(NW France): Le Portel beach & Etaples
The area of Etaples in NW France. Etaples is a small village on the banks
of the river Canche. Together with sister-town Le Touquet it's also known
as "Paris-Plage", Paris Beach and host luxurious hotels and posh
real estates. Etaples is known for it's fish market and is an excellent
place to study michahellis Yellow-legged Gulls. It's the
northern-most place in NW Europe to find michahellis with flocks of
several 100's resting on the banks and beach of Etaples.
Unfortunately the gulls have to be
scanned from the north bank, with backlight in the afternoon. The main
resting place for gulls are the banks of the natural reserve near Camiers,
which is not accessible.
of the cemetery of Dannes, taken from the hills near the landfill of
Dannes. Only 4 kilometers from the beach, the landfill of Dannes attracts
1,000's of gulls during migration. Large flocks congregate at the fresh
water pools of the cemetery and use the flat areas for preening. Normally this cemetery is not accessible but
we are very thankful to mr. Desperras, who allowed several visits to
photograph and study large white-headed gulls here. His enthusiasm, his
suggestions and his open-minded views regarding the surveys are admirable.
In the far background you see the banks of the river Canche and the
village Le Touquet on the south bank.
The coastal industrial area of Boulogne-sur-Mer includes a large
emplacement and parking extending well into the sea with adjacent sandy
beaches north and south of the town. The sandy beach south of Boulogne
gradually merges with the large mussels fields of Le Portel and that's
what make this small village famous ('Les Moulles des Portel' are high on
the menu and are delicious. While staying in the Le Milano
hotel-restaurant at Le Portel, enjoy the views of sunset over the beach
and these mussels fields while having this specialty with a good glass of
white whine and watch 100's of Mediterranean Gulls fly by!).
The cliffs and mussels fields are a well-known spot for Mediterranean
Gulls in summer, which arrive from the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy
and the East-European colonies.
Severe storms in October. Foraging at open
sea is no option and groups of gulls aggregate at the parking. Up to ten
taxa of gulls can be found roosting here, together with terns and
sometimes with waders.
|The 'catman' at
Every morning at 9:00 h. the 10's of cats of the harbour and parking
are fed by the catman. And of course he doesn't forgot the begging first winter
Herring Gulls. An ideal opportunity to search for Lesser Black-backed
Gulls, Herring Gulls, Great Black-backed Gulls, Yellow-legged Gulls,
Pontic Gulls, Mediterranean Gulls, Black-headed Gulls, Common Gulls,