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Nimes/camargue area tips for mid April (1 Viewer)

Clare_A

Member
United Kingdom
I'm off to France over Easter, staying just outside of Nimes and will be spending some time in the Camargue. Could anyone provide any hints for locations to head to at this time of year?

I'm particularly interested in trying to see a bee eater (who can resist such a colourful little guy!) if anyone with local knowledge could suggest a place to target that would be fantastic.
 

leonardo_simon

Well-known member
Take lots of mosquito repellant!

Just got back from Camargue - used eBird and find birding places website which worked reasonably well. Also the iNaturalist app which is linked to faune-France

The amount of birdlife is outstanding! No bee eaters yet, but a hint of sunshine and the mosquitoes are out!



We stayed in an Airbnb in saintes Maries La mer. It’s reasonably located for the west side of the camargue. Touristy. Arles more interesting but urban
 

Clare_A

Member
United Kingdom
Take lots of mosquito repellant!

Just got back from Camargue - used eBird and find birding places website which worked reasonably well. Also the iNaturalist app which is linked to faune-France

The amount of birdlife is outstanding! No bee eaters yet, but a hint of sunshine and the mosquitoes are out!



We stayed in an Airbnb in saintes Maries La mer. It’s reasonably located for the west side of the camargue. Touristy. Arles more interesting but urban
Great tips thank you. Oh no I completely forgot about the mozzies, they do like to munch on me!
 

Himalaya

Well-known member
I'm off to France over Easter, staying just outside of Nimes and will be spending some time in the Camargue. Could anyone provide any hints for locations to head to at this time of year?

I'm particularly interested in trying to see a bee eater (who can resist such a colourful little guy!) if anyone with local knowledge could suggest a place to target that would be fantastic.


Hi

Thanks for the alert Mono - yes I went around the same time. I did not get any Bee-eaters - it may be too early. I spent most of my time around the Camargue - I went to Réserve naturelle nationale des Coussouls de Crau too. I wonder if de Crau would be better for Bee-eaters. I had Woodchat Shrike here, also Booted Eagle, Short Toed Snake Eagle, Black Kite.
 

rollingthunder

Well-known member
England
I went 35 years ago and had a superb time rooting about - i found La Crau particularly interesting due to the wild, uncultivated, aspects of the various habitats.....

Good birding -

Laurie -
 

MIKADO

Active member
Supporter
France
You can obtain information from the office of nature guides operating in the Camargue.
Accueil ☏ +33 (0)6 95 90 70 48 or [email protected]
All guided tours available in French / English
You can use WathsApp to contact them.

This year Easter is on 04/17. Bee-eaters are usually seen in the Camargue from May...
 

Val35

Well-known member
Saw bee eaters along the entrance track to the Marais du Vigueirat Reserve in June a few years. The reserve itself is very interesting for visiting birders (waders, glossy ibises, moustached warbler, bearded reedling, various herons, terns incl.caspian...).

It is true that you might be a bit early for them but they are recorded each in year in Bouches du Rhône as early as the first decade of April. Listen to the calls, you might come across a migrating group, they're pretty noisy. Check out electric wires too !

Other good sites in Camargue in Spring : the road between Salins de Giraud and Piémanson (beach) passes through a lot of good habitat for terns, slender billed gulls, waders, flamingos (of course !). Don't forget to check the big patches of Salicornia for spectacled warbler in this area (a very good spot for this one is also the Phare de la Gacholle area).

As stated, la Crau is great in spring too and pretty close to the Camargue itself. There it's possible to see calandra lark, southern grey shrike, lesser kestrel, little bustard and pin tailed sandgrouse (also booted and short toed eagles...).

Other places I really enjoyed on my last visit in the region (and I think they are closer to Nîmes than the good spots in Camargue) are Etang du Scamandre (good hides, plenty of birds) and the area around Pont des tourradons (it's a bridge over a large canal, you can walk along the road from the bridge and check the marshes on both sides of the road) had western swamphen and great spotted cuckoo there. Collared pratincole is also frequently reported in that area but I didn't see any on my visit.

Have a nice trip !
 

Clare_A

Member
United Kingdom
Saw bee eaters along the entrance track to the Marais du Vigueirat Reserve in June a few years. The reserve itself is very interesting for visiting birders (waders, glossy ibises, moustached warbler, bearded reedling, various herons, terns incl.caspian...).

It is true that you might be a bit early for them but they are recorded each in year in Bouches du Rhône as early as the first decade of April. Listen to the calls, you might come across a migrating group, they're pretty noisy. Check out electric wires too !

Other good sites in Camargue in Spring : the road between Salins de Giraud and Piémanson (beach) passes through a lot of good habitat for terns, slender billed gulls, waders, flamingos (of course !). Don't forget to check the big patches of Salicornia for spectacled warbler in this area (a very good spot for this one is also the Phare de la Gacholle area).

As stated, la Crau is great in spring too and pretty close to the Camargue itself. There it's possible to see calandra lark, southern grey shrike, lesser kestrel, little bustard and pin tailed sandgrouse (also booted and short toed eagles...).

Other places I really enjoyed on my last visit in the region (and I think they are closer to Nîmes than the good spots in Camargue) are Etang du Scamandre (good hides, plenty of birds) and the area around Pont des tourradons (it's a bridge over a large canal, you can walk along the road from the bridge and check the marshes on both sides of the road) had western swamphen and great spotted cuckoo there. Collared pratincole is also frequently reported in that area but I didn't see any on my visit.

Have a nice trip !
That's really helpful thank you 😁
 

Val35

Well-known member
First bee eaters reported here in Corsica today! A migrating group of about 20 birds, they're on their way to Southern France :)
 

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