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 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

 

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

Birding day trip around Portiragnes

Day trip 12th May 2021 – A real bonanza of birds with good views of top species!

Guide of the day: Karline Martorell accompanied by Philippa Benson
Participants: 6
Weather conditions: Clear windless weather all day, temps ranging from 11°C to 19°C+

Highlights of the day: Little bustard, Collared pratincole, Great reed warbler and Reed warbler (both heard and seen), Purple swamphen (out in the open again!),  Black-winged stilt (good close views), Caspian tern, Purple heron, Lesser kestrel…

Starting with superb views of a displaying male Little bustard in full view, the day just got better and better!
With interesting birds in every direction and new ones appearing every couple of minutes – the excitement was exhilarating. We topped our list at a more than respectable 75 species and had a really good day – and I suspect everyone slept well!

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

 

Trip report and bird list 2021.12.05 Portiragnes

 

Day trip birding around Gruissan

Day trip 5th May 2021 – A real pot of gold at the end of the rainbow!

Guide of the day: Karline Martorell accompanied by Philippa Benson
Participants: 8
Weather conditions: Sunshine, clouds and rainbows – with a strong westerly wind. Temps from a chilly 8° to a very warm 20°+
Highlights of the day: White stork, Spoonbill, Purple swamphen (out in the open!), Woodchat shrike (male and female perched next to each other), Slender billed gull, Little tern and the feldegg subspecies of Yellow wagtail.

We are so spoilt to have such a wide diversity of habitats in such a small area! And the rainbow as we set out for the day was an excellent sign of things to come 🙂 Great species with some really excellent views in good light conditions and all in stunning landscapes with a large dose of sunshine – what more could one want!

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

 

Trip report and bird list 2021.05.05 Gruissan

 

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