Within easy range of Le Fort Pouzols-Minervois are some of the most exciting areas for bird watchers anywhere in Europe. From the wetlands of the Camargue down to the eastern foothills of the Pyrenees, over 400 different species are regulary reported.
The wetlands of the Camargue offers a huge number and variety of waders and passerines. At a 2.5 hours drive from Le Fort Pouzols-Minervois, it is realistically the furthest birding destination for a day trip. But thanks to easy access, it is not uncommon to spot over 100 species of bird in a single day – often at close range.
The coastal area between Montpellier and Perpignan is a spectacular migration zone for countless species of bird. The saltmarshes around Sigean are a rich breeding ground for thousands of migrants.
Hoopoes, bee-eaters and little bustards are commonly sighted, whereas many Mediterranean specialities and raptors can be found in the surrounding areas too.
The beaches and hills at Gruissan, 24 miles east of Le Fort Pouzols-Minervois, are the key migration hotspot of the entire French Mediterranean area. It is an unmissable destination for birding between March and May and August to October. Flocks of bee-eaters, black storks, ospreys and other waders, raptors and passerines pass through.
The low-altitude Corbières and its vineyards are home to Thekla larks, black-eared wheatear, ortolan bunting and countless other species. The plateaus are popular breeding grounds and also busy migration hotspots.
This area is characterised by exceptional migration displays in Spring. It is one of the best regions to see most of Mediterranean breeding birds. The glossy ibis, Mediterranean shag, Eleonora’s falcon as well as massive falls of passerines ensure a terrific birding experience.
Further south, fishing boats attract huge flocks as they head back to port along the rocky coat. Mediterranean gulls and shags, Yelkouan and Scopoli’s shearwaters and other species make this one of France’s most reliable sites for birding. The Eastern Pyrenees are home to capercaille, Pyrenean grey partridge, lammergeier, Egyptian vultures and other birds that are hard to find elsewhere.
Where to watch birds in France
(Where to Watch Guides)
By Jean-Yves Barnagaud, Nidal Issa and Sebastien Dalloyau
Dividing the country into 14 regions, the authors highlight 312 representative sites, chosen for their bird species composition and ease of access. The selected sites enable the reader to see the widest possible species diversity and largest range of local specialities in a reasonable time.
Birds of France
(Pocket Photo Guides)
By James Lowen and Aurélien Audevard
Pocket-sized and portable, Birds of France is the perfect companion for any wildlife-watching tourist or traveller keen to recognise the birds that they see.