2 singing REED WARBLERS (effarvatte) this morning - the usual one plus another in the trees and bushes near the Mare de Mileu.
SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (gobemouche gris) at the Coffee Dome early and a HAWFINCH (gros bec) flew around over the Savanna. In the afternoon a BLACK KITE (milan noir) flew slowly south and circled over the Bois de Vincennes.
Exciting but frustrating encounter with a GOLDEN ORIOLE (loriot) early this morning which sang from the treetops in the Parc Mabille and the nearby Bois de Bordure. As is often the way it managed to remain invisible and couldn't be heard after 07h00, possibly having been ushered off by several very curious JAYS (geai des chênes).
A REED WARBLER (effarvatte) continues to sing from the Mare Perchée.
A TREE PIPIT (pipit des arbres) was on site this morning. A long skywatch in the afternoon with Alban, Pierre, Stéphane and Suzanne produced 4 migrating HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée) and a good view of a BLACK KITE (milan noir).
This HOBBY (hobereau) flew unusually low around the Cascade, as did this second year YELLOW-LEGGED GULL (leucophée) - there's been a small number appearing these last couple of weeks...
The first REED WARBLERS (effarvatte) of the year have arrived - one was singing from the reed bed early morning. A silent, furtive LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde) is in the Savanna, a good sign.
The first MELODIOUS WARBLER (hypolais polyglotte) of the year appeared this morning, appearing rather agitated and singing from various points around the Mare Perchée. It was no doubt highly annoyed to find most of it's habitat all cut down and now resembling a flat and open prairie, a recent initiative from the authorities in charge.
There were more raptors again this afternoon: 4 HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée) were clearly migrating, whereas a BLACK KITE (milan noir) and several BUZZARDS (buse) were more aimless wanderers.
A migrating GOLDEN ORIOLE (loriot) flew northeast early this morning, just ahead of the rain. 3 HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée), 3 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux) and a surprise LAPWING (vanneau huppé) all passed high to the north during the afternoon.
WILLOW WARBLER (fitis) singing early this morning and a MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) flew northeast. 2 migrating TURTLE DOVES (tourterelle des bois), the first of the year, dashed north.
At least 2 GARDEN WARBLERS (fauvette des jardins) are singing on site; one appears here below, typically half-hidden by leaves. Next door is one of 6 BUZZARDS (buse variable) which moved overhead during a perfect afternoon for skywatching with blue skies, scattered white clouds and just a light wind. There were 14 raptors in all including a HEN HARRIER (busard St Martin), 4 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux) and a close couple of HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée).
Star bird though was a distant BLACK STORK (cigogne noire) which meandered slowly northwest at 15h15.
2 good skywatches today: in the afternoon Pierre had a BLACK KITE (milan noir), a MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) and the first HONEY BUZZARD (bondree) of the spring. Later in the evening yours truly had 2 disant WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche) spiralling slowly northeast, along with a second MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux).
The fresh north-easterly continues. Almost nothing migrating today across more of the same dull and cloudy skies, although Alban brilliantly spotted this CUCKOO flying high and purposefully to the northeast - a vital year-tick.
Less vital a year-tick was this BUNNY RABBIT (lapin). There were no hirundines today and just a small sprinkle of SWIFTS (martinet). A FIRECREST (triple bandeau) was singing along the Sentier des Vergers and a super male REDSTART (rougequeue a front blanc) flew north past the Cascade, landing briefly nearby.
An array of newly-arrived warblers warbling this morning: a WHITETHROAT (grisette), a WILLOW WARBLER (fitis), a LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillard) and the first GARDEN WARBLER (fauvette des jardins) of the year. Gaell found 2 PIED FLYCATCHERS (gobemouche noir), and a small flock of GOLDFINCHES (chardonneret) and a singing SERIN were also on site.
The afternoon was cold, windy and grey, threatening rain: at 15h05 a lone WHITE STORK (cigogne blanche) beat westwards high over the Bois de Vincennes towards Paris.
3 SNIPE (bécassine de marais) flushed from the Mare Perchée at first light and a YELLOW WAGTAIL (printa) squeezed overhead. In the afternoon there was a female BLACK REDSTART (rougequeue noir) at the Compost and 2 more BUZZARDS (buse) went high to the north.
Pierre found the first LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde) of the year, pictured here below, skulking around the Cascade. Next to it a fine MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) winding slowly south-east.
HAWFINCH (gros bec), TREE PIPIT (pipit des arbres) and NIGHTINGALE (rossignol) all on site this morning along with at least 5 roaming RING OUZELS (merle a plastron).
A BLACK KITE (milan noir) and this MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) were among the bigger raptors and the first HOBBIES (hobereau) of the year appeared. SWIFTS (martinet) are arriving in small numbers.
GOLDFINCHES (chardoneret) were clearly migrating today and the first SWIFT (martinet noir) of the year raced north. A NIGHTINGALE (rossignol), a RING OUZEL (merle a plastron) and a REDSTART (rougequeue a front-blanc) were all on site whilst a WHITE STORK (cigogne blanche), 2 BUZZARDS (buse) and a HEN HARRIER (busard St Martin) were all seen flying over.
Only a couple of CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres) today but lots of MEADOW PIPITS (farlouse), a few landing on site.
A nice sunny day for once. Behold below the brilliant BLUETHROAT (gorgebleue) which is still here and faithful to the reed bed, singing occasionally. A skywatch during the afternoon with Alban, Quentin and Pierre was productive with CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres) and MEADOW PIPITS (farlouse) migrating (unusually) throughout the afternoon. Others joining in included 3 SISKINS (tarin) and 2 HAWFINCHES (gros bec).
Raptors were also on the move today: 15 were seen although some were just too high or distant to identify, but they included 6 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux), a female HEN HARRIER (busard St Martin) and 3 BUZZARDS (buse).
Also pictured below is a lonely and slightly injured-looking WHITE STORK (cigogne blanche) which glided northwards overhead at 16h50.
Exciting discovery at first light of a BLUETHROAT (gorgebleue) which popped up from the ditch at the Petite Prairie in pouring rain. It was difficult to see well although it did eventually come out in the open for a bit, feeding boldly alongside the ROBINS (rougegorge) and SONG THRUSHES (musicienne) on the short grassy slope at the Compost.
Few birds today although this SNIPE (bécassine des marais) was flushed from the long grass in the Savanna early this morning - a vital year-tick.
Being a sunny bank-holiday the park was swarming with people all afternoon. Absolutely nothing of interest seen migrating during another long skywatch, apart from a single SWALLOW (rustique).
A long skywatch today in the freezing cold, accompanied by the 2 Pierres, Marie-Christine, Suzanne and Quentin. A RING OUZEL (merle a plastron) and a MEDITERRANEAN GULL (mélano) were the key birds, the latter in amongst a small flock of BLACK-HEADED GULLS (rieuse). 2 BUZZARDS (buse) and reasonable numbers of CORMORANTS went northeast whilst 3 small distant flocks of GOLDEN PLOVER (pluvier doré) hurried high in the opposite direction.
The cold weather continues - white, misty skies. 3 FIRECRESTS (roitelet triple bandeau) today and a COAL TIT (mésange noire).
This LONG-TAILED TIT (mésange a longue queue) was found nest building along the Sentier des Vergers. The photo comes from Pierre's relatively new and cheap Panasonic FZ200 which seems to have been an excellent purchase - it certainly well thrashed the Nikon on this occasion...
Best bird today though was a distant BLACK STORK (cigogne noire) which glided east north-east at 13h10. The first BARN SWALLOW (hirondelle rustique) of the year went northeast, as did another 2 WOODLARKS (lulu).
Another first for the year was a scruffy-looking MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) flying very high to the north, accompanied closely by a couple of BUZZARDS (buse).
Good skywatching early morning with large numbers of SONG THRUSHES (grive musicienne) and CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbes) flying overhead. A male HEN HARRIER (busard St Martin) flapped steadily eastwards into the cold wind at 09h25. Also on the move were BRAMBLINGS (pinson du nord), small numbers of WHITE WAGTAILS (bergeronnette grise) and SKYLARKS (alouette des champs). One of the BRAMBLINGS is pictured here bombing over the Cascade, next to one of 3 WOODLARKS (alouette lulu) seen this morning (an uncommon migrant in spring).
Pierre had a single GOLDEN PLOVER (pluvier doré) flying north this afternoon. A pair of SERINS on site.
A good skywatch for Pierre this afternoon - an array of migrants including a WHITE STORK (cigogne blanche) and the first OSPREY (balbuzard pêcheur) of the year flying north.
Small numbers of BLUE TITS (mésange bleue), BRAMBLINGS (pinson du nord) and BUZZARDS (buse) moving through today. There were high-flying flocks of LAPWINGS (vanneau huppé) and JACKDAWS (choucas), and in the early afternoon a solitary WHITE STORK (cigogne blanche) glided northeast.
Another flock of JACKDAWS (choucas) clipped across grey and cloudy skies early this morning and a pair of HAWFINCHES (gros bec) raced north. Also moving north was an excellent male YELLOWHAMMER (bruant jaune), a rarity at Beaumonts, which dropped down to land briefly in the reeds at the Mare Perchée.
Later in the day Pierre had a few ROOKS (freux), the first singing CHIFFCHAFF (veloce) of the year and a distant flock of 21 COMMON CRANES.
More migration action early this morning, most things moving a little more east than north (and into the wind). Much more diversity than yesterday with the first migrating GREY WAGTAIL (bergeronnette des ruisseaux) and MEADOW PIPIT (farlouse), small groups of STARLINGS (étourneau), a flock of 27 JACKDAWS (choucas) and a couple of ROOKS (freux).
A nice surprise was this pair of COMMON CRANES (grue cendrée) flapping slowly southeast.
A smattering of early migrants flying over early morning: WHITE WAGTAILS (bergeronnette grise), SKYLARKS (alouette des champs) and THRUSHES (grives).
Star bird though was a smart STONECHAT (tarier patre), which perched up in the tall willows at the Mare Perchée, only to be chased off by an angry GREAT TIT (mésange charbonniere).
An excellent sunny and cloudless day, although thick mist kept dissolving the birds and made skywatching difficult - even a distant WHITE STORK (cigogne blanche), brilliantly spotted by Alban, was hard to keep track of as it circled high over Fontenay before gliding straight northeast, followed closely and attentively by what was probably a big female Sparrowhawk.
Not a great deal else apart from BLACK-HEADED GULLS (rieuse) and a WHITE WAGTAIL (bergeronnette grise) moving north, along with a couple of BUZZARDS (buse). One of the buzzards is pictured here in the haze next to a drake MALLARD (colvert), one of 2 currently on site (with a female) at the Mare Perchée.
Pierre and Roland had this MIDDLE-SPOTTED WOODPECKER (pic mar) in the Parc Mabille this afternoon, and there were 2 NUTHATCHES (sitelle) and a male LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER (épeichette) there as well.
A small flock of around 8 REDWINGS (mauvis) continues to rummage in the leaf-litter on the edge of the Ave des Maronniers.
Alas, no CRANES. However in the late afternoon a group of 15 WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche) moved slowly low and northwards over Bagnolet, dangling legs as if looking to land for the night.
Nice-looking weather for migration today and a skywatch was quite good, although no CRANES (grues) were seen unfortunately - we are holding out hope for tomorrow, apparently conditions are favourable. A few bits and pieces migrating north-east, notably a lonely-looking WOODLARK (lulu) which flew right over the Cascade, the first WHITE WAGTAIL (bergeronnette grise) of the year, around 130 LAPWINGS, a BUZZARD (buse), and small flocks of CORMORANTS and GREYLAGS (oie cendrée).
A couple of HAWFINCHES (grosbec) and 2 REED BUNTINGS (bruant des roseaux) were on site, although only the one SISKIN (tarin) today- no sign of last weekend's flock.
The first SERIN of the year was singing at the Tip, and a distant PEREGRINE spent several minutes circling high over the Bois de Vincennes.
Pierre had a HEN HARRIER (Busard St Martin) this afternoon, but not much else during a skywatch. The HERON is back, and DUNNOCKS (accentors) are singing.
Cold. The first BUZZARD (buse) of the year was harried east by a couple of crows before the snow arrived. GREY WAGTAIL (bergeronnette des ruisseaux) on site.
The best place for bird-spotting at the moment appears to be along the entrance path which winds up behind Jean Moulin College. Here the group of around 20 SISKINS (tarin des aulnes) is still present, chattering and nibbling away amongst the alders: one of them is pictured below, next to a SHORT-TOED TREECREEPER (grimperau des jardins) taking off. At least 2 HAWFINCHES (grosbec) also in this area this morning.
Pierre had a small flock of 14 SISKINS (tarin), a CHIFFCHAFF (véloce) and a group of 8 REED BUNTINGS (bruant des roseaux) on site today. André was also in the park and found the buntings, along with a NUTHATCH (sitelle).
The MIDDLE SPOTTED WOODPECKER (pic mar) was seen again today by Pierre in the Parc Mabille - a fine grip-back indeed. Pierre also had a NUTHATCH (sitelle) and a LESSER-SPOT (pic épeichette). Roland found 2 FIELDFARES (litorne) on site.
Local folk were out in force today to enjoy the snow, some with cameras but most carrying toboggans and makeshift sledges to slide down the slopes.
The birding was good as well, with the pair of CIRL BUNTINGS (bruant zizi) still in the same place and giving some corking views. There was a fine brace of woodpeckers on the edge of the Parc Mabille - a LESSER-SPOTTED (pic épeichette) and a MIDDLE SPOTTED WOODPECKER (pic mar), which is rare at Beaumonts and only the second I've seen here. The moment is captured with this ''for the record'' shot below. A MARSH TIT (mésange nonnette) was seen again today.
The year-ticks trickle in: Pierre had CHIFFCHAFF (véloce) and LINNET (linotte) this afternoon, along with a COMMON GULL (goéland cendre) flying east.
An excellent HAWFINCH (gros bec) in the Savanna this afternoon. 3 MALLARDS (colvert) flew in to inspect the Mare Perchée.
Grey and dreary weather. A COAL TIT (mésange noire) was in the conifers this morning and a MARSH TIT (mésange nonnette) was at the Coffee Dome. The flock of GOLDFINCHES (chardonneret) is still on site and a NUTHATCH (sitelle) was found along the Avenue des Marronniers.