Report by Paul and Sally Bartho
3rd to 12th September 2016
As we arrived at my brother’s home in Gaillac after a 45 minute drive from Toulouse, we were greeted by several Pied Flycatchers enjoying a meal in the tree right next to his deck.
A fine start we thought. However birding in the area around the sterile vineyards proved more testing. The time of year did not help. It was nice to see Black and Common Redstarts in a nearby field. Great Spotted and Green Woodpeckers were calling nearby along with Nuthatches pecking away like woodpeckers. Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits were everywhere. Here are some photos of local birds.
Anyway we did have several pleasant experiences. The first was close-by. As we drove to the top of the local hills we noticed birds in migration. They came over in batches of 20 or more. Predominantly Black Kites. There were also a few Short-toed Eagles.
Another exciting experience was a bit further afield. We left early in the SLK that my brother lent me and arrived some 180 kms away.
We went to Le Rozier where the rivers Le Tarn and La Jonte meet. The rivers are at the bottom of very steep gorges. Gorge de La Jonte was our goal. Here we were told there are many Vultures.
There is an excellent Vulture Viewing Point. The viewing point has an impressive multimedia exhibition, including live video transmission from the nesting sites of what must be the world’s most heavily researched vultures.
Seen in the gorge are a few Egyptian and Black Vultures as well as Lammergeier. However the most abundant Vultures are the Griffin Vultures – and there were plenty to be seen.
On the way back we were lucky to see a Red Kite quartering next to the road.
Click here to find out what species we saw on the trip.