Jan van Gastel's Birding and Digiscoping Site


Once, sometimes twice a year I visit 'Domaine de Pradines' in the Cevennes, about 35 kilometers east of Millau, on the Central Plateau in France. I go there because of the dark night skies, for astronomical observing, but I also to observe birds. There's a list, made by a group of ornithologists, containing about 100 species they have observed there. At the moment I have seen 61 species, the red ones in the list below. 'About 100 species' doesn't seem to be many and there are certainly areas in Europe where more species can be observed. But here one can observe three species of Vultures, the Short-toed eagle, the Eurasian scops owl, the Corn bunting and the Cirl bunting, the Montagu's Harrier, the Commpon Quail and the Hoopoe in one week or if lucky, even in one day. Not bad at all.



Most species can be seen and/or heard while sitting in a chair next to the shallow pond in front of the main building of Domain de Pradines.


I started photographing - mostly digiscoping - birds here last week of september 2013. It was very difficult to get near to the birds, so most pictures are taken from a fairly long distance. The Misle thrush for instance was about 150 meters away, The Kestrel about 42 meters and the European Serin about 20 meters. All photographs taken at 60x magnification (3000 mm telelens equivalent). You can go directly to the Cevennes album by clicking here. Another option is to start the dia presentation below.


Album below:

Birds of Domaine de Pradines and environment