Winter Wallcreeper Weekend 2022


Tour dates: Monday to Friday early March 2023

Tour code: BLWWW-23

Short break looking for Wallcreeper and other overwintering & resident species in the Minervois hills

  • 4 days / 3 nights
  • From 690 € per person
  • Charming accommodation
  • Large rooms – no single supplement
  • Local expert guides
  • English speaking tour leader
  • Group size = 6 to 12

Discount available for 7 or more participants booking together.



A short winter break visiting some spectacular sites in the Minervois hills, looking for Wallcreeper and Alpine accentor, both species that overwinter at lower altitudes. We may also see Bonelli’s eagle, Iberian grey shrike and recently returned Great spotted cuckoo. Click on Target species for a more detailed list…




Transfer from Carcassonne airport to accommodation

Welcome drinks & dinner


This morning we will be looking for Wallcreeper
at two main sites including
amongst the spectacular dolomitic chimneys at the
Cirque de Mourèze.
Other species that we will
keep an eye out for include:
Bonelli’s eagle, Blue rock thrush, European serin, Sardinian warbler…

After a picnic lunch we will move on to a birdwatching spot with very different open agricultural habitat where we will be looking for Great spotted cuckoo, Iberian shrike, Little bustard, Little owl…

Back to our accommodation for a rest before evening drinks, the bird list and a delicious dinner.



First we will head for the impressive village of Minerve, which sits on a rocky platform at the confluence of the Cesse and Briant rivers where we will be looking for WallcreeperAlpine accentorBlue rock thrush, Crag martin and Golden eagle amongst others.

We will enjoy our picnic  lunch  along the Cesse river gorge on our way to Caunes Minervois where we will visit a number of sites with gorges and cliff faces to look for Wallcreeper and a range of other species.
Black vulture are occasionally  seen in the area!

If we have time, we might call in at the GSC site on the way back to our accommodation.
Evening drinks while we run through the bird list before dinner.




Departure after breakfast

We will birdwatch in the morning before heading back to the airport for departure.


We will mainly be looking for overwintering species such as Wallcreeper and Alpine accentor, but also early spring arrivals…

Wallcreeper and Alpine accentor abandon their high mountain breeding sites to overwinter at lower altitudes. It’s a bit like looking for a needle in a haystack… and there is no guarantee of seeing these species, but we will be visiting a number of spectacular sites where they seen on a regular basis. And there are plenty of other interesting species to see too, such as the recently returned Great spotted cuckoo and the resident Iberian shrike and Blue rock thrush.

Species we will be looking for on this trip:

Wallcreeper, Alpine accentor, Blue rock thrush, Bonelli’s eagle, Crag martin,  Sardinian warbler, Great spotted cuckoo, Iberian shrike, White stork and Black kite on migration…

“Very well organised and very successful. Sites were well picked and interesting.” PM 03 March 2020

“Well planned, well researched, great food and accommodation – lucky with weather and birds.” GE 04 March 2020

“A good crowd/fun/well planned and executed/good food and accommodation/really lucky with the Wallcreepers, over and above that ‘luck’ which attends good planning.” AB 04 March 2020

“Well organised, wonderful diverse locations to visit, good guiding.” JG 05 March 2020

“Most enjoyable, well organised.” SG 05 March 2020

By train!
Come by train and choose the #lowcarbonbirding option! It’s really quite easy and you get to see more of the beautiful French countryside.
A participant on this trip in 2020 came by train, travelling south via Paris and Bordeaux and 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!

SNCF French trains in English

Eurostar website in English

By plane
For this trip, we normally meet flights into Carcassonne from Manchester and will post a link to flights as soon as they are available.

Click on the links below for flight details and pricing (track the price to get the best deal!)

Flight Manchester –  Carcassonne

Flight Bristol – Toulouse*

Other options may be available, please contact us with your preferred departure airport in the UK.

We recommend that you do NOT book your travel arrangements until the trip is confirmed!



  • Transfers from / to Carcassonne airport or a local train station
  • All local transport
  • High quality ensuite accommodation
  • All meals from dinner Friday to breakfast Monday
  • Pre-dinner drinks and wine with dinner
  • Expert local guides
  • English speaking tour leader


  • Flights / train travel
  • Cancellation insurance
  • Personal medical and repatriation insurance
  • Drinks other than with meals
  • Personal expenses
  • Lunch on the first and last days

This weekend trip explores several spectacular sites in the Minervois hills.

The team for this trip combines the local knowledge of a professional ornithologist and a resident British tour leader for the logistics!

Karline Martorell

Karline Martorell

Local Bird Guide - French, English & Esperanto

Drawn to wildlife conservation from a very young age, Karline studied Biodiversity Analysis and Surveying Techniques. She continues to be an active naturalist, with a particular interest in birds, reptiles and amphibians. Particularly passionate about birds, Karline volunteers for migration counting and bird ringing. A number of wildlife trips abroad have helped widen her knowledge base and she spent five years working for an environmental consultancy firm carrying out doing bird and reptile surveys.

Philippa Benson - Birding Languedoc

Philippa Benson - Birding Languedoc

Co-founder/Tour Leader - English, French & Spanish

Like many Brits, Philippa has a keen interest in natural history and enjoys learning about the amazing birds and wildlife of the Languedoc. Resident in this lovely area for over 15 years, she now has a good working knowledge of where the best spots are for birds, flowers and other species and enjoys sharing these with interested visitors.
A background in project management and hospitality combined with a particular focus on customer service and being fully bilingual are all helpful skills for organising and hosting tours.

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