Trips & Holidays » Birding » Provance June 2014

Provance June 2014 — RSPB Guildford Group

This was another holiday organised by our group and the second year with Wildlife Provençale, a great company.

The first day was spent in the Baronnies where we had wonderful sightings of all three vulture species common to the area as well as a spectacular view of a rock thrush.

In the Camargue we had brilliant views of stone curlews. We saw most of the expected birds but the highlights were the hobbies, hovering and feeding close-by, and a great reed warbler that just would not shut up. On our return, an evening walk was a magical experience with frogs croaking, bats flying under the bridge and a nightingale singing. The next day we went to Ventoux where we joined the cycling fanatics and saw a golden eagle and a crested tit feeding their young. I was fascinated to see numerous caterpillars inside their very large cocoon; I have never seen anything like it.

En route to the Crau we watched a Bonelli’s eagle feeding a chick. Little bustards kept popping up and a great spotted cuckoo obligingly rested in full view. What a sight it was when a huge flock of cattle egrets flew up from nowhere!

Needing a respite, several members of the group visited the local market while four of us joined Craig for a local walk to see and hear warblers, buntings and turtle doves. We also watched a short toed eagle circle overhead carrying a snake.

The last day was spent at Vercors. Lunch was delightful, and eaten surrounded by orchids and meadow flowers while watching butterflies and a beatutiful bee-fly. Nothing, however, could match the excitement when Carol spotted the elusive wallcreeper. It was worth the hot climb and sore eyes from scanning the cliffs. I nearly missed it as I had wandered off further up the hillside.

All in all, our group counted 130 species seen plus another 14 heard. What a great holiday!

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  • June 1st, Baronnies
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