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Bird watchning in Languedoc, south France
Bird watching in Languedoc
Home > Explore The Region > Activities > Bird Watching

Bird watching in Languedoc Roussillon, South France

 

 

 

Languedoc is one of Europe's most diverse bird-watching areas

 

Bird watching in LanguedocBird-watching enthusiasts who come to Languedoc Roussillon have 4 exciting areas to choose from - two mountainous (the Cévennes and the Pyrénées) and two wetlands (the Camargue and the Etangs of Narbonne).

 

Les Cévennes

 

Bird-watching in Languedoc's Cevennes is superb. Technically part of the Massif Central these mountains are excellent for the traveling birder. Les Causses are large limestone plateaux excellent for open habitat species. Dividing deep gorges provide habitat for a wide range of cliff birds. Successful reintroduction of Griffon and Black Vulture has taken place in the Gorges de la Jontes. Large forests on the Massif de l`Aigoual have most of the common woodland birds as well as Black Woodpecker.

 

Alpine Swift
Ortolan Bunting
Sardinian Warbler
Shrike
Tawny Pipit
Alpine Swift
Ortolan Bunting
Sardinian Warbler
Shrike
Tawny Pipit
Golden Eagle
Black Vulture
Eagle Owl
Black Woodpecker
Citril Finch
Golden Eagle
Black Vulture
Eagle Owl
Black Woodpecker
Citril Finch

 

The Camargue

 

Languedoc's Camargue, a huge salt-water swamp, is a brilliant bird watching area & not to be missed. It's famous for flamingoes, but also receives huge numbers of wildfowl over winter as well as Spotted Eagle. Migration time is the best with Sandpipers and Plovers in the saltpans (South of Salin de Giraud, Phare de la Gachole); freshwater waders (including good numbers of Marsh Sandpiper); Marsh Terns and Herons in the north (Basse Méjane, Mas d`Agon, Salin de Badon and La Capellière) and good passerine falls in bushes by the sea (Phare de la Gachole and Beauduc). Good bird watching information can be obtained at La Capellière in Languedoc, which has a decent set of hides as well as quite good exhibit on the local Ecology.

 

Carmargue flamingoes
Squacco Heron
Spotted Eagle
Purple Heron
Ringed Plover

Flamingo

Squacco Heron
Spotted Eagle
Purple Heron
Ringed Plover

 

The Etangs of Narbonne (Le Narbonnai)

 

Very good area in Languedoc for bird watching, offering visible migration (La station ornithologique de Gruissan) in both spring and Autumn... Pissevache (near Narbonne Plage); Les Salin de Lapalme and La Franquie (near Leucate) are all very good for water birds as well as providing good passerine falls. Cave has a small population of Spotless Starlings and the hills north of this little village have the only French population of Thekla Lark. The whole area has a good population of Great-spotted Cuckoo. For information about this area contact the LPO-Aude. Pelicans can also be found near Perpignan.

 

Spotless Starling
Great Spooted Cuckoo
Thekla Lark
Pelican

Spotless Starling

Great Spotted Cuckoo
Thekla Lark
Pelican

 

The Pyrénées

 

Although most of the high altitude specialty are present, Languedoc Roussillon's Pyrénées are renowned for the quantity and quality of the birds of prey present in the western part of the range. For Bearded Vulture, the Gavarnie area is the best bet, La Falaise aux Vautours in the Ossau valley has the biggest French colony of Griffon Vulture. Organbideska is the most spectacular visible migration spot in France starting with Black Kites in August and finishing with Cranes in November. Nearby Iraty Forest is a good spot for the elusive White-backed Woodpecker. Other good migration spots include: Eyne (eastern part of the range can have amazing Short-toed Eagle days, up to 200 per day!) and most pass on the western part of the mountains (for more information on migration counts in the Pyrénées contact OCL).

 

Crane
Red Kite
Egyptian Vulture
Booted Eagle
White-backed Woodpecker
Crane
Red Kite
Egyptian Vulture
Booted Eagle
White-backed Woodpecker
 
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