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Combe-des-Buis - Port-la-Nouvelle, Aude (11)
Watchpoint
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Site descriptions

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Natural surroundings of the watchpoint

The hillock overlooks the coastal plains and offers shelter from the strong, dry cold tramontane wind. Combe-des-Buis is located at some 10 km from the Leucate cliffs. The latter is an excellent migration watchpoint, surveyed regularly between 1981 and 1989. La Combe-des-Buis is on the same migration corridor.  
 
History of the survey and environmental issues
 
I tested the site in spring 2008. There are no environmental issues at stake at this site, with the possible exception of several Woodpigeon shooting posts (the species is considered an agricultural pest in the Aude…).
 
Ornithological interest
 
The site is particularly interesting for passerine migration: e.g. hundreds of Phylloscopi on certain days, swallows (included Red-rumped), swifs (incl. Pallid) and finches. The site is also good for Woodpigeon migration. Common raptors include Black Kite, Sparrowhawk, Marsh Harrier and Honey Buzzard. Among the rarer species Pallid Harrier and Golden Eagle have been seen. White Stork migration is also important.
 
Migration calendar
 
Migration usually starts in February with some early migrants during the last decade of January. Passerines migrate from bush to bush, sometimes in startling numbers. At the end of April, many Honey Buzzards come through. Compared to col du Colombier thrushes are relatively rare.
 
Visitors
 
There is no accommodation.
 
Access
 
Easy. At Port-la-Nouvelle, follow route de la Palme, take right at the roundabout de la baleine, drive uphill and leave the car near an electrical signal box. Walk up 50 m and take left at the sign-posted path towards Combe Redonde. Follow the path along the hillside until the first shooting post.
 
Where to stay and where to eat?
 
There are a few hotels at Port-la-Nouvelle, many restaurants and fast-food outlets.
 
Contact
 
Georges Olioso mailto:pln11_26@orange.fr
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