Birdwatching from the Domaine de Puychene

In Aude, close to Narbonne and the Narbonnaise Regional Natural Park, is the Domaine de Puychene and its charming cottages, in the town of St Nazaire d’Aude.

Photo credit: Jean-Luc Guillemenet

The cottages are wonderfully well located in Aude, which is one of the French, even European, departments most renowned for bird watching. Indeed, we are in an essential place of passage for migratory birds but also, a place of life and reproduction for the birds of Europe. Our charming cottages are located in the heart of this territory which presents exceptional landscapes between sea and mountains, between plain and Mediterranean forest, between landscapes of scrubland and ponds. This department of Aude also benefits from maritime influences and its climate is conducive to the flourishing of fauna and flora, including many typically Mediterranean species.

The charming lodges near Narbonne and Carcassonne are linked to the Aude Nature association.

It was on their initiative that “Birdwatching” enthusiasts met at the Puychene estate for a few days. This association, created by Dominique Clément, in 2006 organized for these nature enthusiasts, a program of several days to observe birds in very diverse places. Our ideally located lodgings allowed these enlightened enthusiasts to discover this territory and its heritage so rich in biodiversity.

Every day, Dominique guided a different ornithological outing to very diverse places: around the ponds of Ouveillan, Campignol, Pissevaches, Vendres, the cliffs of Minerve, the ponds of La Palme, the Ayrolle pond, Gruissan salt marshes by the sea. Thanks to the diversity of the proposals, Dominique guided them to these privileged places for bird observation. Our guests were thus able to observe: Migration of European Bee-eaters, Honey Buzzards, Kites, White and Black Storks but also the parking on the ponds of Collared Pratincoles, Sandpipers and other shorebirds of all kinds. Observation of typically Mediterranean species such as the Bonelli’s Eagle, the Northern Wheatear, the Purple Swamphen, the Southern Shrike, the European Eagle Owl, the Pale Swift, the Blue and Rock Mound, the Red-headed Swallow, the Little Bustard, Thékla Cochevis and many others, the list is far too long.

Our expert guide in ornithology for more than 40 years, Dominique Clément is well known in his field of expertise but also among the general public thanks to several programs including the latest broadcast on France 5 TV in 2022: Echappées Belles, Week end à Narbonne. He was also interviewed about this very special territory that is Aude: Arte https://audioblog.arteradio.com/blog/141328/podcast/141329/dominique-clement-ornithologue

In his hikes, he shares his passion for nature. He is a great connoisseur of the Mediterranean fauna and flora of Occitanie and Languedoc Roussillon. He is never stingy with his knowledge, particularly on migratory birds and waterbirds. Author and co-author of several articles and works on the avifauna of Occitania.

Back to the charming cottages with swimming pool, at the Puychene estate.

It’s Marianne, who welcomes the hikers after a good day of walking. Our enthusiasts can then relax by the pool before meeting around a carefully prepared aperitif.

Then it’s time for the evening meal, always concocted by Marianne, around local and seasonal products.

The whole group meets around the meal, it’s a time for a lively exchange around lived experiences. This moment can continue under the starry sky, if the season permits. Everyone can continue to share their emotions, their diverse and varied knowledge, their anecdotes experienced here or elsewhere. It is after this beautiful and long day that everyone can return to their cottage and regain their privacy, to spend a well-deserved night before a new day of discovery of local biodiversity.

Every day, Dominique guided a different ornithological outing to very diverse places: around the ponds of Ouveillan, Campignol, Pissevaches, Vendres, the cliffs of Minerve, the ponds of La Palme, the Ayrolle pond, Gruissan salt marshes by the sea. Thanks to the diversity of the proposals, Dominique guided them to these privileged places for bird observation. Our guests were thus able to observe: Migration of European Bee-eaters, Honey Buzzards, Kites, White and Black Storks but also the parking on the ponds of Collared Pratincoles, Sandpipers and other shorebirds of all kinds. Observation of typically Mediterranean species such as the Bonelli’s Eagle, the Northern Wheatear, the Purple Swamphen, the Southern Shrike, the European Eagle Owl, the Pale Swift, the Blue and Rock Mound, the Red-headed Swallow, the Little Bustard, Thékla Cochevis and many others, the list is far too long.

Our expert guide in ornithology for more than 40 years, Dominique Clément is well known in his field of expertise but also among the general public thanks to several programs including the latest broadcast on France 5 TV in 2022: Echappées Belles, Week end à Narbonne. He was also interviewed about this very special territory that is Aude: Arte https://audioblog.arteradio.com/blog/141328/podcast/141329/dominique-clement-ornithologue

In his hikes, he shares his passion for nature. He is a great connoisseur of the Mediterranean fauna and flora of Occitanie and Languedoc Roussillon. He is never stingy with his knowledge, particularly on migratory birds and waterbirds. Author and co-author of several articles and works on the avifauna of Occitania.

Back to the charming cottages with swimming pool, at the Puychene estate.

It’s Marianne, who welcomes the hikers after a good day of walking. Our enthusiasts can then relax by the pool before meeting around a carefully prepared aperitif.

Then it’s time for the evening meal, always concocted by Marianne, around local and seasonal products.

The whole group meets around the meal, it’s a time for a lively exchange around lived experiences. This moment can continue under the starry sky, if the season permits. Everyone can continue to share their emotions, their diverse and varied knowledge, their anecdotes experienced here or elsewhere. It is after this beautiful and long day that everyone can return to their cottage and regain their privacy, to spend a well-deserved night before a new day of discovery of local biodiversity.

Crédit photos : Jean-Luc Guillemenet

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