Gourmet Autumn Birding and Wine in the Mediterranean
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Gourmet Autumn Birding & Wine in the Mediterranean

Monday 30th September - Friday 4th October 2019

Tour code: BLPB3-19

Autumn bird watching, gourmet food and wine tasting in the Narbonnaise and coastal Corbieres.

This trip is hosted in a stylish new 4* boutique hotel in Leucate... (scroll down for more info!)

 Target species: Mediterranean residents & autumn migration

• 5 days / 4 nights  from 990€ per person*

• Local expert guide & English tour leader  • Small group size 6 - 10

Discount available for any group of 7+ participants booking together.

This trip is developed in partnership with the Narbonnaise regional park.

Parc naturel régional de la Narbonnaise

Complete a Booking request form

*We only ask for a deposit once the trip is confirmed,

and at that point you can choose to pay the full amount and avoid exchange rate uncertainties!

Autumn migration, resident species and lingering summer visitors...

Centred on the Narbonnaise regional park this trip covers coastal lagoons, salt pans, marshy reedbeds,
rocky headlands at La Clape and Leucate, as well as the coastal Corbières hills.
The incredibly diverse range of habitats hosts an equally wide range of birds,
including most of southern France’s iconic species.

This trip offers an exclusive opportunity for English speaking birdwatchers to discover
a new birding destination with an English speaking tour leader and an expert local birding guide
.

Target species include:

Residents: Eagle owl, Bonelli's eagle, Flamingo, Slender-billed gull, Purple gallinule, Sardinian warbler, 

Blue rock thrush, Crag martin, Rock sparrow, Crested lark, Spotless starling, Iberian grey shrike...

Lingering summer visitors: Short-toed eagle, Pallid swift 

On migration: Short-toed eagle, Booted eagle, Hobby, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel.

We are delighted to be hosting this trip at the exciting new boutique hotel in Leucate:
le 19-21 Un amour d'hôtel  - where the high standard of designer accommodation is complemented by
a very relaxed atmosphere and delicious gourmet food provided by Katy and her team.

This trip is for those who like their creature comforts as well as some excellent birding!

Scroll down below the map for the detailed itinerary!

Gourmet Autumn birding and wine in the Mediterranean

Programme

Monday

Transfer from Carcassonne airport to our

4* boutique hotel in Leucate village

Le 19-21 Un amour d'hôtel 

Welcome drinks & dinner

Evening outing to try and spot Eagle owl

Squacco heron - Birding Languedoc

Tuesday

Reedbeds, coastal lagoons, salt pans and 

of the Narbonnaise 

We start with the flooded rice paddies to see birds stopping over on migration. These may include: White stork, Flamingo, but also other waders and shore birds such as various crake, Water rail, Little stint, Purple gallinule, and possibly Black-crowned night heron

If the wind is in the NW we will then 

visit the Roc de Conilhac for some migration watching. From this  internationally renowned  spot some years have seen up to 29 different species of raptor passing through.

Then we will move on via coastal lagoons to  the

Gruissan salt-pans for a coffee and

to look for Flamingo, Slender-billed gull and Kentish plover amongst other shore birds and waders, before checking out a couple of spots for Pallid swift

After our picnic lunch, we will walk down a dry Mediterranean river gully to look for

Blue rock thrush, Crested tit, Crag martin,

Rock sparrow and Sardinian warbler

This is also Bonelli's eagle territory,

so we might be lucky!

Then it's back to our boutique hotel 

for a wine tasting before dinner.

Black-eared wheatear - Birding Languedoc

Wednesday

Birdwatching in the vineyards

of the Corbières hills!

We'll start the day seeing what birds we can

spot perching on the posts or foraging

amongst the rows of vines.

Then we will visit a small independent wine estate and hopefully see some of the grape harvest as well as the wine in the making and

of course sample the finished product

while we have our lunch! 

In the afternoon we will continue to 

birdwatch in the mosaic of habitats including working vineyards and fallow land interspersed with some trees and shrubs that is host to various birds including

Sardinian warbler and Zitting cisticola. 

We will also be looking out for Iberian grey shrike as they too like hunting in the vineyards!

Short-toed eagle Birding Languedoc

Thursday

Garrigue, dry grassland, lagoons & dunes

The Leucate plateau is a protected area for biodiversity and we will be looking for Black redstart,  Sardinian warbler and Spotless starling amongst other species. 

Coffee in Leucate before we head to the dunes at Les Coussoules. Here we will be looking for Bluethroat, Moustached warbler and possibly Penduline tit, Sardinian warbler, Zitting cisticola, Crested lark as well keeping our eyes out for various lizards and dragonflies! It is also possible that we might see birds resting on migration.

We will eat our picnic lunch 

on the seafront at La Franqui, before checking the salt-pans for FlamingoBlack-winged stilt, Slender-billed gull, Kentish plover and other shore birds

including possibly Little tern.

Then a drive through the vineyards looking for Crested lark and just possibly Stone curlew before heading back to our accommodation for a wine tasting before dinner.

Blue rock thrush Birding Languedoc

Friday

Birdwatching and lunch on our way to Carcassonne airport 

for your return journey.

What's included and what's not...

INCLUDED

  • Transfer from airport and all local transport
  • High quality accommodation in a boutique hotel
  • All meals included a tasty picnic (no sandwiches!)
  • Visits to wineries and wine tastings
  • Experienced local birdwatching guides
  • Bilingual Birding Languedoc tour leader

NOT INCLUDED

  1. Flights

  2. Cancellation insurance

  3. Personal medical and repatriation insurance

  4. Drinks other than wine with meals

  5. Personal expenses

  6. Lunch on the last day

We meet the following flights into Carcassonne...

You can also travel by train from London!

Travel by train to Narbonne from London St Pancras...
either via Paris (change stations) or via Lille (change platforms).

Pricing and enquiries

Gourmet Autumn Birding & Wine break in the Mediterranean

  Monday 30th September  to Friday 4th October 2019

   Gourmet Autumn Mediterranean Birding & Wine break in the Narbonnaise regional park.

  8 days / 7 nights  •  Expert local guide • From 990€ per person • Group size 6 - 10 • Tour code BLPB3-19

Tour leader: Philippa Benson

Like many Brits, I have a keen interest in nature and will never tire of learning about the amazing birds and wildlife of the Languedoc.

After living here for over 10 years, I now have a good working knowledge of where the best spots are for birds, flowers and other species and I enjoy sharing these with interested visitors.

My background in project management and hospitality combined with being fully bilingual are useful skills for organising and hosting tours, and I have a particular focus on customer service!

Expert local birding guide: Sébastien Roques

Sébastien is an excellent birder, fluent in English and 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 

and a master's degree in biostatistics and ecological modeling.  

Having done a lot of fieldwork, especially in his beloved Mediterranean region

but also when travelling abroad, Sébastien is currently working on

a PhD thesis on the behaviour of passerines during migratory stopover.

Through a non-profit organisation called Med Migration, he is

keen to contribute to bird migration monitoring in the Mediterranean region 

including locally on the Leucate headland.