birding beaumonts

Subtitle

Annual Report 2020

126 species were identified in the park this year – an excellent total and 16 more than last year. 


There were five new additions to the park list: Little Grebe, Bar-tailed Godwit, Wood Sandpiper, Spotted Crake and Pallid Harrier.


Several other uncommon species were recorded such as Little Bittern, Black Stork, Common Crane, Eurasian Curlew, Wryneck, Wood Warbler and Ortolan Bunting. In late autumn both Common Kingfisher and Grey Heron were seen again on site after many years of absence.


Panoramic view to the southwest and Paris - the Eiffel Tower is only just visible, left of centre...

As in every year certain “expected” species did not make the list such as Marsh Tit, Crested Tit and Lesser Whitethroat. It is sad to see the demise of Lesser Spotted Woodpecker which, as in 2019, was only noted once during the year. Coincidence or not, its recent decline has correlated with the rise of the Rose-ringed Parakeet, now a common breeding resident.


This was a good year for the observation of migrating raptors : a total of 463 hours of "skywatching" was made from the cascade (the highest point in the park) which was twice as much as last year. A total of 233 birds was recorded (+187%).


Nocturnal sound recordings were conducted regularly for the second year running and highlighted again several species which would otherwise have gone undetected - they certainly played their role in what was a better-than-average year list.

 

Equally playing a role in the total was increased observer coverage, only made possible by the outbreak of the Covid19 pandemic. However, contrary to popular opinion, the Covid “lockdown” was not of any particular benefit to the avifauna since the park would never see so many visitors as it would during periods of confinement! Increased numbers of people resulted in greater pressure on environmentally sensitive areas of the park such as the Mare Perchée and the prairie. Indeed, it was depressing to see so many families climbing over barriers and ignoring the signage in order to encourage their children to take tadpoles from the pond, collect flowers from the marsh or to allow their dogs to run wild around the prairie or into the water – such is the human condition…


The central prairie, surrounded by a fence, saw once again the introduction of cows and goats for several months (until early November) in an effort to control the growth of vegetation.

The prairie in September: the goat pictured, affectionally known as "Gros Beta", is very much the leader of the pack of nine.
For the third consecutive year the park was more than capably managed by “Est-Ensemble”, who made significant structural changes to the park and communicated clearly on the objectives. Early August saw the arrival of several information boards placed in strategic areas and this was followed in October by major construction work at the Mare Perchée with the digging of a second pond. In early November many diseased trees were cut down for reasons of public safety.  


Construction work at the Mare Perchée in late October created a second pond...                        Infomation boards appeared in early August



Observers at Parc des Beaumonts in 2020 :

 

Suzanne Cox (SC)

Emmanuel Du Cherimont (ED)

Antoine Dusart (AD)

Yoann, Lilian et Baptiste Galle (YG)

Isabelle Giraud (IG)

Remi Jugieux (RJ)

Alexis Lamek

Maité Lanc (ML)

Olivier Laporte (OL)

Alban Larousse (AL)

Gael Martin

Isabelle Merle

Guillaume Normand(GN)

Philippe Pirard (PP)

Thomas Puaud 

Philip Redman

David Rosane (DR)

Pierre Rousset (PR)

David Thorns (DT)

Anne Lisbeth Tollanes (LT) 

 

 

For species referenced with an observer, records and photos made by DT alone unless otherwise stated.

 

 

 

SYSTEMATC LIST


C = Captive (escape)   

E = Summer Visitor   

F = Feral    

H = Winter Visitor   

M = Migrant   

S = Resident

 

 

 

 

Common Quail   Coturnix coturnix   M

 

Recorded on nocturnal migration on seven dates in spring.

 

23rd April (1) – 17th May (1) ,  20th May (1) ,  25th May (2) – 2nd June (1) , 3rd June (1) , 13th June (1).


 

 

Little Grebe   Tachybaptus ruficollis  M

 

Recorded on nocturnal migration on three dates in spring.

 

25th March (1) – 8th April (1) – 21st May (1).

 

These constitute the first records for the park.





Great Cormorant   Phalacrocorax cargo   S M

 

Spring migration noted on seven dates from 15th February to 29th April with a maximum of 46 on 16th April.

 

Noted on migration in autumn for the first time on 13th August. Observed thereafter on 28 dates until 8th November with a peak of 299 on 15th October [OL/IG/DR/DT].


Photo: 14th October

 


Small numbers of cormorants are now well-established at Lac Daumesnil nearby - local-looking birds are increasingly seen outside migration periods.

 

 

 

Little Bittern   Ixobrychus minutus  M

 

Recorded on nocturnal migration on four dates (two in spring and two in autumn).

 

2nd June (1) , 3rd June (1)

 

15th August (1) – 6th September (1)





Grey Heron   Ardea cinerea  S M

 

An optimistic year for the heron which, after a very long absence, returned to fish once more at the Mare Perchée – noted here on several dates in early October. At this period the pond must have been an attractive prospect, apparently teeming with tiny fish and encircled by a tall reedbed offering shade and protection from the usual daily disturbances.

 

Photo: 5th October





However the bird was frequently mobbed by the local crows and magpies, and when the authorities removed the reedbed at the end of October it came as little surprise when the bird ceased to appear.

 

Putting this occurrence aside there were, as in recent years, relatively few records. Observations related to birds flying overhead, occasionally in small strung-out groups on migration.

 

Migration evident on five dates in spring: 1-2 noted from 14th March to 19th May. In autumn, migration noted on 11 dates from 10th September to 17th October, with a peak of 10 on 17th October [IG/DR/DT/LT].





Great Egret   Ardea alba   M

 

Noted on eight dates (one in spring and seven in autumn).

 

5th April (3).

 

8th September (1) , 21st September (1) – 9th October (4) , 12th October (1) , 15th October (3) [IG/DT] , 19th October (2) , 23rd October  (1) [IG/DT].


Photo: 23rd October




The observation on 23rd October involved a bird flying slowly to the southwest and “escorted” throughout its journey by a group of Rose-ringed Parakeets. This behaviour by parakeets has been noted already in the past with flyover Grey Herons.

 

A.Alba is now observed regularly every year, in keeping with its range expansion in northwest Europe.



 

 

White Stork   Ciconia ciconia  M

 

Observed flying over the park on seven dates (one in spring and six in autumn).

 

17th May (1).

 

13th August (9) – 1st September (5) , 2nd September (27) – 14th October (18) , 15th October (9) [IG/DR/DT] , 22nd October (1).

 

It was interesting that the group of 18 birds flying over the park at 14h50 on 14th October was the same (one presumes) as that present five hours previously at Lesches, some 34KM to the northeast as the stork flies. Several of these birds were colour-ringed [ Picard Gregory - https://www.faune-iledefrance.org/index.php?m_id=54&mid=122234 ].

 

 

 

Black Stork   Ciconia nigra  M

 

One observation in spring.

 

20th May (1).

 

The bird glided high to the northeast in the late afternoon.

 


 

 

Canada Goose   Branta canadensis  S

 

Flyovers. Noted on three dates.

 

19th April (1) , 2nd May (2).

 

14th November (2).




Mallard   Anas platyrhynchos  S M

 

A non-breeding pair noted regularly at the Mare Perchée from early March until early May - attempts at breeding were strongly suspected in mid-March. At this period two males could be observed regularly, without a female.

 

More sporadic observations from May until mid-June, birds apparently present at the pond during the nights but not the day.


Photo: 7th May




A maximum of nine birds noted on 7th May when a female was observed in flight, pursued vigorously by eight males.

 

Almost absent during the second half of the year – flyovers noted on two occasions during October [IG/DT].

 

Although this species has (miraculously) managed to breed successfully twice in recent years, the day-to-day disturbances (the close proximity of humans, unleashed dogs roaming around the pond) make breeding almost impossible.



 


Osprey   Pandion haliaetus  M

 

Noted migrating over the park on five dates (one in spring and four in autumn).

 

12th April (1).

 

31st August (2) [PR/DT] – 5th September (1) [IG/DR/LT/DT] , 17th September (1) , 26th September (1) [IG/DT].


Photo: 5th September

 




Black Kite   Milvus migrans  M

 

Observed on 10 dates (eight in spring and two in autumn).

 

21st April (1) , 22nd April (3) , 23rd April (1) – 7th May (1) , 17th May (1) , 21st May (1) – 13th June (1).

 

15th August (5) [ED/ML/DT] . 31st August (1).

 

The sight of a small kettle of five birds migrating on 15th August was exceptional.


Photo: 21st April





Red Kite   Milvus milvus  M


An excellent year – noted migrating over the park on five dates in autumn. The passage of 11 birds (including a group of six) on one day was exceptional.

 

15th October (11) [IG/DR/DT] , 16th October (4) , 17th October (2) [IG/DR/LT/DT] ,  22nd October (1) , 26th October (2) [IG/DT].


Photo: 17th October





 

Eurasian Marsh Harrier   Circus aeruginosus  M

 

A good year. Observed migrating on 26 dates (10 in spring and 16 in autumn). A total of at least 50 birds is involved (twice as many as last year).  

 

28th March (1) – 2nd April (2) , 5th April (2) , 12th April (2) , 17th April (1) – 6th May (1) , 8th May (2) , 9th May (1) , 19th May (2) – 8th June (1).

 

Photo: 17th September



16th June (1) – 31st August (8) – 1st September (8) , 2nd September (2) , 5th September (1) , 9th September (1) , 10th September (1) , 17th September (1) , 19th September (1) , 20th September (2) , 28th September (1) , 30th September (1) – 3rd October (2) , 10th October (2) , 15th October (2) – 4th November (1).





Hen Harrier   Circus cyaneus  M

 

Observed on seven dates (one in spring and six in autumn).

 

18th April (1).

 

24th August (1) [PR/DT] – 6th October (1) , 8th October (1) , 15th October (1) [IG/DR/DT] , 23rd October (1) [IG/DR/PR/DT] – 7th November (1).


Photo: 24th August






Pallid Harrier   Circus macrourus  M

 

One observation in spring.

 

17th April (1).

 

The bird was a male in active migration flying rapidly to the northeast in the early afternoon. Without doubt the bird of the year, this was a first for the department of Seine-Saint-Denis [Brisechant E., 2014. Les Oiseaux de Seine-Saint-Denis. CORIF.]







Common Buzzard   Buteo buteo  M

 

Buzzards have become more common over recent years, largely due to the presence of small numbers in and around the nearby Bois de Vincennes. This has made counting more complicated and producing exact numbers is difficult. The Vincennes birds (3-4 in general) are particularly visible from late February to May. 

 


Photo: 15th October



Migration noted in spring from 5th April to 24th May with a maximum of 3 on 8th May. In autumn migration evident from 15th August to 23rd October with an exceptional peak of 15 birds on 15th October [IG/DR/DT].

 

A total of 62 migrants is estimated (12 in spring and 50 in autumn).






European Honey-buzzard   Pernis apivorus  M

 

Observed on 23 dates (six in spring and 17 in autumn). 53 birds are involved. A passage of 9 on 1st September was notable.

 

12th May (2) , 18th May (1) , 19th May (2) – 8th June (1) , 10th June (1) , 13th June (3).



Photo: 15th August


 

20th June (1) , 12th August (5) , 13th August (1) , 15th August (2) , 18th August (1) , 20th August (1) , 23rd August (4) , 24th August (7) , 26th August (1) , 27th August (4) , 29th August (2) , 31st August (1) – 1st September (9) , 2nd September (1) , 3rd September (1) , 5th September (1) , 15th September (1).




[Raptor spp]

 

Unidentified raptors noted on eight dates in spring and 11 dates in autumn.




Eurasian Sparrowhawk   Accipiter nisus  S

 

Seen regularly (usually 1-3 birds) throughout the year. Breeding possible but not confirmed in the Bois de Bordure – a pair present with display behaviour in early April.

 

Small numbers of birds apparently on active migration noted in spring and (especially) autumn. Migration in autumn observed on 10 dates from 5th September to 23rd October.

 

 

Photo: 21st April





 

Eurasian Kestrel   Falco tinnunculus  S M

 

Breeds in the immediate vicinity of the park. 1-3 birds (usually one) observed almost daily.

 

 

 

 

Eurasian Hobby   Falco subbuteo E M

 

Observed more frequently than last year. 1-4 noted on 30 dates from 25th April to 9th October.

 

Observations refer in general to local birds. Two individuals, visibly a couple, noted meandering high over the nearby Bois de Vincennes on four dates (20th May, 11th June, 13th & 14th August).

 

Breeding pair probable in the vicinity: birds flying south carrying prey observed on three dates in autumn (7th & 12th September, 9th October).





Peregrine Falcon   Falco peregrinus  S M

 

The presence of breeding birds in and around Paris has over recent years rendered the peregrine less of a rarity. Observations at Beaumonts usually involve lone birds wandering aimlessly high in the sky.

 

Noted on nine dates.

 

29th March (1) – 29th April (1) - 12th May (1) – 10th June (1).

 

16th June (1) , 17th June (1) – 24th August (1) , 5th September (1) – 16th October (1).

 







Merlin   Falco columbarius  M

 

Observed actively migrating on five occasions (once in spring and on four dates in autumn).

 

12th May (1).

 

4th October (1) [IG/DT] , 14th October (1) , 26th October (1) , 30th October (1).

 

 

Photo: 4th October

 

 

 

 

 

Eurasian Moorhen   Gallinula chloropus  S M

 

This was a more optimistic year than last, with a pair noted on several occasions. Breeding confirmed at the Mare du Bas. Practically absent in the last five months of the year. 

 

Not observed at the beginning of the year, although birds were sound-recorded during the night on four occasions between 20th February and 4th March.

 

A pair noted regularly at the Mare Perchée from mid-March to the end of May never managed to establish themselves at this locality. In early May a nest constructed in the reeds was abandoned due to a rise in the water level and it was probably this event, coupled with great disturbance at the pond from humans and dogs during the “lockdown”, which led to the birds attempting to nest high in a neigbouring tree. This unusual nest-building activity was observed (for the first time in the park) on 27th May.

 

Clearly this second attempt was also abandoned since an active nest was found later, on 18th June, at the Mare du Bas some 200m away. This smaller pond was sufficiently secluded to allow for successful breeding, something confirmed on 7th July when the pair was seen with 3 chicks [PR].

 

Il would appear that the birds abruptly deserted the park after breeding and were seen only twice during the last five months of the year (29th September & 2nd October).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water Rail   Rallus aquaticus   M

 

Recorded on nocturnal migration twice in spring.

 

21st February (1) – 4th March (1).

 

 

 

 

 

Spotted Crake   Porzana porzana  M

 

Recorded on nocturnal migration once in spring.

 

23rd April (1).

 

This was a first record for the park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eurasian Coot   Fulica atra   M

 

Recorded flying over the park on 10 nights in spring.

 

22nd February (2) , 27th February (2) – 3rd March (3) , 17th March (1) , 22nd March (1) , 31st March (1) – 5th April (2) , 6th April (1) – 7th May (1) , 21st May (1).

 

The calls on 5th April were accompanied by those of a Tawny Owl!







Common Crane   Grus grus  M

 

Observed flying over the park once in autumn.

 

4th November (3).





 

 

 




 

Little Ringed Plover   Charadrius dubius  M

 

Recorded on migration once in autumn.

 

3rd October (2+) [IG/DT].

 

A very welcome observation but nevertheless rather frustrating – the birds flew overhead at about 09h15 but remained invisible to the people present!

 

 

 

 

 

Northern Lapwing   Vanellus vanellus  M H

 

A disappointing year – strangely absent. Noted on three dates in autumn.

 

11th October (5) [IG/DT] , 15th October (27) [IG/OL/DT] – 5th November (1).





European Golden-plover   Pluvalis aricaria  H M

 

A very good year, easily outnumbering lapwings – observed migrating on 10 dates (two in spring and eight in autumn).

 

Also sound-recorded on nocturnal migration once in spring.*


Photo: 21st November

 





15th February (180) , 22nd February (31) – 3rd March (1)*.

 

3rd October (65) – 3rd November (31) , 7th November (3) , 12th November (5) , 14th November (c35) , 20th November (c35) , 21st November (107) , 28th November (c40).



 


Bar-tailed Godwit   Limosa lapponica  M

 

One observation in autumn.

 

22nd September (1).   

 

One of the highlights of the year, the bird was seen flying overhead to the northwest early in the morning. It constitutes the first record for Beaumonts and only the second for the department of Seine-Saint-Denis [Brisechant E.,2014. Les oiseaux de Seine-Saint-Denis, CORIF.]

 

 

 

 


Eurasian Curlew   Numenius arquata   M

 

Recorded on nocturnal migration once in autumn.

 

24th August (1).




 


Whimbrel   Numenius phaeopus  M

 

Observed flying over the park once in spring.


Recorded on nocturnal migration twice in autumn.

 

11th April (1).

 

27th August (1) – 5th September (1).

 

 

 



 

 

[Large wader sp]  

 

Two recordings (one in spring and another in autumn) relate possibly to Eurasian Curlew but remain mysterious and unidentified.

 

8th April (1).

 

14th September (1).







Eurasian Woodcock   Scolopax rusticola  M H

 

One observation in autumn.

 

20th November (1).













Eurasian Snipe   Gallinago gallinago  M

 

Observed once in autumn.

 

3rd November (1).

 

 

 

 

 

 






Wood Sandpiper   Tringa glareola   M

 

Recorded on nocturnal migration once in autumn.

 

5th September (1).

 

This constitutes the first record for the park.






Green Sandpiper   Tringa ochropus   M

 

Observed on three dates in spring. Recorded on nocturnal migration on two nights in autumn.

 

14th March (3) – 14th April (1) , 16th (1).

 

18th August (1) , 27th August (1).

 

 

Photo: 14th March

 

 

 



Common Sandpiper   Actitis hypoleucos  M

 

Recorded on nocturnal migration on two dates (one in spring and one in autumn).

 

19th May (1).

 

15th August (3).

 

 

 


 

Common Redshank   Tringa totanus   M

 

Rare at Beaumonts. Recorded on nocturnal migration once in spring.

 

6th May (1).

 

 

 

 

Black-headed Gull   Chroicocephalus ridibundus   S M

 

Small groups or singles observed regularly (1-10 in general) flying over the park in winter, early spring and autumn. Rather uncommon and irregular from May to August. 





Mediterranean Gull    Ichthyaetus melanocephalus  M

 

Uncommon migrant. Observed four times in spring.

 

5th April (2) , 11th April (1) , 12th April (3) , 24th April (2).

 

April is by far the best month for this species at Beaumonts.

 

Photo: 24th April






Herring Gull   Larus argentatus  S M

 

Flyovers. Small numbers noted irregularly in winter, spring and autumn.

 

 

 

Yellow-legged Gull  Larus michahellis  H M

 

Probably under-recorded due to the difficulties of identifying distant gulls in flight. Most evident in spring, especially May.

 

In spring 1-3 observed on six dates. Only two autumn records.

 

18th January (1) [PR] – 29th March (1) – 13th April (3) , 28th April (1) , 29th April (1) – 6th May (1).

 

17th August (1) – 19th October (1) [IG/DT].






Lesser Black-backed Gull   Larus fuscus  S M

 

Relatively common – small numbers noted in winter, spring and autumn.

 

Migration apparent on 11th October with 35 birds (the majority adults) flying to the southwest [IG/DT].

 


Photo: 1st March

 

 

 



 

[Unidentified Gulls   Larus sp]

 

Many unidentified gulls observed flying over the park in winter, spring and autumn. 







Common Tern   Sterna hirundo   M

 

Rather rare migrant. A good year – noted four times in spring.

 

20th April (1) , 21st April (1) , 29th April (1) – 5th May (1).



Photo: 21st April




 

 

 

 

Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)   Columba livia  S

 

Common resident – observed every day.

 

 

 

 

Stock Dove   Columba oenas  S M

 

A relatively common resident, breeding in the immediate vicinity. Small numbers noted regularly - singles or small groups flying generally to the northeast.





Common Wood-pigeon  Columba palumbus  S M

 

Common resident, breeding on site. Observed every day.

 

Numbers on site are supplemented by flocks flying over the park in diverse directions on a daily basis. These groups generally fly to the northeast in the mornings and return towards Paris in the late afternoon.


Photo: 7th May


 

In late autumn, massive and denser-looking flocks noted in active migration to the south on eight dates from 11th October to 28th November, with a maximum of 1397 on 6th November.

 

 

 


 

Eurasian Collared-dove   Streptopelia decaocto  S

 

Relatively common resident. 1-2 birds seen almost every day, either in flight or (more rarely) perched.

 

Breeding probable with a pair observed nest building along the Sentier des Vergers on 19th April.

 

 

 

 

European Turtle-dove   Streptopelia turtur  M

 

Uncommon migrant. Observed on three dates (two in spring and one in autumn).

 

26th April (1) – 4th May (1).

 

27th August (1).

 

 

 


Tawny Owl   Strix aluco  S

The nocturnal recordings this year confirm again that the species is relatively common in the park. Heard throughout the year, with the exception of a two-month period from mid-April to mid-June.

 

 

 

Barn Owl   Tyto alba  S M

 

Recorded on one night in late spring.

 

14th June (1).




Common Swift   Apus apus  E M  


Common in summer – observed every day. Breeds just outside the park.

 

Noted for the first time in spring on 11th April. Last sighting in autumn on 19th September.

 

In general fewer birds noted compared to previous years. Local populations appeared to have established themselves by 23rd April. Copulation amongst pairs over the Mare Perchée observed early in the mornings at the beginning of May.

 

A building just opposite the park entrance, in the Jean Moulin estate, was once again the site of a breeding colony. On 21st may one bird had the misfortune to trap itself at one of the window panes, finally managing to free itself after a long struggle.

Copulation observed daily in early May...                                                           A bird managed to trap itself at a nest site in late May...
Rather insignificant passage in autumn – about 30 birds noted daily in August, up until 5th September. Two late individuals were observed, on 8th and 19th September.

 



[Budgerigar   Melopsittacus undulatus   C ]

 

24th August (1).

 

 

 

[Cockateil   Nymphicus hollandicus   C ]

 

23rd August (2) – 20th September (1).

 

 

 

Rose-ringed Parakeet   Psittacula krameri  F

 

Now a common resident, breeding on site – numbers have increased sharply over recent years.

 

Observations normally involve individuals or small groups flying noisily over the park – it is presumed that a large number are moving to and from feeding and roosting sites in the nearby Parc Montreau and the Bois de Vincennes.

 

On 23rd October it was interesting to watch a tight group of some 15 birds accompany closely a Great Egret on its long and slow flight towards the southwest. This curious behavior of “escorting” large waterbirds has been noted in the past with Grey Herons.




Common Kingfisher   Alcedo atthis  S M

 

An individual observed on four dates in late autumn.

 

25th October , 4th & 6th & 21st November.

 

A real rarity at Beaumonts this was one of the highlights of the year, the news even making the local newspaper “Le Montreuillois”. Indeed this was its “grand retour”, the first appearance on site for 17 years (almost to the day).

 

Photo: 4th November

 

    

 

Green Woodpecker   Picus viridis  S

 

At least one pair breeding in the park or in the immediate vicinity – observed or heard regularly throughout the year (although rather more discreet in late April).




Great Spotted Woodpecker   Dendrocopos major  S

 

At least one breeding pair on site – seen or heard regularly throughout the year. Rather discreet in late July.

 

On 20th June observed flying over the cascade regularly carrying food for young. Ubiquitous in mid-September when it could be seen inspecting cavities in trees near the Jean Moulin entrance.





Lesser Spotted Woodpecker   Dendrocopos minor   S

 

Over recent years this species has become much rarer. Noted only once at the end of the year. 

 

28th December (1) [PR].


 

 

 

Middle Spotted Woodpecker   Dendrocopus medius  S

 

Rare at Beaumonts. One observation in winter.

 

18th January (1) [PR].

 

 

 

Eurasian Wryneck   Jynx torquilla  M

 

Uncommon migrant. An individual on site for several days in autumn.

 

24th & 27th August (1).

 

 

 


Eurasian Skylark   Alauda arvensis  M

 

Flyovers. Fairly common passage migrant in spring and (especially) autumn.

 

1-11 noted in spring on seven dates from 15th February to 13th April.

 

Observed on 23 dates in autumn from 7th October to 20th November with a peak of 424 on 30th October.

 

Recorded on nocturnal migration twice (15th February & 12th October).







Wood Lark   Lullula arborea  M

 

Flyovers. Less common than the preceding species but a regular migrant, especially in autumn.  

 

In spring noted only on nocturnal migration – recorded on two dates.



Photo: 31st October


 

3rd March (2) , 4th March (2).

 

Observed on 21 dates in autumn from 3rd October to 6th November with a peak of 84 on 11th October [IG/DT].

 

 

 

 

 

Bank Swallow (Sand Martin)   Riparia riparia  E M

 

Flyovers. Regular but rather uncommon passage migrant. 

 

1-9 noted on eight dates in spring, from 12th April to 25th May.

 

1-2 observed on four dates in autumn from 2nd September to 7th October.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barn Swallow   Hirundo rustica  E M

 

Common passage migrant in spring and autumn. Very rarely observed in summer. Noted in fewer numbers compared to previous years.

 

In spring noted almost daily from 3rd April to 25th May, with a small peak of 23 on 4th May.

 

Autumn migration noted almost daily from 13th August to 30th October – peak of 161 on 10th September.

 

 

 

 

 

Common House-martin   Delichon urbicum  E M

 

Fairly common passage migrant in spring and autumn.  

 

First observed on 5th April. Spring migration noted thereafter on 16 dates until 25th May, with a small peak of 9 on 4th May.


It was interesting see one late bird migrating north on 16th June.

 

Noted on 16 dates in autumn, from 14th August to 26th October – small peak of 23 on 8th October.





Water Pipit   Anthus spinoletta  M


Photo: 26th October                                                                                                                                                                         Photo: 5th April

Uncommon migrant – birds flying over the park observed on two occasions (once in spring and once in autumn).

 

5th April (1).

 

26th October (1).

 

In both cases birds were identified with the aid of photographs – since the species appears never to land on site it is surely under-recorded each year.






Meadow Pipit   Anthus pratensis  M

 

A common migrant in spring and (especially) autumn.

 

Spring migration evident from 15th March to 20th April, with a peak of 52 on 11th April.

 

Absent in summer. First noted in autumn on 15th September. Observed regularly thereafter until 21st November with a peak of 286 on 7th October. 

 



Photo: 31st October

 

 



Tree Pipit   Anthus trivialis  M

 

A relatively common passage migrant in spring and autumn.

 

Noted for first time in spring on 5th April. 1-3 observed thereafter on 11 dates until 10th May.

 

Absent in summer. In autumn 1-5 recorded on 17 dates from 25th August to 21st September.

 

Recorded also on nocturnal migration – once in spring (23rd April) and on nine dates in autumn (from 18th August to 14th September).

 

 

 

 

White Wagtail   Motacilla alba  M

 

Fairly common migrant in spring and autumn.

 

Observed flying over the park on 16 dates in spring, from 15th February to 13th April with a small peak of 20 on 21st March.

 

Absent in summer. Noted on 21 dates in autumn from 21st September to 3rd November, with a peak of 106 on 10th October [ED/IG/DT].




Western Yellow Wagtail   Motacilla flava  M

 

Relatively common in spring and (to a lesser extent) autumn.

 

Noted in spring on 17 dates from 2nd April to 10th May, with a peak of 10 on 21st April.

 

Observed on 13 dates from 19th August to 7th October with a small peak of 9 on 19th August [IG/DR/DT/LT].




Grey Wagtail   Motacilla cinerea  S M

 

A rather uncommon non-breeding resident and migrant.   

 

One (sometimes two) noted fairly regularly this year. The species is particularly attracted to the stands of water inside the re-cycling plant on the edge of the park.

 

Although a large number of observations involve birds flying to and from the re-cycling plant and the town center, the species was seen quite often feeding around the edges of the Mare Perchée. 


Photo: 5th November









Eurasian Wren   Troglodytes troglodytes  S

 

Common breeding resident – usually 1-4 observed daily.




Photo: 6th April






 

Dunnock   Prunella modularis  S M

 

Common breeding resident – small numbers observed every day.





European Robin   Erithacus rubecula  S M

 

Fairly common breeding resident – usually 1-4 birds noted daily. Like the preceding species, more discreet during the breeding season.

 

Juveniles observed in late May, mid-August and early September.




Common Nightingale   Luscinia megarhynchos  E M


An excellent year – breeding confirmed for the second time.

 

Song heard from the Compost early in the morning on 5th April. A second observation a few days later, on 11th April, proved to be the first in a long series, the species being either seen or heard daily thereafter until late August.

 

Two singing males on site in late April, one in the woodland in the southeastern corner of the park and another close to the cascade at the Mare Perchée, where it could be occasionally seen on the rocks at the water’s edge. Indeed, it was at this second locality that the presence of a pair was finally confirmed on 12th May, when what was presumably a (silent) female was visible while a male sang nearby.

 

Breeding confirmed on 13th June with the fledging of juveniles.

 

Birds that presumably belonged to this brood could be heard and were regularly sound-recorded at the breeding site up until mid-August.

 

Last seen on 31st August.




Black Redstart   Phoenicurus ochruros  M

 

Rather uncommon and irregular migrant, although breeding in the immediate urban surroundings of the park.

 

Noted for the first time in spring on 18th March – it involved a small snatch of song, recorded during the night from what was presumably a migrant flying over the park.

 

Thereafter noted flying over in spring (occasionally landing on site) on seven dates from 21st March to 28th April.

 

An individual noted flying north on 22nd June.

 

1-4 observed in autumn on nine dates from 7th September to 27th October.






Common Redstart   Phoenicurus phoenicurus  M

 

Rather uncommon migrant. Noted in spring and (especially) early autumn.

 

Not recorded in spring this year.

 

In autumn single birds noted on 13 dates from 17th August to 29th October.


Photo: 29th October [Olivier Laporte]




As was the case in 2010 and 2019, a late and interesting-looking bird was found at the end of October. Unfortunately, it was extremely shy and only observed briefly [OL/DT].








Northern Wheatear   Oenanthe oenanthe  M

 

Rare migrant – one observation in autumn.

 

31st August (2).












Whinchat   Saxicola rubetra  M

 

Uncommon migrant. Noted on three dates in autumn.  

 

10th September (1) [PR/DT] , 14th September (1) , 16th September (1).



Photo: 16th September

 

 

 

 

 


European Stonechat   Saxicola rubicola  M

 

Uncommon migrant. One observation in autumn.

 

2nd October (1).



 


Ring Ouzel   Turdus torquatus  M

 

Uncommon but regular spring migrant – rare in autumn.  

 

Noted on three dates in spring.  

 

5th April (7) , 6th April (1) , 9th April (1).

 

 

Photo: 5th April





 

 

 


 

Eurasian Blackbird   Turdus merula  S M

 

Common breeding resident – small numbers observed daily.

 

In autumn noted in active migration on nine dates from 8th October to 8th November.

 

 

Photo: 15th April

 

 

 

 




Fieldfare   Turdus pilaris  H M

 

Rather uncommon migrant in late autumn and spring. Irregular in winter.

 

Two observations at the beginning of the year – 6th February (1) [PR] , 15th February (1).

 

Birds flying north in spring noted only twice, 21st March and 3rd April.

 

In autumn observed on 11 dates from 12th October to 21st November, with a peak of 52 on 12th October [PR/DT].

 

It was interesting to see movements north (along with other species) on 5th November, birds occasionally landing on site.

 

 

 

 

 

Song Thrush   Turdus philomelos  S M

 

Common breeding resident, although rather discreet. In general, 1-3 birds noted daily. Numbers supplemented in spring and autumn by migrants.

 

Migration evident in spring from 14th March to 17th April, with a peak of 100 on 5th April.

 

In autumn, migration noted from 21st September to 13 November with a small peak of 47 on 15th October [IG/DR/DT].

 

 

 

 

 

Redwing   Turdus iliacus  H M

 

Relatively common migrant in spring and late autumn – irregular in winter.

 

Present on site at the beginning of the year – up to nine birds noted irregularly in January and February [PR/DT].

 

Migration evident in spring from 22nd February to 7th April – noted on seven dates with a peak of 64 on 3rd April.

 

 

Observed for the first time in autumn on 28th September. Small numbers recorded thereafter until 22nd November – peak of 124 on 12th October [PR/DT].

  

 

 

 

 

Mistle Thrush   Turdus viscivorus  S M

 

Fairly common breeding resident – 1-3 noted regularly throughout the year. Heard singing in January and February.

 

In spring noted migrating only once (23rd March).

 

Autumn migration evident from 26th September to 21st November – small numbers observed on 14 dates with a peak of 12 on 3rd October [IG/DT].





Eurasian Reed Warbler   Acrocephalus scirpaceus  E M

 

Irregular summer visitor. A better year than last, although it did not breed at the reedbed.

 

As usual, discreet in spring. Bearly audible singing heard in a variety of drier localites away from the Mare Perchée, from 18th April to 9th May. Two individuals present on 5th and 9th May.

 


Photo: 7th October



Migrants in autumn noted on four dates from 13th August to 2nd September. A late individual was present at the reedbed on 6th and 7th October.

 

 

 



Garden Warbler   Sylvia borin  E M

 

Breeding resident and migrant.

 

Observed for the first time in spring on 17th April. This was an interesting observation since two birds were involved, apparently already pair-bonded, with a male singing barely audibly with a stationary, silent bird in close proximity.

 

Recorded regularly thereafter in spring. An individual observed carrying nest-material on 19th May. Observed carrying food for young on 14th June.

 

1-2 birds noted irregularly in summer and early autumn to 27th August.  

 

 

 

 

Eurasian Blackcap   Sylvia atricapilla  H E M

 

Common breeding summer visitor and migrant. 1-12 birds either heard or seen daily.

 

Noted twice at the beginning of the year - 21st January [PR] and 15th February.

 

Recorded regularly in spring from 14th March. About 18 birds present on 27th August.

 

Unlike last year, regularly seen in October with around 20 birds on site at the beginning of the month. Observed for the last time (two birds) on 1st November.

 

 

 

 

 

Greater Whitethroat   Sylvia communis  E

 

Fairly common summer visitor, although lower numbers than in the past. This was a poor year with breeding unconfirmed and improbable. 

 

First noted in spring on 19th April.

 

1-2 birds observed regularly in spring. Singing heard daily from the prairie until early July which is suggestive of unpaired male/s.  

 

Observed for the last time on 3rd September.





Melodious Warbler   Hippolais polyglotta  E M

 

Uncommon migrant – has not bred inside the park since 2012.

 

A better year than last – noted on 19 dates.

 

A discreet (and invisible) singing male at the Petite Prairie on 25th April. Either heard or seen thereafter on four dates until 22nd May.


Photo: 11th June



Following this, what was probably an unpaired singing male was present at the Compost from 7th June to 7th July [PR/DT].

 

No records this year in autumn.




Willow Warbler   Phylloscopus trochilus  E M

 

Rather uncommon migrant – does not breed at Beaumonts. Noted irregularly in spring and autumn.

 

First noted in spring on 1st April. 1-2 singing males recorded thereafter on 14 dates until 6th May.

 

1-2 seen in autumn on 13 dates from 12th August to 16th September. A late individual observed in and around the Petite Prairie on 9th October.

 

 

Photo: 16th April

 

 

 

Common Chiffchaff   Phylloscopus collybita E M H

 

Common breeding summer visitor - observed every day.

 

Noted for the first time on 22nd February. Small numbers recorded thereafter until late November. Numbers rather fewer in comparison with previous years (generally 1-4 noted daily). 

 

Roughly 12 birds on site in late October, including a small group of 7-8 birds at the Mare du Bas, the majority of which were still present there on 13th November.







Wood Warbler   Phylloscopus sibilatrix  M

 

Rare migrant – one observation in spring.  

 

18th April (1).

 

This was the first since May 2014. The bird was found in the morning singing in the woodland along the Sentier des Vergers.





 

 


Goldcrest   Regulus regulus  S M

 

Rather uncommon resident – breeding probable in the conifers in the northern sector of the park.  

 

1-4 noted irregularly throughout the year. About 8 birds on site on 10th November.    

 

 

 

 

Common Firecrest   Regulus ignicapillus  S M

 

Rather uncommon resident, although noted more often than the previous species. Breeding possible but not confirmed. 

 

Noted once in winter at the start of the year – 10th January [AD].

 

As usual, a singing male present in spring along the Jean Moulin entrance path and heard or seen regularly from 15th March to 1st May. Not recorded, however, from 2nd May to 20th August. It remains to be seen whether this annual pattern is due to a real absence or down to discreet habits during the breeding season.




 

Spotted Flycatcher   Muscicapa striata  M

 

Uncommon but regular passage migrant. A good year – observed on 19 dates (one in spring and 18 in autumn). A late individual recorded in October.

 

 

6th May (1).


Photo: 7th October



 


12th August (1) , 26th August (1) , 27th August (1) [PR/DT] , 28th-30th August (1) , 31st August (2) [PR/DT] – 1st September (3) [PR/DT] , 2nd-3rd September (1) , 4th September (2) [PR/DT] , 6th September (1) [GN] , 7th-8th & 10th September (1) , 18th September (1) [AL/DT] – 2nd October (1) , 7th October (1).





European Pied Flycatcher   Ficedula hypoleuca  M

 

Uncommon migrant in spring – fairly common and regular in autumn. An excellent year – the presence of two males together in spring was exceptional.

 

A male observed briefly along the Sentier des Vergers on 17th April. A male found nearby, on the edge of the prairie, on 29th April.  

 

Photo: 30th April



This second bird was to spend 3 days in the area, returning faithfully to a small tree where it would feed avidly on caterpillars. Incredibly, on its third day (1st May) it was found in the company of another male, both birds feeding at times in close proximity and displaying aggressive behaviour towards each other [PP/DT].

 

Common in autumn – 1-4 birds noted almost daily from 13th August to 22nd September. Peak of roughly 8 on site on 1st September.





Great Tit   Parus major  S M

 

Common breeding resident – 1-10 noted daily.

 

 


 

Eurasian Blue Tit   Cyanistes caeruleus  S M

 

Common breeding resident.  

 

A little less numerous in general than the preceding species – usually 1-4 noted daily.

 

Active migration noted occasionally in autumn: 1-4 observed on seven dates from 7th October to 4th November [IG/DT].

 

 

 

 

 

Long-tailed Tit   Aegithalos caudatus  S

 

Fairly common breeding resident. Up to about 15 birds noted irregularly throughout the year.

 

Adults observed carrying food for young on 2nd May.







Eurasian Nuthatch   Sitta europaea   S

 

Curiously absent and rare at Beaumonts. One observation in summer.

 

22nd June (1).

 

 

 







 

Short-toed Treecreeper   Certhia brachydactyla  S

 

Breeding resident (at least two pairs estimated). Singles observed regularly throughout the year.

 

Breeding confirmed – adults observed with fledged young on two occasions (19th May & 22nd June).

 

 

 

 

Eurasian Magpie   Pica pica  S

 

Very common breeding resident – 5-20 birds observed daily.






Eurasian Jay   Garrulus glandarius  S M

 

Fairly common breeding resident. Usually 1-3 noted daily.

 

No obvious visible migration in autumn this year.

 

 

Photo: 17th October




 

 


 

Eurasian Jackdaw   Corvus monedula  H M

 

Uncommon. 1-28 observed flying over the park on 12 dates (five in spring and seven in autumn).

 

15th February (1) – 1st March (2) – 11th April (2) , 23rd April (1) – 2nd May (1).

 

7th September (2) – 11th October (26) [YG/IG/DT] , 17th October (12) [IG/DT] , 19th October (4) [IG/DT] , 23rd October (28) [IG/DT] – 20th November (1) , 22nd November (2).

 

 

 

 

Rook   Corvus frugilegus  M

 

Uncommon but regular migrant. Observations usually involve small loose groups flying over the park. Observed on 27 dates (13 in spring and 14 in autumn).

 

In spring 1-6 noted from 15th February to 10th May.

 

Observed in autumn from 2nd September to 20th November with a small peak of 13 on 26th October [IG/DT].

 

It was interesting that the species was sound-recorded, apparently on nocturnal migration, at around 03h50 on 2nd April.

 

 

 

 

Carrion Crow   Corvus corone  S

 

Common breeding resident – small numbers seen every day.  

 

On two mornings in mid-September, a group of roughly 25 birds seen gathering on treetops near the Mare Perchée.

 

 


 

European Starling   Sturnus vulgaris  S M

 

Common breeding resident, small numbers noted daily.

 

Adults observed flying from the prairie to the wooded areas of the park  carrying food for nestlings in early May.

 

In autumn migration noted regularly from 3rd October to 28th November with a peak of 214 on 3rd November.







Eurasian Golden Oriole   Oriolus oriolus  M

 

Uncommon migrant. Two observations in spring.

 

19th April (1) – 4th May (1).




Photo: 4th May

 

 

 

 


House Sparrow   Passer domesticus  S

 

Fairly common resident, breeding in the immediate urban surroundings of the park. Relatively few records this year inside the park.

 

 


 

Common Chaffinch   Fringilla coelebs  S M

 

Fairly common breeding resident - small numbers seen daily. Much larger numbers noted on passage in early spring and late autumn.

 

As usual, heard singing in spring from the northern sector of the park. Rather discreet in summer.

 

A female observed collecting nest material on 20th April.

 

Spring migration evident from 14th March to 4th May – small peak of 62 on 21st March.  

  

Migration noted regularly in autumn from 14th September to 28th November, with a peak of 781 on 10th October [ED/IG/DT].

 

 

 

 

Brambling   Fringilla montifringilla  H M

 

Uncommon but regular migrant – irregular in winter.

 

Apparently absent in winter at the start of the year. Individuals noted twice in spring, on 23rd March and 12th April.

 

Observed for the first time in autumn on 7th October when an individual flew over the cascade calling. 1-6 noted thereafter on 11 dates until 14th November when a bird could be found feeding on site with a small group of chaffinches.





Eurasian Linnet   Linaria cannabina   M

 

Fairly common passage migrant in spring and autumn.

 

First noted in spring on 15th February. Migration evident thereafter from 14th March to 6th May, with small numbers seen daily in April (small peak of 10 on 11th April).

 

Absent in summer. Seen regularly in autumn from 30th September to 8th November with a peak of 34 on 10th October [ED/IG/DT].


 

Photo: 26th October


 

 

Lesser Redpoll   Acanthis cabaret  H M

 

Uncommon winter visitor and migrant. A good year – six observations in autumn.

 

7th October (1) , 11th October (1) [IG/DT] , 22nd October (1) , 27th October (1) – 11th November (1) , 21st November (1).

 

 

 

 

European Goldfinch   Carduelis carduelis  S M

 

Fairly common resident, breeding inside the park or the immediate vicinity. Small numbers observed irregularly throughout the year.

 

In winter a small group present on site (roughly 14 birds on 20th November).

 

Active migration noted in small numbers in spring, on seven dates from 14th March to 6th May.

 

Migration evident in autumn from 30th September to 8th November – small numbers noted regularly with a peak of 54 on 23rd October [IG/DR/PR/DT].

 

 

 

 

European Greenfinch   Chloris chloris  S M

 

Common resident, breeding in or near the park. 1-5 birds noted regularly throughout the year. More discreet in summer.

 

A group of about 12 birds on site in mid-September.

 

 

 

 

Eurasian Siskin   Spinus spinus  H M

 

Uncommon and irregular in winter. Fairly common migrant in spring and (especially) autumn.

 

Recorded on four dates in spring, from 14th – 28th March, with a maximum of 19 migrating north on 26th March.

 

Small numbers observed regularly in autumn from 24th September to 28th November with a small peak of 40 on 23rd October [IG/DR/PR/DT].


Only noted once in winter this year - c8 on 28th December [PR].

 

 

 

 

European Serin   Serinus serinus  S M  

 

Uncommon resident, possibly breeding in the vicinity of the park. Very much in decline and observed less frequently than in previous years.

 

As in 2019, relatively few records. Noted on nine dates (two in spring and seven in autumn).

 

12th April (1) , 18th April (1).

 

21st September (1) , 30th September (1) – 7th October (1) , 17th October (1) [IG/DR/LT/DT] , 28th October (1) , 30th October (4) – 3rd November (1).

 

The observation on 18th April involved a male which landed briefly and sang at the Mare Perchée, before returning towards the northern sector of the park.

 

 

 

 

Eurasian Bullfinch   Pyrrhula pyrrhula  S

 

Discreet resident, in general decline and observed less frequently than in previous years. Noted only on three dates.

 

16th January (1) [PR].

 

15th March (1).

 

7th November (1).

 

The March bird was particularly interesting, actively migrating high in the sky to the north. 





Hawfinch   Coccothraustes coccothraustes  H M

 

Uncommon migrant – irregular in winter. Observed flying over the park on 11 dates (seven in spring and four in autumn).

 

28th March (1) – 29th April (2) , 30th April (2) – 4th May (4) , 10th May (1) , 12th May (1) , 13th May (1).

 

Photo: 8th November




30th September (1) – 7th October (2) – 4th November (1) , 8th November (3).


28th December (1) [PR].




 

 

Red Crossbill   Loxia curvirostra   M

 

One observation in spring.

 

20th April (14).

 

This was the first sighting since October 2017. It involved a low-flying group in active migration which burst suddenly over the cascade in the early morning, flying east towards Fontenay.

 

 

 

 

Ortolan Bunting   Emberiza hortulana   M

 

One observation in autumn.

 

14th September (1).

 

This was the first record since 3rd September 2010, and similarly involved a bird flying south over the cascade in the early morning. However, this bird was, unfortunately, not definitely seen and was only conclusively identified later with reference to a sound recording.

 

 

 

 

Yellowhammer   Emberiza citrinella  M

 

Very uncommon migrant. Sound-recorded in nocturnal migration once in spring. One observation of a bird flying (and sound-recorded) over the park in late autumn.

 

18th March (1).

 

8th November (1).

 

 

 

 

Reed Bunting   Emberiza schoeniclus  H M

 

Uncommon and irregular in winter. Migrants noted fairly regularly in spring and (especially) autumn.

 

23rd February (1) – 14th March (1) – 4th April (1).

 

Small numbers noted on 13 dates in autumn from 7th October to 6th November. Maximum of 13 on active migration on 3rd November.




_____________________________________________________________________________________________



Author: David Thorns

Published online: 3rd January 2021


Panoramic view to the northeast - look this way in autumn!