There were sixteen of us on this walk, and luckily it was a nice breezy day and not as hot as we had expected. We started from the car park next to “Le Mairie”, walked around the old part of the village, and then up to the church at the top, where there were magnificent views of the surrounding countryside.
Apart from being a very beautiful circular medieval village, St Pons de Mauchiens is also famous for a very rare falcon that nests in the old house roofs. This is the Lesser Kestrel, (in French, the Crecerellette), and there are now over a hundred pairs nesting there thanks to the LPO and the goodwill of the village people. This bird was extinct in the Hérault until about fifteen years ago.
From the top of the village we observed lesser kestrels flying around, to and from their nests under the roof tiles of the surrounding old houses. We must have observed several dozen birds, which is quite something when you consider that there is no other place in the whole of the Herault where you would be able to see this bird at all!
After a short walk in the surrounding countryside, observing estevating snails and shrieking cicadas, we all ended up in the local bar (built into the ramparts) for a much appreciated drink.