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Thread: Ortolan Buntings site in the Cevennes worth a visit!

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Thumbs up Ortolan Buntings site in the Cevennes worth a visit!

    Hi there,
    In the Cevennes in southern France where the highest road bridge, (and viaduct), in Europe is situated at a hight of over 200 metres above ground is a superb site for birding!
    The surrounding area is a magnet for birders who seek out many Continental birds and wildlife including at the Causse de Mejean near this campsite I am letting you know about and gite site with pool and tennis court excellent for a long break in the heat at present of 30 Degrees Celcius in southern France
    and filled with resident Ortolan Buntings.
    The site is run by an Irish and French couple and is a website with details in English!
    The road down there is easy via the motorways through from Lyon the Autoroute du Soleil which takes me three hours from Lyon to the Med
    and Lyon is half way from Paris to the Med so I assume it takes six hours from Paris to the Med by autoroute. I take the motorway from Rennes to Nantes from which there is a new motorway direct to Lyon leading to the Med.
    Otherwise you can fly down there and hire a car from people like Avis which is French owned!You can also take tthe TGV which is only six hours from
    London to the area of Provence on the Med.
    If you go via St Malo by ferry go to the Foret de Villecartier near Dol and Pontorson just outside St Malo where there are Black Woodpeckers, Middle
    Spotted Woodpeckers and other commoner wee peckers! Also present there
    many breeding Redstarts, Wooodlarks, Tree Pipits, Hawfinch, Honey Buzzards,
    Short-toed Eagles sometimes, Goshawks and mnay other nice birds.The Bay of Mont St Michel has breeding Kentish Plovers and Stilts in good numbers and birds like Quail and many other interesting birds with Golden Orioles common near Dol as well as Red-backed Shrikes.
    Worth a trip now it is peak breeding season as soon passage will begin of autumn migrants like waders and birds start to think of finishing their breeding!
    Kind regards,
    Bertram.E.B.BREE in sunny Jersey home to seabirds now feeding in front of my home on the south-eastern tip bathed by summer sun on beautiful
    stretches of bird filled beaches!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Thumbs up St Malo and St Brieuc area birding!

    Hi there,
    If you are in St Malo it is worth a trip west to St Brieuc and also south of St Brieuc to Perret and Plouguernevel where Crested Tits are now feeding young
    and Wrynecks are still calling regularly! St Brieuc is a good area to use as a base to go on trips to Cap Frehel for example a seabird colony between St Malo and St Brieuc with breeding Peregrines, Razorbill, Guillemots, Fulmar, Shag, and on Ile de la Colombiere nearby St Jacut breedin Roseate Terns with other Terns and Egrets nesting colonially near good numbers of Cirl Bunting on the headland at the observation point to use to scan the area.
    Near St Brieuc is Hillion where the Maison Nature en Cotes Armor is based.
    More details at: Syndicat des Caps, Rue Notre-Dame-Plevenon, 22240 Frehel
    Tel 00 33 (0)2 96 41 50 83
    VivArmor, 10, bd Sevigne, 22000 Saint Brieuc at email:-
    Tel 02 96 33 10 57
    Maison de la Baie, Site de l'Etoile, 22120 Hillion
    St Brieuc
    Tel 02 96 32 27 98
    Kind regards from sunny Jersey isle of passionate beauty in brilliant colours.
    Bertram.E.B.Bree in the isle of Renoir, Hugo and Marx and Engels plus Chateaubriand.

  3. #3
    Moderator Brian S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Suffolk, UK



    I spent a few days camping at Millau, just below the afore-mentioned bridge, last July. Though birding was good, the butterflies were even better, with a number of new species for me, the best of which was the vittatus race of Furry Blue.

    Birds were pretty much as I expected, with many Monties, Griffons nest commonly now, I had one Black Vulture over the town, Bee-eaters nesting, Rock Sparrows, etc.. The landscape is magnificent and it is well worth a visit.

    Brian S

  4. #4
    Senior Member Joe stockwell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008


    An area of france i have not visited, i may have to give it a try some time next year

    thanks for the info bertram

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Carmarthenshire, Wales and also Lanquedoc, France

    Default Cevennes


    I spend half my life just 2 hour drive north to this area. I can vouch for everything already said especially the butterflies.

    Rock Thrushes also nest sparingly on the Causee de Mejean but something worth bearing on mind is the suitability of the habitat here for Black-shouldered Kites. A pair is said to have nested here in the 1990's and with the species spreading north fairly rapidly I am convinced it could turn up here again.

    It is a fantastic area and the habitat on the Causses very different.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Thumbs up Causses de Mejean and Gorges du Tarn near Camargue and Miliau Europes highest bridge.

    Hi there,
    I love the area near Miliau and to the south-east the Camargue and Crau.
    It is near Avignon and M....ille with new Eurostar link in 6 hours to M....ille direct from St Pancras in London commencing on 1st May next year able to be booked this December.It is good too look at Fatbirder website by my good friend Bo Beolens to read up about this part of France.On birdingpal you can see guides who will guide you about here.
    Good website on breeding birds at
    And migrants:-
    Kind regards,
    Bertram.E.B.Bree in mild sunny Jersey and Guernsey islands near Normandy and the Cherbourg peninsula.

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