Gourmet Spring birding & wine in the Mediterranean
Tour dates: Monday 22nd to Monday 29th May 2023
Tour code: BLGSBW-23
We are thrilled to have Dominic Couzens as our guest guide on this trip!
This trip is developed in partnership with the Narbonnaise regional park.
Timed for peak birding in our part of the world, this week-long tour combines some superb birding (most of the emblematic Mediterranean species) with exceptional accommodation at a 4* hotel serving gourmet food and the opportunity to taste some great Languedoc wines – a truly unique winning combination!
- 8 days / 7 nights
- Price from 1,800€
- 50€ Discount for travel by train
- Local expert birding guide
- English speaking tour leader
- Group size 7 – 12
Discount available for 7 or more participants booking together.
Our Partners for this trip
This week-long trip is timed to coincide with the height of the birding season in the Western Mediterranean, combining unique accommodation, gourmet food made with local produce and the opportunity to enjoy some excellent Languedoc wines!
A fun trip to see many of the emblematic Mediterranean species, whilst at the same time enjoying some creature comforts!
After the challenging times of the past couple of years, we think you deserve a treat!
The programme may be changed or re-arranged to take advantage of the weather conditions or other last minute birding opportunities!
Aude river plain &
The open pasture and vineyards near the Aude river should add Hoopoe, Lesser kestrel, Bee-eater, Roller and Spotted flycatcher with Ortolan bunting a bonus if we are lucky.
We will picnic in Fleury as we watch the Lesser kestrel swirl around over the village roofs.
Then it’s over to the coast to check out some filtration ponds for various terns and Purple heron, plus the nearby reed-beds for Moustached warbler, Bearded reedling, Great reed warbler. Open patches of samphire and low shrubs offer a good chance of seeing Yellow wagtail and other passerines resting on migration. We may also spot the Bonelli’s eagle hunting in this area.
Migration, “garrigue”, vineyards & lagoons
Then we’ll have a walk around the garrigue habitat of the Leucate headland where we may see nesting species such
Inland garrigue and vineyards
Former ochre quarry: Rock sparrow, Black-eared wheatear + Ortolan bunting, Bee-eater and Roller on migration. Other active migration possible: Honey buzzard, Black kite…)
Picnic at quarry
Inland agricultural plains
There are also some reed beds we can check out too and the surrounding wild flower meadows are also known for a range of orchids.
Marshes, reed-beds, vineyards & migration
Cliffs & Galamus gorge
Coffee break in the village.
Today’s main focus however,
After lunch we will drive down the spectacular Galamus Gorge where we’ll be looking out for Alpine swifts, Crag martins,
Mixed agricultural and steppe habitat & rocky escarpments
Some morning birding before transfers to station / airport for departure.
The list is long! This is the time of year when most of the summer nesting visitors are back. We expect to see most of the emblematic Mediterranean species including: Bee-eater, Roller, Golden oriole, Woodchat shrike, Iberian shrike, Great spotted cuckoo, Blue rock thrush, Common rock thrush, Crag martin, Pallid swift, Tawny pipit, Subalpine warbler, Ortolan bunting, Rock sparrow, Lesser kestrel, Black-winged stilt. But if the weather gods are with us we may also catch some spectacular Honey buzzard migration, with some days seeing over 10,000 birds coming through in one day!
• Trip report and bird list from 2022
• Bird list from 2018
• Bird list from 2017
We recommend that you do NOT book your travel until the trip is confirmed!
Joining a Birding Languedoc tour by train is the perfect, relaxing #lowcarbonbirding option! It’s really quite easy and you get to see more of the beautiful French countryside.Before you throw your hands up in horror, thinking that getting to the south of France by train might be just too hard… please check out this most useful website about traveling by train to Paris on the Eurostar The man in seat 61. The site is full of very practical tips and advice! There is even a section about traveling through to Narbonne! If you travel by train to join one of our tours we will give you a 50€ discount on the tour cost!
A comfortable and surprisingly fast way of getting to the Languedoc, more and more people are choosing to come by train.
There are various routes and one client travelled south via Paris and Bordeaux, returning north via Narbonne and Lille.
See the Getting here page in our DIY birding section, and do get in touch if you need any help!
See the links below for train times and bookings all the way through from London St Pancras to Narbonne.
We do recommend however, in order to avoid the stress of potential missed connections, that it is better to take the Eurostar to Paris the day before and then catch the TGV down to Narbonne the day the trip starts. We will pick you up at Narbonne train station. Timetables and tickets are available 3 months in advance. Or you can talk to your local travel agent to book your tickets through them!
Transfers are included for the flights listed below.
Other transfer options may be available, but may incur an additional cost, please contact us with you preferred departure airport in the UK.
Click on the links below for flight details and pricing (you can track the price to get the best deal!).
We recommend that you do NOT book your flights until the trip is confirmed!
• London Stansted <-> Carcassonne
This trip explores the Narbonnaise regional park
The team for this trip combines the expert knowledge of a local ornithologist and a resident British tour leader for the logistics.
Sébastien Roques - Independant Guide
Local ornithologist and bird guide - French & English
Sébastien is an excellent birder who knows the area well. Passionate about nature since childhood thanks to numerous stays in the Pyrenees, he then continued his studies in ecology with a degree in population biology a master's degree in biostatistics and ecological modelling. Having done a lot of fieldwork, especially in his beloved Mediterranean region but also when travelling abroad, Sébastien completed his PhD thesis on the behaviour of passerines during migratory stopover. Through non-profit organisation Med Migration, he organised bird migration monitoring on the Leucate headland from 2020 to 2022.
Philippa Benson - Birding Languedoc
Founder/Tour Leader - English, French & Spanish
Like many Brits, Philippa has a keen interest in nature and is always curious to learn more about the amazing birds and wildlife of the Languedoc. Resident in this unspoilt area for over 15 years, she has a good working knowledge of where the best spots are for birds, flowers and other species and enjoys sharing these with interested visitors.
Her background in project management and hospitality combined with being fully bilingual are useful skills for organising and hosting tours, and Philippa has a particular focus on customer service!