Wake up at 4.00 A.M, quick breakfast, loading gear in the boot of the car and here we go on the road to Gruissan ! Main goal is to arrive before the sunrise to take position while the birds are not to active or still resting.
Unfortunately, what we feared happened, the group we were focusing on, was suddenly disturbed by a flock of "screaming" sea gulls and decided to flew away. Nevertheless, this allowed me to take a couple of shots of the pinkish birds in "flight mode".
From what we observed, a lot of immature/juvenile flammingos were present and easily recognizable by their greyish color and not the bright pink people usually know them for.
Following the departure of the group, we decided to get back to the car and to move a bit further along the coast to another observation spot offering a better hide and potentially closer shots. We dropped the car on a small "car-park" near what must be an abandoned fisherman house. Some fishermen were actually bringing back their nets on board to collect their catch of the day. At that time, the sun had risen above the horizon offering some very bright light while the full-moon was still visible and starting to vanish.
Our new observation spot offered more proximity to the birds, a better cover but was not great in terms of light as the sun was facing us. We took a couple of shots and decided to get back to the car. We managed to see other birds, including common terns and Kentish plovers. However, we did not observed any black-winged stilt that are usually numerous in the area even in late August. We decided to take the car and look for them.
We hit the road but did not find the stilts at the usual spots. We carried on toward the LPO office and stopped on the side of the road as we suddenly spotted a significant amount of grey herons foraging on our lefthand side (we counted a total of 15). On our righthand side we also spotted some waders which I believe were common sandpipers. But still no stilt...
Back to the car and on the road again, we stopped again a few kilometers later as we finally found the stilts. Mainly juveniles but still, there were here assisted by a purple heron and a not so shy flamingo.
This marked the end of the birding trip. We moved to Leucate to enjoy a bit of sea & sun and improve our pale faces.