Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ile de Sein

Helgoland is cool but Ile de Sein is magic! That is in short what we experienced last days.

Located at the tip of Brittany, France, this tiny island is a hotspot for extreme vagrants from both east and west and recent records include Chestnut-sided Warbler, Northern Parula and Chestnut Bunting.

So Jan and I decided to go there to experience the ultimate-island birding ourselves.
After an hour on the ferry we arrived on the small harbour of a small but very friendly village.

As soon as we left the ferry we had a walk through the village, only a few, maybe one hundred houses and very little vegetation, excellent!

We were later told that this garden is the hotspot for american warblers; almost all were seen in the same big tree!;

View of the same area from the other side;

And our hotel, situated at the most western tip of the village with strategic cover and view over the best tidal area of the island.

View from the south; the hotel and tidal area on the left, the village on the right. Inbetween is the "football field" which looks excellent for rare Pipits and Larks!;

More views on the edge of the village, yes it is indeed birdseed on the lower picture,
and it is dutch:-)

The many paths give excellent acces to view all gardens;

View to the west from the hotel, many american waders have been recorded here. In the background the lighthouse on the western tip of the island;

And a view from the other side;

Sein lighthouse. The tamarisk-bushes are the only higher vegetation on this part of the island, no place to hide!;

The small chapel just south of the lighthouse. I found a Barred Warbler and a Wryneck together in the small bush next to it!

And some more pictures of the western tip, this is the area where the birds come in from the sea.

The eastern tip of the island has even less vegetation. But last year's Chestnut-sided Warbler has been found here!;

Some more impressions of the island.
It is a beautifull place with many birds, few birders and friendly people.
I will add our bird records and pictures soon.