Spent a few hours today at Lavau sur Loire, about 10 km from my house and further upstream along the estuary. The day started off nice and bright but soon clouded over but on the plus side the sunshine, what there was of it anyway, didn’t impede viewing the saltmarsh from the observation tower which is often the case here. Walking along the boardwalk through the reedbed it was particularly quiet with only a couple of Cetti’s Warblers and Water Rails making their presence known. At the tower I was pleased to see that there were a good number of geese rather closer than normal, in total about 280 Greylags were spread out over a large area in loose groups and in among them one family party of 4 European White-fronted Geese. Presumably the other Greylags and White-fronts that have been in the area were off feeding somewhere else today or else they’ve left the site completely. Closer to the river a flock of some 200 Brent were feeding but there was no sign of the Red-breasted Goose among them. This bird hasn’t been seen for several days now so perhaps it too has moved on. Nor did I manage to see a Peregrine or Merlin which are pretty regular here, no Hen Harriers either but at least 5 Marsh Harriers were quartering the various reedbeds nearby.

The view from the observation tower at Lavau sur Loire looking westwards. Paimboeuf, on the southern side of the estuary is just visible on the left while in the background the bridge and town of Saint Nazaire can be seen along with the port.


Greylag Geese with Paimboeuf in the background.


24th December 2016, a day in the marsh