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La Cerdagne - Eyne - Eyne, Pyrénées-Orientales (66)
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Municipality : Eyne (Pyrénées-Orientales, 66)

GPS (WGS84) : Longitude : 02°05’09’’ E / Latitude : 42°29’09’’ N.

Elevation : ca. 1621 m


  • In the centre of the Regional Natural Park of the Catalan Pyrenees.

  • Near the nature reserve of vallée d’Eyne

  • ZICO in proximity of ZPS « Puigmal-Caranca », « Capcir-Carlit-Campcardos » and the « Madres-Coronat massif »

  • ZNIEFF of type I and II

Natural surroundings of the watchpoint 

Enjoy the attractive scenery of this plateau, with its meadows, cultivated fields, heath land, Mountain Pine Pinus uncinata forests(e.g. Domanial Forest of Cami Ramader) and streams bordered by birch and poplar trees (e.g. Eyne canal).

In the heart of the Regional Natural Park of the Catalan Pyrenees, in the middle of the mountains, la Cerdagne is a biodiversity hotspot with no less than three Natura 2000 sites, highly recommended for nature lovers. Col de la Perche (Eyne) is fabulous for migration watching in the Pyrenees. During autumn, migrant birds converge from two main valleys before crossing the pass between the sub-range of Carlit and the one of Canigou and Puigmal. Birds arrive from both the Aude (north – south) and la Têt (northeast – southwest) valleys. This major migration bottleneck concentrates most of the soaring birds crossing the Eastern Pyrenees, avoiding high mountains. For centuries, the nearby Eyne valley nature reserve has been visited by botanists in search of rare and endemic plants. From col de la Perche, you can easily reach a wide variety of mountain habitats, forest and open areas with many migrants and some interesting breeding birds.

History of the survey

Launched in 1981, the TRANSPYR project studied migration across the Pyrenees. Whereas most of the watch points were situated in the Western Pyrenees, the survey included some sites in the Eastern Pyrenees, which turned out to be very productive for autumn raptor migration (July – October).

From 1986 until 1990, Eyne was included in the TRANSPYR project with regular surveys between July and October. Nowadays, surveys are organized by GOR and CERCA Nature with the funding of the Regional Natural Park of the Catalan Pyrenees.  

Ornithological interest, emblematic species

La Cerdagne is situated on one of the major autumn migration routes.  Every autumn, some 15.000 or 20.000 soaring birds follow the la Têt and Aude valleys: White Storks, Black Storks, Black Kites, Red Kites, Sparrowhawks, harriers (4 species), falcons and Ospreys. Honey Buzzard is by far the most numerous raptor accounting for 70% of the raptor total, i.e. between 11.000 and 15.000 inds. Short-toed Eagle is also numerous with over a 1000 individuals in autumn. In fact, Eyne is the best site for Short-toed Eagle in France and the second most important site in Western Europe after Gibraltar. Many other species also occur in good numbers: Bee-eaters, Yellow Wagtails, swallows, martins and swifts.

La Cerdagne also has interesting breeding birds, including Lammergeyer, Egyptian Vulture, Griffon Vulture, Royal Eagle, Booted Eagle, Ptarmigan, Grey Partridge of the rare hispaniensis subspecies,  Dotterel, etc. In the meadows, Red-backed Shrikes, Southern Grey Shrikes, Whinchats and Quails are all regularly observed.


By car : drive from Prades to Mont-Louis and follow the direction of Saillagouse. Turn left to Eyne. Two watchpoints can be visited (see map) dominating the valley (at over 1600 m above sea level) and at 2 km from the village of Eyne, along the D29.

By train : A scenic railroad (« train jaune ») runs between Villefranche-de-Conflent and Bolquère-Eyne ! Park your car at Villefranche railway station and take the “yellow train” to Bolquère-Eyne. Unfortunately, the station is rather far from the watchpoints.  

Where to stay and where to eat ?

During summer, there are many tourists at la Cerdagne. There is a wide selection of accommodation. (hotels, camp sites, etc.). Birders are welcome !


Groupe Ornithologique du Roussillon

Phone : 04 68 51 20 01

Website : 

Yves Dubois for the Groupe Ornithologique du Roussillon


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