Cap Griz Nez

Nord-pas-de-Calais  >  France

Seawatching, several species rarely observed from mainland France can be found. Especially by wind from the North-West in specific pelagic species.

Added* by Mark van den Bosch
Most recent update 5 May 2020


Cap Gris-Nez is the migration bottleneck of the Straits of Dover. It allows the observation of a number of seabirds, often difficult to observe from the coast. It is a strategic site for a migration survey of seabirds, both in spring and autumn.

Seawatching is usually drawing in birders between the end of August and early November. During that time of the year, several species rarely observed from mainland France can be found: Sabine's Gull, Great Skua, Pomarine Skua, Arctic Skua (Parasitic Jaeger) and Long-tailed Skua (which is regularly seen), Sooty Shearwater, Manx Shearwater, Balearic Shearwater and Red Phalarope.

During spring, the site is less reknowned for seabirds. A regular survey during mid March to mid May, however, has revealed the interest of the site for seawatching during spring. If the migration survey is mainly focusing on seabirds, the high cliffs are also suitable to watch migration over land (passerines, raptors), both for migrants following the coast, as well as for those leaving or arriving from Britain.



Big Parking place on top of Cape Griz Nez.

Terrain and Habitat



Flat , Rocky

Circular trail


Is a telescope useful?


Good birding season

Autumn , Spring

Best time to visit

Autumn migration , Spring migration


Paved road , Narrow trail

Difficulty walking trail


Accessible by


Birdwatching hide / platform


Extra info

Special place in spring and autumn with winddirection from North-West. By strong wind the birds pass underneath you.


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