the causse de blandas

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The Causse de Blandas


I visited here because Crozier (Birdwatching in France, South of the Loire) recommends a drinking pool just south of Blandas which attracts species such as Ortolan and Cirl Buntings. I found the area to be good for shrikes, (including Woodchat), Subalpine and Bonelli's Warblers, Woodlark, Tawny Pipit and Griffon Vulture.

Getting there

Drive south from Millau for about 20 km then take the D7 east towards Le Vigan. After passing Algon, take the next road to the south, the D158 to Blandas.


  1. 1.  To find the drinking pool, turn right at the T-junction in Blandas to follow the D113. The pond (43.9095N, 3.5095E) is on the left, beyond the village, after 500 metres. On my visit the only birds coming down to the pool were sparrows and finches plus a Tawny Pipit but I couldn't find a way to get photographically close without disturbing the birds. In the nearby bushes were Corn and Cirl Buntings (but no Ortolans or Yellowhammers), a pair of Red-backed Shrikes and 2-3 singing Subalpine Warblers.

2.    We drove around the circuit of nearby roads, as suggested by Crozier but the only interesting bird we added was Woodlark. We didn't manage to find Ortolan Bunting, Rock Thrush or Woodchat Shrike; are these declining species still there? We did find a Woodchat (the only one of the trip), along the D513 to the north-east of Blandas.

3.    If you drive east from Blandas for 600 metres then take the next right, you come to a car park (43.9028N, 3.5164E) and visitor centre after 600 metres. A walk south from here for 300 metres takes you to a ridge overlooking the Cirque de Navacelles. Here you can expect to see several Griffon Vultures and Red-billed Choughs over the ridge and, at least in spring, you'll hear Bonelli's Warblers in the woods both above and below the ridge. According to Crozier, Crag Martin, Alpine Swift and Blue Rock Thrush also breed on the cliffs along this ridge.