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


Aerial displays of terns, swifts and Lesser kestrel

Day trip 29th June 2021 – Réserve national du Bagnas & St Pons de Mauchiens

Guides of the day:Lætitia Marras pour la Réserve du Bagnas and Karline Martorell accompanied by Philippa Benson
Participants: 10
Weather conditions: Sunny with a light breeze, ideal for the end of June, temps ranging from 18°C to 28°C+

Highlights of the day: Aerial displays of terns, swifts and Lesser kestrel provided a grand finale to the Birding Languedoc Spring 2021 season! Excellent views of Purple swamphen and Pallid swift were also very rewarding.

The Réserve nationale du Bagnas is reputed for being a great place to see Purple swamphen and it did not disappoint! We had excellent views of several individuals out in the open and even saw a young one. The terns were another highlight of this vast wetland reserve (only accessible through guided visits), with five species present: Common, Little, Black, Gull-billed and Whiskered tern. A few Pallid swift were spotted amongst the constant ballet of Common swift not far above our heads. And who can resist a “humbug” Great crested grebe chick hitching a lift on a parent seemingly keen to get rid of its young load!
The Lesser kestrels gave us a fantastic display in the afternoon at St Pons de Mauchiens, with close-up views allowing us to see the variety of prey they were bringing to the nest. These stunning birds were then photo bombed by a Short-toed snake eagle sucking up a snake like a piece of spaghetti mid-flight!

What a wonderful finale to a spring season that offered a combination of great birding and great company.
Thank you to all those who joined us, sharing our passion for the wonderful birds and other wildlife of the Languedoc!

You can read and download the detailed trip report and bird list by clicking on the link below.


Trip report and bird list 2021.29.06 Réserve nationale du Bagnas & St Pons de Mauchiens

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