We begin our European birding adventure on May 5th, by traveling to southern France via train from the De Gaulle Airport (your flight from the U.S. will leave May 4). We will stay in the historic fortified Roman City of Arles and the ancient walled town of Avignon.
Birding France in our small group allows flexibility and ease of viewing the birds. We will enjoy delicious French cuisine plus local art and history in scenic Provencal towns. The countryside provides a variety of habitats from the Mediterranean coast and marshlands to the steppe of the Crau and the hills and forests of Provence.
Our tentative itinerary is as follows.
Day 1 | We travel to Arles on the TGV train from Charles de Gaulle airport. The train leaves around 2pm, and most US flights arrive at 11am giving us enough time for the connection. We stop in Avignon to pick up our van and drive a short distance to Arles.
Days 2/3/4/5: We will bird the lowland marshes, rich wetlands and coastal shores of the Camargue National Nature Reserve in the heart of the vast Rhone River delta. The Camargue Delta is an important wetland in Europe. Your visit is timed for the spring migration from North Africa over the Mediterranean Sea into Southern France. We will stay in nearby Arles, an historic Roman City in Provence where we can spend evenings enjoying the region’s fine food, wine and art. Our small, family-run hotel is just inside the ancient city walls within walking distance to the Roman Arena, great restaurants and a city walk of Van Gogh’s many painting sites. We will have time to explore St. Remy de Provence, Les Baux and the surrounding scenic, ancient hill-top villages of the Alpilles and Luberon.
Day 6 & 7: After breakfast in Arles, we will visit the colorful Saturday Farmer’s Market before departing for Avignon another famously scenic walled city. This is a relaxed drive using slower roads, making stops along the way birding and enjoying the landscape. We arrive in Avignon in time for our B&B room check in. Our lodging is in the secluded “old-town” near many restaurants with charming outdoor settings. We can enjoy people watching, wine and dinner. The next day we visit the ancient Roman Aqueduct Pont du Gard (more walking) which offers good birding. There are also several good birding sites in and around the town of Avignon
Day 8: After breakfast our tour ends and you have the option of traveling on to other locations or staying in Avignon. You will be responsible for your train fee or car rental to your next destination. In Avignon there will be birding opportunities along the nearby Rhone river, or you may just wish to shop, relax and visit the Romanesque palaces and other sites within the walled town. Your additional stay in Avignon is not included in the trip.
Some key birds we will seek on this trip include the Great Crested Grebe, Squacco Heron, Slender-billed Gull, Little Gull, Greater Flamingo, Common Green Shank, Wood Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Ruff, European Roller, Eurasian Green Woodpecker, Cetti’s Warbler, Alpine Swift, Eurasian Craig-Martin, Eurasian Marsh Harrier, Eurasian Hobby and Great spotted Woodpecker to name just a few. (See attached PDF for a complete list of birds seen on our last trip.)
Included in the cost of the trip is your lodging plus breakfast, transportation during the field trip, including the TGV train from Paris to Avignon, and all entrance fees. .
Not included are airfare, rail transportation back to Paris, alcoholic beverages, and meals other than breakfast.
France 2020 registration for field trip is open for registration.
Questions ?? call Rich Cimino 925-353-0266
Client past field trip Testimonials
The following two links are from Carol Blackard of Colorado she and her husband Scott were on our 2018 France field trip;
Do you like quaint little towns? Do you like Van Gogh? Check it out.
Please open the links to her view her photo gallery.
This was my second fabulous trip after discovering Yellowbilled Tours. The 2017 trip to France was exceptional in every way. Although you hear about the beauty of Provence, I was not prepared for it. It is simply stunning. The trip was an excellence combination of an extensive birding experience; including the marvelous Camargue and the historical Crau plain; with the wonders of birding and sightseeing the Roman ruins, hill top villages and castles, even the asylum where Van Gough painted Starry Night. The birding was amazing. Rich and Janet spot every bird and make sure you do too. We saw magnificent flamingoes in the thousand, down to the endangered Calandra Lark. How exciting to see the colorful European Bee eaters in abundance and the delightful Hoopoe. I added many life birds. The accommodations and food were excellent, and fun was had by all. Vive la France…Vive Rich and Janet!
Jeanine Starritt, 2017 Novato California
I just got back from Colorado and WFO 2017. Talking with several birder types who had been to Europe and France in particular, I of course was talking about the last YBT trip. Which I am very happy we attended.
I just have to say that was one of the best birding trips I have been on because of all the extra-curricular stuff we did. I really enjoyed it and think about it often. We hope to be on another field with YBT soon.
Just thought you should know.
John York, 2017 Lincoln California