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Birding in France
We found this birding
guide and thought that the tours look pretty interesting, and Andy
himself as well.
Provençale is an independent wildlife holiday company specialising
in regional wildlife tours of Provence in the South of France. We
are the regional experts for natural history holidays in this spectacular
location with 11 years of highly successful wildlife tours.
Provence, from the website:
vastness of France with its varied habitats holds a wealth of potential
for the naturalist, and for us, Provence is the jewel in the crown.
time is precious, so we take care of all your transport, hotel,
language and other logistical distractions so that you can best
optimise your time on your birdwatching holiday. Our intimate local
knowledge and research of the region as well as extensive local
contacts allow us to take you to the best spots whilst our discreet
and sensitive approach is sufficiently 'hands off' to give you a
real sense of discovery and personal identification with Provence.
glorious Provencale landscapes immortalized by Cezanne and Van Gogh
provide a superb backdrop for us to explore and observe dynamic
wildlife species. An important feature of our holidays is the wide
diversity of habitats within easy reach. These include the internationally
important wetlands of the Camargue, the stony desert-like Crau,
Maquis, and Mediterranean scrub, raised plateaux incised by deep
gorges, whilst to our north we have the mountains of the Southern
Alps which tower above 7,000 feet.
the naturalist we are located at a fascinating cross over between
the Mediterranean and Alpine habitats, where a succession of biomes
are “telescoped together” between the ruggedness of
the Alps and the “big sky” landscapes of the Camargue.
allows us to see Wallcreepers, Chamois, Marmot, Alpine Chough, and
Ibex. Then the next day be watching Pin-Tailed Sandgrouse, Collared
Pratincole, Flamingos and Bee Eaters. Where else would this be possible?
plant and insect life of course, also show a similarly wide diversity
of species, with many species unique to our region.
in a mountainous region of northern Provence known as the Baronnies,
our base in the medieval village of Sainte Jalle lies at a fascinating
interface between Alpine and Mediterranean habitats where the calls
of Black Redstart, Hoopoe, Wryneck, Nightingale, Nightjar, and Scops
Owl can be heard around the village.
regular village sightings include wild boar, Stone Martin, golden
eagle, short toed eagle, black kite, raven and beavers (at the bottom
of our garden!).
area boasts over twenty-six species of orchid, in fact within 100m
of the village centre we can see Military, Pyramidal, bee, spider,
butterfly and lizard orchids.
disappearing peasant lifestyle still remains in our valley, where
the dull clank of sheep neck bells creates truly atmospheric music.
A chequerboard pattern carpets the valley floor with fields of lavender,
thyme, wheat, apricots and cherries, which are fringed by poplar,
lime, mulberry, and almond trees.
oak woodlands dominate the valley flanks, giving way to beech and
hazel above 100m. In many places the improbably blue Provencale
horizon is incised by vertically inclined limestone strata and here
we can find Alpine Swift, Crag Martin, Raven, Rock Bunting, Eagle
Owl, Peregrine, Golden Eagle and Chamois.
to all this a warm and hospitable climate and we know you are in
for a stunning natural history holiday !
Andrew, the leader:
Andrew Hargreaves will be leading the tours with a maximum size
of eight. Andy has a degree in Environmental Science and has worked
in Provence reintroducing Griffon vultures to the Baronnies. As
well as studying Griffon behaviour and ecology, Andy has taken part
in scientific surveys of Beaver, Chamois, Ibex, Bats, Lammergeier,
Tengmalm’s; Scops and Eagle owls, Little Bustard, Pin-tailed
Sandgrouse, Bonelli’s and Golden Eagles. He’s built
up an extensive network of contacts with local peasant farmers and
maintains that our close proximity to some of the world's finest
wines (Chateauneuf-du-Pape,Gigondes, etc.) in no way influences
our itinerary, (but it could if you insist!).
food, good wine, good birding, good wildlife, good company in Provence.
Doesn't sound too bad to us.