thing is that on a clear day you can see this woodland from the patch. I love the continent.

Author: Jamie Partridge

Birding South East Kent: Langdon Hole to South Foreland

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