Wildfowl

Appears in

In Languedoc, the definition of wildfowl is quite wide. Among the birds that would have been shot to eat until quite recently, and are perhaps still poached and eaten, are numbered herons, moorhens (now scarce and protected, but once described as queens of the rivers and lakes), plovers, larks, thrushes, doves, blackbirds, starlings, robins and storm petrels.

Wildfowl shooting has always been popular among landowners along the wild lagoons of the Petit Camargue, where vast flocks of ducks and geese make their home in the salt marshes and near the étangs or salt lagoons. The shooters gather at dawn with their hairy dogs and their guns, share breakfast, perhaps a fat, juicy fillet of beef and plenty of alcohol to kickstart their day and keep them going, and then go off and get very wet, splashing around in the marshes. They may return at dusk with hares, waterfowl, wild boar, venison, rabbits, pheasants and partridges for the pot.