Day trip Bagnas – St Pons de Mauchiens

Day trip 7th July 2022 – Bagnas Nature Reserve and St Pons de Mauchiens

Guide: Karline Martorell accompanied by Philippa Benson. Also Guilhem Duvergé for the Bagnas Nature Reserve
Participants: 12
Weather conditions: A hot and sunny hot day saved by a moderate to a strong wind, temps ranging from 25°C to 32°C

Highlights of the day: Lesser kestrel, Purple swamphen, Whiskered tern, Avocet, Black-winged stilt

We spent the morning on a private visit to the Bagnas Nature Reserve enjoying a very well managed wetland area with large open areas of water surrounded by high quality reed beds. There were plenty of Whiskered terns and we also had excellent views of Purple swamphen out in the open with young. Plenty of Greater flamingo and a Purple heron too.
Then after a rather superior lunch break (eating our picnic in the shade chez Withers – merci Karen and Andy) we headed off to nearby St Pons de Mauchiens to enjoy the endless antics of the Lesser kestrel as we looked down onto the roof tops.

What a great way to end an amazing season of day trips! Thanks to all who participated 🙂

You can read read and download the full trip report and bird list via the link below and don’t hesitate to share the link 🙂

Trip report Bagnas – St Pons de Mauchiens 2022

 

Day trip Béziers – Portiragnes – Lespignan April 2022

Day trip 22nd April 2022 – Béziers airport – Portiragnes – Lespignan

Guide: Karline Martorell accompanied by Philippa Benson
Participants: 5
Weather conditions: Mostly sunny with light winds and temps ranging from 10°C to 20°C.

Highlights of the day: Little bustard (good views in flight and on the ground), Bearded tit, Whiskered and Black tern, Lesser kestrel

Starting with both ends of Béziers airport, we were treated to a flight of 40 Little bustard, disturbed by a Marsh harrier. Also Tawny pipit and Corn bunting.
We then moved on to the reed beds and lagoons at Portiragnes, via a very active lush meadow with a lovely group of very glossy Glossy ibis, showing their bronze and green highlights and accompanied by a very active group of Jackdaw. At the reedbeds we enjoyed watching the Whiskered and Black terns in the distance (a tower hide would be perfect here!) and managed to get a glimpse of a male Bearded tit.
To end the day we moved on to Lespignan, a typical old Languedoc village with pan-tile roofs that provide good nesting opportunities for the growing colony of Lesser kestrel. A success story as they were reintroduced in nearby Fleury d’Aude and are now colonising other villages in the area!
Varied habitats and a wide variety of 76 species in total.

Read the full trip report and bird list via the link below and don’t hesitate to share the link 🙂

Trip report Bézier – Portiragnes – Lespignan 22nd April 2022

 

Day trip Gruissan April 2022

Day trip 12th April 2022 – Gruissan

Guide of the day: Karline Martorell accompanied by Philippa Benson
Participants: 10
Weather conditions: Cloudy all day with a fresh onshore wind. Temps ranging from 10°C to 16°C.

Highlights of the day: White stork (on the nest and bill clapping), Marsh harrier, Yellow wagtail, Purple heron, Woodchat shrike

We started with reed beds, nesting White stork, Purple heron and a very shy Purple swamphen… and ended the day in a quarry ogling a beautiful male Blue rock thrush with a dazzling blue head! Saltpans, waders, vineyards and Woodchat shrike and so much more in between!
Varied habitats and a wide variety of 70 species in total.

Read the full trip report and bird list via the link below and don’t hesitate to share the link 🙂 

Trip report and bird list 2022.12.04 – Gruissan

 

Day trip Les Coussoules – La Palme March 2022

 Day trip 28th March 2022 – Les Coussoules & La Palme

Guide of the day: Karline Martorell accompanied by Philippa Benson
Participants: 8
Weather conditions: Good weather partly cloudy with a very light easterly wind, temps ranging
from 10°C to 14°C

Highlights of the day: Osprey, Common redstart, Temminck’s stint, Yellow wagtail

The low lying dunes of les Coussoules are a favoured stopover for a range of birds on migration. We were lucky to get excellent views of a very cooperative Osprey (at first perched in a dead tree and then in flight) and amongst a fairly constant flow of Barn swallow and House martin Karline spotted the first Common swift of the season 🙂

The salt pans at La Palme turned up another first (quite late), several very intensely coloured Yellow wagtail (including one of the Iberian sub-species). Also, scanning a group of Little stint, Karline’s eagle eyes picked up a Temminck’s stint.

Just click on the link below to read or download the detailed trip report and bird list.

Trip report and bird list 2022.28.03 – Les Coussoules & La Palme

 

Day trip Ouveillan – Capestang March 2022

 Day trip 3rd March 2022 – Ouveillan & Capestang

Guide of the day: Karline Martorell accompanied by Philippa Benson
Participants: 7
Weather conditions: Good weather, partly cloudy with a light wind. Temps ranging from 10°C to 18°C.

Highlights of the day: Iberian grey shrike, Purple swamphen, Black kite, Black stork, White stork, Bonelli’s eagle

The variety of habitats within such a short distance of each other, offer a wide variety of birds in  a small area. The open agricultural land near Ouveillan are good habitat for Iberian shrike, but they are only present in small numbers and are quite shy, so finding them requires eagle eyes and finely tuned hearing!

The vast reed beds of the étang de Capestang offer, for their part, good habitat for a vast range of species – from small passerines on a migratory halt, to storks and flamingo moving through, but also predators looking for an easy snack!

Just click on the link below to read or download the detailed trip report and bird list.

 

Trip report and bird list 2022.03.03 – Ouveillan & Capestang

 

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