Days 2-5:- During the next four days we will drive the extensive coastal lakes and pools of this region where we will find a range of wetland species and such as Black necked Grebes, Great White & Cattle Egrets, Common Crane, Glossy Ibis, large numbers of wintering wildfowl, Penduline & Bearded Tits. We will also explore the saltpans at the mouth of the Rhone where among other waders - Avocet and Kentish Plover are usually present, Greater Flamingo are numerous, and Slender-billed Gulls are also a possibility. ll the time we will be looking out for wintering birds of prey, with key target species being Greater Spotted Eagle and Long legged Buzzard, which annually reside here until the Spring migration. However this massive area of rich habitat can also hold a wide range of other raptors possibly including Marsh & Hen Harriers, Common Buzzard, Merlin and Peregrine.
La Craux is an area of psuedo-steppe found just inland from the Camargue and a visit to the boulder-strewn fields can be productive with possibilities such as Little Bustard, Stone Curlew, Rock Bunting, Rock Sparrow and Crested Lark, if we are very lucky then we may also find a small flock of Pin-tailed Sandgrouse but sadly this species is declining in the region.
One day we will go to the Alpilles, an area of vineyards and foothills of limestone crags. Here we will visit he mountain enclave of Les Baux with historic fort and village. Apart from being visually impressive it is also known for its wintering Wallcreepers on the sheer rock-faces and Alpine Accentors within the picturesque cliff top village. Weather and time permitting we will make the short journey to La Caume a local site for Bonelli’s Eagle and other commoner woodland species followed by a dusk visit to Destet for the nesting European Eagle Owls.
Depending on time and weather conditions we will travel further inland to the ski-resort at the top of Mont Ventoux to look for Citril Finch along with Golden Eagle, Sparrowhawk. Red billed Chough, Fieldfare, Nuthatch, and Common Crossbill.