Kestrels are nesting at Le Fort Pouzols-Minervois at the moment. They can be seen flying over the vineyards all day long from the roof terrace.
The Eurasian or common kestrels we have in France are a type of falcon. They hunt by hovering at around 10-20 metres above the ground, looking for mice, lizards and other small animals.
Depending on the wind conditions, they can often be spotted hovering just above the roof terrace at Le Fort Pouzols-Minervois. With their reddish brown plumage, they are a real joy to watch.
There are a number of birds that are commonly referred to as kestrels. But the American kestrel, for example, is more related to the slightly larger hobbies than a true kestrel.
Here’s another interesting fact: ‘our’ kestrels are ultraviolet sensitive. The means that they can see scent trails left by voles. The small rodents leave scent trails of urine and faeces that reflect ultraviolet light, making them easy prey for the kestrel especially early in the spring before vegetation covers the land.
Aude is famous for birdlife. Most spectacular of all are perhaps the pink flamingoes that live along the coast. If you want to see them closer to home than in the Camargue, we recommend a short trip to Peyriac-de-Mer. Here, you can see flamingoes, egrets and birds of prey from the comfort of your vehicle or talk an enjoyable hike around the lagoons.
Peyriac-de-Mer is close to Sigean, where the popular African reserve was established to protect one of Europe’s most important hibitats for migratory birds. The reserve itself includes a drive-through safari park and a walk-through zoo, but you don’t have to pay to enter the attraction to spot the birdlife in the surrounding wetlands.
Specialist guided walks are also available in the region that will take you to the very best spots to see birdlife. Eco-tourism is a fast-growing industry in France, in which the Languedoc-Roussillon region around Le Fort Pouzols-Minervois forms one of Europe’s unrivalled gems.