Later in the afternoon a skywatch with
Pierre and Stéphane was interesting although almost nothing was
migrating overhead. In spite of a promising blue sky just the one raptor, a super HEN HARRIER (busard St Martin) to the northeast.
The sudden cold weather and bitter north wind seems to have ushered in GOLDCRESTS (roitelet huppé) which appeared to be everywhere early this morning, although there was little else on site. A skywatch with Pierre and Stéphane later in the afternoon was cold and fairly birdless, although interesting to see 3 YELLOW-LEGGED GULLS (leucophée) lumbering low to the northeast. A BARN SWALLOW (hirondelle de cheminée) flew past, a REED BUNTING (bruant des roseaux) was briefly on site, and Pierre saw a WATER PIPIT (spioncelle) at the Mare Perchée.
Not much today on site. A few ROOKS (freux) were moving through this afternoon but the best bird was a NORTHERN WHEATEAR (traquet motteux), only the second I've seen at Beaumonts, which lapped high across the sky to the southeast and flopped down to rest for several minutes on a large pipe on the rooftop of a distant building...luckily I had the trusty 60x Zoom.
Although Pierre had nothing much during a skywatch today he reported a couple of interesting things on site; namely a PIED FLYCATCHER (gobemouche noir) at the Mare de Brie and a MIDDLE SPOTTED WOODPECKER (pic mar), which is the first ever record of this species in October.
Skywatch this afternoon with Stéphane: there were more RED KITES (milan royal), two of them, which circled together high overhead at 14h40 before gliding south. 2 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux) were seen along with more flocks of CORMORANTS. Unlike yesterday afternoon there were almost no movements of passerines, and not one hirundine !
Huge numbers of passerines continue to bound overhead in the early mornings up until about 10h30.
A BLACK REDSTART (rougequeue noir) was on site near the Compost and during the afternoon there was a significant passage of CORMORANTS with 259 birds noted moving south. It proved to be another good day for raptors with 2 BUZZARDS (buse), 4 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux) and the first RED KITE (milan royal) of the year.
3 COAL TITS (mésange noire) early this morning, and the first REDWING (mauvis) of the autumn.
An excellent day with significant
movements of passerines in the early morning and lots of raptors in the afternoon.
An early skywatch with Pierre was good although there were fewer birds than yesterday. Best birds were a BRAMBLING (pinson du nord), a distant MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux), a few HAWFINCHES (grosbec) and the first HEN HARRIER (busard St Martin) of the autumn.
Pierre went back in the afternoon and had a rare SHORT-TOED EAGLE (circaete) which circled overhead at 14h40 before moving away eastwards. It was an exceptional afternoon for raptors with 12 MARSH HARRIERS, 2 more HEN HARRIERS and an OSPREY (balbu) all noted moving south.
A very good day for Pierre who spent most of the afternoon skywatching and had a WHEATEAR (traquet motteux) drop from the sky and run briefly around the top of the Antenna Building. A good variety of migrants including the first LINNETS (linotte mélodieuse) of the autumn, a couple of MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux) and a couple of HOBBIES (hobereau), the second of which appeared to be hunting dragonflies en route.
Good passage of hirundines as well with many SWALLOWS (hirondelle de cheminée) and HOUSE MARTINS (hirondelle de fenêtre). Presumably the same REDSTART is still nipping around the Cascade area.
2 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux) this afternoon, and the first significant numbers of CORMORANTS (grand cormoran) flying southwards. A rather irritating COMMON REDSTART (rougequeue à front blanc) is zipping evasively around the Cascade, not allowing anyone a decent look.
A complete dearth of activity in the
Savanna early this morning - seems like the many BLACKCAPS (fauvette à tête
noire) and CHIFFCHAFFS (véloce) which have been roaming around
in a large, loose flock had just packed up and left overnight.
The first migrating WHITE WAGTAIL (bergeronnette grise) of the autumn flew overhead and in the afternoon Pierre had a HOBBY (hobereau) and several BARN SWALLOWS (hirondelle de cheminée) during a short skywatch before the rains came.
Faced with a completely blue and cloudless sky this afternoon Pierre quickly abandoned skywatching, concentrating instead on a search for DRAGONFLIES (libellules). Several species were darting around the Mare Perchée including a couple of mating MIGRANT HAWKERS (aeshne mixta). Pierre also found a fine PRAYING MANTIS (mante religieuse).
Pierre had an interesting skywatch this
afternoon seeing 6 CANADA GEESE (bernache du Canada) flying high to the
south and the first SKYLARKS (alouette des champs) of the autumn. There were good numbers of raptors with 4 HOBBIES (hobereau) and 4 more MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux) moving south, 3 of which were accompanied by a HONEY BUZZARD (bondrée).
GREY WAGTAILS (bergeronnette des
ruisseaux) appear to be on the move: 2 were seen early this morning,
the first flying purposefully south very high overhead. The first of 2
TREE PIPITS (pipit des arbres) also flew over - the second was seen
later in the morning by Pierre as it fell from the sky into Northern
Fields (pelouse nord).
Pierre also saw perhaps the latest ever CUCKOOS (coucou gris) at Beaumonts - 2 of them flying around the tall trees along the Avenue des Marronniers before disappearing away towards the Savanna. It's been a very good year for this species.
Pierre’s skywatch at midday was disappointing – just a couple of BARN SWALLOWS (hirondelle de cheminée).
Nice view of a migrating HOBBY (faucon hobereau) early this morning as it dashed in from the northeast, skimming low across the Savanna and sweeping upwards to land on high bare branches behind the Coffee Dome. However the bird was only allowed a short rest by the local MAGPIES (pies) who quickly found it and harried it away from the park.
Laurent reported a CIRL BUNTING (bruant zizi) this morning which was only the second seen this year – it's now a very uncommon bird at Beaumonts.
Excellent skywatching at the Cascade this afternoon with Pierre. 13 large raptors were seen migrating high overhead including no less than 10 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux) between 14h15 and 16h45. The highlight, though, came at 15h35 with a well-organised squadron of 8 WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche) sailing straight southwest.
Also noteworthy this afternoon was the first MEADOW PIPIT (farlouse) of the autumn, and the first COAL TITS (mésange noire) of the year bobbed south, landing en route in a big acacia.
Lots of activity at the Mare perchée
early this morning – birds included 3 REED WARBLERS (effarvatte), a
MARSH TIT (mésange nonnette) and a super FIRECREST (roitelet triple-bandeau).
Later in the afternoon, during a skywatch with Pierre, an OSPREY (balbu) glided south. Among other things were 2 HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée), another male MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) and a lonely-looking SWIFT (martinet). A SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (gobemouche gris) was at the Coffee Dome and there are at least 2 COMMON REDSTARTS (rougequeue à front blanc) on site.
At least 4 WILLOW WARBLERS (fitis), 2 PIED FLYS (gobemouche noir) and a REDSTART (rougequeue à front blanc) this morning.
Clear and cold early this morning. A wierd thing happened at dawn when some strange loud and melodic notes could be heard out by the flats on rue Paul Doumer - seconds later a GREY PARROT !!! (Perroquet jaco) winnowed heavily in, descending in a circle over the Savanna as if to land but unfortunately continuing away southwest towards the Porte de Vincennes.
The subsequent skywatch was eventful with another male MARSH HARRIER (busard
des roseaux) beating steadily west above the urban scenery, and a
few YELLOW WAGTAILS (printa) and a TREE PIPIT (pipit des arbres) flying overhead.
Perfect conditions for skywatching in the afternoon – nice and warm, slight breeze and lots of big white blobs of cumulus scattered everywhere. It was an excellent afternoon for HARRIERS (busards) with 4 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux) and 1 MONTAGU’S HARRIER (busard cendré) all gliding south, circling around a bit on the way. Just for the record this is the third MARSH HARRIER, going over at 16h00.
A few hirundines also moving overhead – 2 BARN SWALLOWS (hirondelle de cheminée), a SAND MARTIN (rivage) and 17 SWIFTS (martinet noir).
A smart-looking LESSER WHITETHROAT
(babillarde) was in the bushes near the Cascade early morning. Also in
the same area were at least 4 MELODIOUS WARBLERS (hypolais), chattering
away. They’re not usually seen at this time of the year but this is an
exceptionally late breeding pair, roaming around with their young.
Yesterday's PIED FLYCATCHER (gobemouche noir) still there this morning.
The first YELLOW WAGTAIL
(bergeronnette printanière) of the autumn this morning,
flying high overhead towards the south but soon doubling back and
bounding away towards Romainville.
Pierre birded the park in the afternoon and managed to grip-back both MIDDLE SPOTTED WOODPECKER (pic mar) (a juvenile near the Dinosaur) and SEDGE WARBLER (phragmite des joncs) at the Mare Perchée - the same bird that was seen last Friday ?
A BUZZARD (buse variable) flew south this afternoon.
Fortunately another wildly inaccurate weather forecast on behalf of French Television (the rain never arriving) which allowed an afternoon skywatch from the Cascade in the company of Pierre, Stephane and Alain Thellier. Generally not many birds about today, but there are signs that things have started to move south : steady low numbers of SWIFTS (martinet noir), a couple of BARN SWALLOWS (hirondelle de cheminée), a few HOUSE MARTINS (hirondelle de fenêtre) and 2 SAND MARTINS (rivage) zipping quickly through.
The SEDGE WARBLER (phragmite) has almost certainly gone - no sign of it today. A juvenile BUZZARD (buse variable) was seen wandering northwards.
presence was a bonus today - being more a plant-and-insect man he was
able to relieve the boredom by identifying things we have no idea about.
This LARGE CONE-HEAD (conocéphale gracieux), for example, here on the
left – a protected species no less.
A SEDGE WARBLER (phragmite des joncs) at the Mare Perchée early.
ROSE-RINGED PARAKEETS (perruche à
collier) are currently appearing daily after a long absence – Pierre had
another 12 flying overhead. Fewer and fewer SWIFTS (martinet) - just 5
On the DRAGONFLY (libellule) front Pierre noted a male RUDDY DARTER (sympêtrum rouge-sang) at the Mare de Brie, and a male EMPEROR DRAGONFLY (anax empereur) at the Mare Perchée.
Excitement at 08h00 with a MIDDLE SPOTTED WOODPECKER
(pic mar) inspecting the larger trees along the Sentier des Vergers,
calling frequently. Seldom seen at Beaumonts this is a jolly good
year-tick (and for anyone interested the list moves up to 108). This
bird was probably a wandering juvenile from the Bois de Vincennes
A WILLOW WARBLER (fitis) was at the Coffee Dome and small numbers of SWIFTS (martinet) continue to fly over in dribs and drabs.
Anothert b*&%&d dog charged off-leash into the water today and flushed the MALLARDS - thankfully failing to find the fifth,
flightless juvenile which was cowering in the reedbed.
Very few SWIFTS (martinet) flying overhead - the local populations have apparently left and these are migrants flying directly southwards.
An historic day with the first observation of the young MALLARDS (colvert) in flight. Pierre witnessed the adult female flying briefly around the Mare Perchée with 4 of the 5 juveniles, the fifth having been left back in the reeds. Pierre also saw a ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET (perruche à collier) perched in a tree by the Danton entrance – a rare event indeed.
Nice afternoon skywatching in the
company of Pierre and Stephane. Interesting to watch SWIFTS (martinet
noir) in active migration high overhead, groups occasionally
bursting slowly into view from the east and moving on through.
At least one BUZZARD (buse variable) on view today but the highlight was a BLACK KITE (milan noir) gliding high over our heads at 16h20, heading straight south.
Although a BUZZARD (buse variable) flew south this afternoon the Bird of the Day Award went to one of the juvenile MALLARDS (colvert) which had somehow captured a small fish - not really knowing what to do it scampered around the pond in startled fashion, the fish flapping wildly in its beak.
Visiting birder Bruno Walter managed to capture the action...
Early morning was grey, windy and overcast, threatening rain. For the third time in recent weeks a streaky female GOLDEN ORIOLE
(loriot) flew over the Savanna – same bird ? This morning’s appeared to spring out from the
trees behind the Mare de Milieu before lapping around overhead and
flying away to the southwest.
A bit later, in the Parc Mabille, a MARSH TIT (mésange nonnette), in with a few GREAT TITS (charbonnière), was the first of the year. 2 RED SQUIRRELS (écureuil roux) scampered around the large trees along the Avenue des Marronniers.
Pierre was birding in the park this afternoon and had 2 HOBBIES (hobereau) over the southeastern corner at 16h25.
Several DRAGONFLIES (libellules) were darting around the Mare de Brie and one of these appeared to be a SOUTHERN MIGRANT HAWKER (aesche affine). Unlike its commoner cousin the MIGRANT HAWKER (aeshne mixta), this one doesn’t actually appear on the ‘official park dragonfly list', so quite a conundrum...
It’s that time of year again when tatty-looking juvenile CHIFFCHAFFS (véloce) are busy practising their calls and coming up with wonky-sounding ‘’weet’’ and ‘’wink’’ notes which pipe out from the bushes.
Today there a were 3 BARN SWALLOWS (hirondelle de cheminée) dashing south as if migrating, a WILLOW WARBLER (fitis), at least 2 NIGHTINGALES (rossignol) and a LESSER
About 75 SWIFTS (martinets) were gliding around overhead – seems to be fewer around this summer compared to previous years. Juvenile SPARROWHAWKS (épervier) continue to call from the Bois de Bordure.
2 juvenile SPARROWHAWKS
(épervier) were calling and flying restlessly around the edge of the Bois de
Bordure early this morning, so successful breeding for the fourth consecutive year.
Another hot day. Although silent these past few weeks the NIGHTINGALES (rossignol) are still with us – Pierre saw one in the usual place from the Sentier des Vergers this afternoon. He also had 2 BULLFINCHES (bouvreuil) and reports a stable scene at the Mare Perchée where the 5 MALLARD (colvert) young are rapidly growing their wings. 5 MOORHEN chicks were there today, one very much larger than the others.
Several DRAGONFLIES (libellulles) were at the pond, notably the LESSER EMPEROR (Anax napolitain), 2 COMMON DARTERS (Sympétrums striés) and 2 BLUE-TAILED DAMSELFLIES (Agrion élégants).
Lots of warblers seen and heard singing
around the Savanna early this morning including a fine, fresh and very
yellow WILLOW WARBLER (fitis). This one was all the more interesting for wearing a bright and
new-looking silver ring on its right leg.
A juvenile GREEN WOODPECKER (pic vert) was on the grassy verge of the Sentier de la Renardière.
Silly season continues with a skulking adult female ZEBRA FINCH !! (pinson mandarin) in the woodland just to left of (and at the top of) the entrance steps near the Dinosaur this morning.
A few minutes later I bumped into Alain Bloquet who mentioned that he had seen a male Zebra Finch earlier this year in another part of the park (on April 10th to be exact).
And here, better late than never, is Alain’s fine pic of the boy – it was, after all, a first for Beaumonts !
Pierre had a nice surprise this evening while skywatching from the Cascade with another GOLDEN ORIOLE (loriot) (the second so far this year) flapping overhead and away to the northeast.
At the Mare Perchée the 5 young MALLARDS (colvert) and the 4 MOORHEN chicks (poussins de poule d’eau) are still on fine form, and Pierre also confirms the presence of a LESSER EMPEROR dragonfly (Anax napolitain).
A LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde) gave a short burst of song this afternoon and the 5 MALLARD (colvert) ducklings were paddling around the Mare Perchée under the watchful eye of the adult female. Although they've still yet to grow wings these rusty-breasted young ones are now about the same size as the adult and already look like proper ducks – how time flies…
Pierre saw 3 REED WARBLERS (effarvatte) at the Mare Perchée today.
Both pairs of MOORHENS (poule d’eau) have now had second broods – Pierre found a total of 6 chicks at the Mare Perchée this afternoon. A LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde) was heard singing.
Pierre and Laurent saw a lot of warblers today including LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde) and REED WARBLER (effarvatte). There was also a NIGHTINGALE
(rossignol) near the Mare de Brie. One of the pairs of MOORHENS (poule d’eau) has had a second brood - 4 new, tiny chicks
were scooting around the Mare Perchée. The usual 2 juveniles (much
bigger now) are still there and Roland reports seeing 5 MALLARD
chicks there recently.
Several DRAGONFLIES (libellulle) were zooming around the Mare Perchée in the harsh summer heat and SWIFTS (martinet noir) were winnowing around overhead, getting a good angle before racing down in straight lines and skimming the surface to drink. Laurent managed to get a couple of great shots…
A big surprise at 07h00 this morning with a female GOLDEN ORIOLE
(loriot d’Europe) lapping low across the Savanna and appearing to land
somewhere near the Mare Perchée, although it couldn’t be re-located
Also of note this morning was a LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde) – they stopped singing a long time ago and have been difficult to see over recent weeks. The other warblers continue to sing and juvenile WHITETHROATS (grisette) and BLACKCAPS (fauvette à tete noire) are already appearing in the Savanna.
SERINS (cini) have successfully bred in or near the park (2 juveniles were seen this morning) and at the Mare Perchée the MALLARDS (colvert) seem to have learned the lessons of last year and are keeping the 7 chicks on a tight guard inside the reedbed, only rarely venturing out onto open water.
Pierre reported a singing WILLOW WARBLER (fitis) near the Mare de Mileu today and there were also 2 REED WARBLERS (effarvatte) on site. At least one NIGHTINGALE (rossignol) continues to sing.
Pierre reports the successful breeding of the pair of MALLARDS (colvert) – the proud parents were parading their 8 chicks for the first time today at the Mare Perchée.
An extraordinarily early start for Pierre today (06h00 !) was rewarded with the second PIED FLYCATCHER (gobemouche noir) of the spring – this one a female at the Compost. There are still 2 MOORHEN (poule d’eau) chicks (poussins) at the Mare Perchée.
Interesting report from Pierre of a late SAND MARTIN (hirondelle de rivage) flying north over the Mare Perchée this evening.
Looks like the GRASSHOPPER WARBLER (tachetée) has left already – not seen or heard today.
For the second time in recent days Pierre witnessed a HOBBY (hobereau) flying over the park with a SWIFT (martinet) in its talons. However on this occasion the poor swift was only half-dead, and when it was dropped by the falcon it flew around feebly, only to be clutched back seconds later.
A GRASSHOPPER WARBLER (locustelle tachetée) was singing very early this morning close to the Mare Perchée. The bird was just a few metres to the northwest of it, in the big bushes before the bench and the rubbish bin.
Pierre was unable to relocate it in the late afternoon, although he did find a couple of TREE PIPITS (pipit des arbres) and 5 ROSE-RINGED PARAKEETS (perruche à collier) flying overhead – they've been decidely uncommon so far this year.
Nice and sunny for a change, although
the cool northerly breeze still blows. A few migrants were moving
overhead early : several SWIFTS (martinet), BARN SWALLOWS
(hirondelle de cheminée), a few HOUSE MARTINS (hirondelle de fenêtre)
and a couple of TREE PIPITS (pipit des arbres).
A real surprise was this excellent singing male RED-BACKED SHRIKE (pie-grièche écorcheur), present in the Savanna up until at least 9h00 – only the fourth record for Beaumonts !
2 SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS
(gobemouche gris), probably the same birds that were found on Thursday,
were in the woodland bordering the Sentier de la Renardière (le bois de
A skywatch later in the day produced some more HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée) – one of which flapped rather low overhead.
Ascension – cold and cloudy. An
interesting day for migrants with one or two PIPITS and YELLOW WAGTAILS
(printa) flying overhead early, along with a female RING OUZEL
(merle à plastron). No sign of yesterday's WILLOW WARBLERS (fitis) but
what was presumably the same TREE PIPIT (pipit des arbres) was still
present in front of the Coffee Dome. 2 SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS (gobemouche gris) were hawking insects in the woodland by the entrance gate opposite 66 rue des Quatre Ruelles.
A long and cold skywatch during the afternoon produced just 4 birds visibly migrating northwards but fortunately they were all worth watching: a MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux), another OSPREY (balbu) and 2 HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée), one following just 10 minutes behind the other.
Incidentally, on the MOORHEN (poule d'eau) front, Roland has recently reported a total of 5 chicks (poussins) - 3 belonging to one couple and 2 to the other. These numbers are rather on the low side, suggesting that the nests might well have been predated by the rats that people keep seeing around the pond these days...
Another cold, grey, damp and windy morning. Apparently a small fall of WILLOW WARBLERS
(fitis) overnight with at least 4 birds flitting silently around the
Coffee Dome (butte sud). A TREE PIPIT (pipit des arbres) was also on
site there this morning.
Later in the day Pierre had a very good skywatch from the Cascade: at 14h35 the second OSPREY (balbuzard pecheur) of the year flew northeast and 2 BLACK KITES (milan noir) drifted north a bit later.
Interesting observation this morning by Pierre of a HOBBY (hobereau) rising above the Parc Mabille with a probable SWIFT
(martinet) dangling from its talons, apparently looking for a place to land. Pierre also had 2 MEADOW PIPITS
(farlouse) on site this morning along with 2 NIGHTINGALES (rossignol)
and a REED WARBLER (effarvatte) which was singing by the Mare de Brie. At least 3 MOORHEN (poule d’eau) chicks now at the Mare
A MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) moved north in the early afternoon.
For the second time recently a HERRING GULL
(goéland argenté) has shown an interest in the park and circled in close, dipping low over the Mare Perchée, most probably for a long-staying discarded drum of Pringles.
Lots of warblers singing on site at the moment thanks in part to the authorities who have cleared away large areas of dense and tangled vegetation in the Savanna. WHITETHROATS (grisette) in particular are having a great time – there are at least 5 pairs on site at the moment. Another HOBBY (faucon hobereau) today flying high and directly north – probably another migrant.
A late REDWING (grive mauvis) flew over the Savanna early and Pierre saw a HOBBY this afternoon.
Not a great deal to report these days : the RING OUZELS (merle à plastron) and the SEDGE WARBLER (phragmite) have long gone and PIPITS and YELLOW WAGTAILS (printa) no longer fly overhead in the early mornings – all seems a bit static.
A couple of things, though, this morning - a calling NIGHTINGALE (rossignol) along the Sentier de la Renardière means there are probably 2 birds on site and a pair of HAWFINCHES (grosbec) bounded overhead towards the Parc Mabille.
In the late afternoon Pierre noted much higher numbers of
SWIFTS (martinet noir) , a PEREGRINE (pèlerin) to the south east and 2 brown CUCKOOS (coucou gris) flying around the Coffee Dome.
Yves Fleury-Collet reported hearing a CUCKOO (coucou gris) singing in the park at 08h10 this morning.
Nothing much in the afternoon between 13h25-16h40, although two HOBBIES (faucon hobereau), the first this year, dashed northwards together and were presumably migrants.
Pierre took my place afterwards and had two flights of rare MUTE SWANS (cygne tuberculé) going north, 4 birds at 17h45 followed by 5 more a couple of minutes later.
For anyone interested this brings the current yearlist total up to a whopping 100, and we’re still only in April !
The SEDGE WARBLER
(phragmite des joncs) is still there and was the only
warbler singing from the reeds at the Mare Perchée today – the recent
REED WARBLERS may well have been migrants. A RING OUZEL (merle à plastron) was in the Savanna and the NIGHTINGALE (rossignol) was present and correct.
A skywatch in the afternoon in the company of Pierre, Stephane and Pierre Rivalin was nice for getting a suntan but lacking in birds – just a few SWIFTS (martinet noir) and one or two BARN SWALLOWS (hirondelle de cheminée).
2 KESTRELS (faucon crécerelle) looked rather odd as they abandoned hovering to take advantage of a sky full of insects, spending the afternoon making small swoops and tumbles high in the sky over the Bois de Vincennes.
The SEDGE WARBLER
(phragmite des joncs) is still present at the Mare Perchée along with
at least one (probably 2) REED WARBLERS (effarvatte). Nothing new to
report early morning – the NIGHTINGALE (rossignol) was there again, singing high up and easy to see in the usual place.
Olivier Laporte made a brief visit to the park at midday and saw the pair of MOORHENS (poule d’eau) nestbuilding. He also became the first person to actually see MELODIOUS WARBLER (polyglotte) this year !
A bit later Pierre was skywatching at the Cascade; a bit of a come-down after the dizzy heights of yesterday, but he did find a nice SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (gobemouche gris) there, never an easy bird in spring.
This rather nice PIED FLYCATCHER (gobemouche noir) was found at the beehive enclosure early this morning.
Super views of the NIGHTINGALE (rossignol), still present along the Sentier des Vergers, and a single SWIFT (martinet noir) meandered overhead.
A wary GREY HERON (héron cendré) was easily flushed again from the Mare Perchée at first light.
Another female RING OUZEL (merle à plastron) was seen by the Coffee Dome early this morning and the first GARDEN WARBLER (fauvette des jardins) of the year was in the scrub nearby. There are now two singing NIGHTINGALES (rossignols) in the park – one in the usual place and a new one at the Danton entrance. Still a late REDWING (mauvis) on site.
Phil was birding in the park later in the day and heard the first MELODIOUS WARBLER (hypolais polyglotte) of the year. Perhaps of greater interest given current events surrounding Iceland's volcanic ash-cloud was his sighting of 3 AEROPLANES, one of which, judging from the tail pattern, was definitely Air France.
A female RING OUZEL (merle à plastron) on site early this morning along with a superb male COMMON REDSTART (rougequeue à front blanc). In keeping with recent days, plenty of PIPITS and a couple of YELLOW WAGTAILS (bergeronnette printainière) migrating overhead.
The NIGHTINGALE (rossignol) was still performing well and Alain managed to get this shot of it today. 2 LESSER WHITETHROATS (babillarde) were in and around the Savanna.
hot and sunny afternoon was spent at the Cascade skywatching with
Alain, Benoit and Pierre (sunbathing supplied by Richard). A cloudless
and hazy sky made things difficult and not much was seen apart from a
single SAND MARTIN (hirondelle de rivage) migrating north and 2 SWIFTS (martinet noir), the first of the year.
A PEREGRINE (faucon pèlerin) was drifting around over Vincennes.
At least 3 RING OUZELS (merle à plastron) on site early this morning along with a late REDWING (grive mauvis). A good skywatch this afternoon with Alain and Pierre produced 4 COMMON TERNS (sterne pierregarin) flying north, a very good bird here. At 17h00, 2 very high BLACK KITES (milan noir) moved steadily north.
The NIGHTINGALE (rossignol) is still present.
and rather windy again this morning with a misty, colourless sky. Not
much flying over in these conditions – just a handful of PIPITS and a
couple of YELLOW WAGTAILS (bergeronnette printanière). The NIGHTINGALE
(rossignol) is still present and singing on both sides of the
Sentier des Vergers, just opposite the house at 108 rue des Quatre
Ruelles. Also of note was a brown-coloured CUCKOO (coucou gris) flying low over the Savanna.
Another cold, windy, early morning. However a NIGHTINGALE (rossignol) was singing intermittently from the scrubby woodland on the south side of the park, at one point being quite easy to see from the fence along the Sentier des Vergers. Also seen today was a washed-out-looking female COMMON REDSTART (rougequeue à front blanc), another first for the year, moving evasively around the bushes in the more open areas of the Savanna.
The first YELLOW WAGTAILS (bergeronnette printanière) of the year flew overhead this morning.
Another RING OUZEL (merle à plastron) seen briefly early by the Cascade, and the first WHITETHROAT (fauvette grisette) of the year was skulking nearby.
A male RING OUZEL (merle à plastron) on site early this morning, moving restlessly around the trees between the Coffee Dome and the Mare Perchée.
Phil arrived a bit later and saw a GREY HERON (héron cendré) at the pond and also found nests of both BLUE and GREAT TITS (mésanges bleue et charbonnière). 2 FIRECRESTS (roitelet triple bandeau) also seen today.
A nice bright and sunny day, most of it spent skywatching from the Cascade in the company of Benoit, Laure, Laurent and Pierre. Small numbers of SWALLOWS (hirondelle de cheminée) were flying northeast along with the first HOUSE MARTINS (hirondelle de fenêtre) of the year. A male RING OUZEL (merle à plastron) appeared briefly near the Compost but the best birds were raptors; a fine OSPREY (balbuzard pêcheur) moving high to the northeast and a BLACK KITE (milan noir) which circled aimlessly over the Bois de Vincennes.
April showers, and Pierre managed to choose the longest and heaviest of them all to go birding, heroics eventually rewarded with a fine WRYNECK (torcol) at the Mare de Brie - it's been a good week! Pierre also had a REDWING (mauvis) on site today.
2 BLACK REDSTARTS (rougequeue noir) at the Compost today. Pierre was skywatching in the afternoon and had the first SAND MARTIN (hirondelle de rivage) of the year flying north, along with a nice adult COMMON GULL (goéland cendré) going the other way.
Grey skies, wind and drizzle early morning - no sign of the GROPPER (tachetée). Still 2 REDWINGS (mauvis) on site.
Later in the day Roland and Rugby (his dog) reported a fine GREY HERON (héron cendré) at the Mare Perchée.
Yesterday’s GRASSHOPPER WARBLER
(locustelle tachetée) still present in the southern part of the
Savanna. The bird sang briefly again this morning at 08h30, obligingly
perching on top of a small bush before diving back down into
Also this morning the first TREE PIPIT (pipit des arbres) of the year which landed briefly by the Cascade before continuing north. 4 REED BUNTINGS (bruant des roseaux) flew off together from the reedbed and a WILLOW WARBLER (fitis) was singing near the Compost.
Excellent report by Laurent of a GRASSHOPPER WARBLER (locustelle tachetée) singing from the southern part of the Savanna early this morning – however not heard or located later on in the day.
2 BLACK REDSTARTS (rougequeue noir) by the Compost early this morning. In the afternoon Pierre had a LINNET (linotte melodieuse) and during a short skywatch a SISKIN (tarin) and another SPARROWHAWK (épervier) visibly migrating. There were 2 smallish flocks of LAPWINGS (vanneau) hurrying along north - according to Laurent there are almost none left in the region.
Loads of SONG THRUSHES (grive musicienne) about at the moment - a mix of migrants passing through and local birds which sing from their song posts in the early mornings. For a second consecutive day a SERIN (cini) was jangling away from the conifers in the Northern Fields and the pair of FIRECRESTS (roitelet triple bandeau) was seen again this morning near the Parc Mabille. In the late afternoon Pierre saw 2 more SWALLOWS (hirondelle de cheminée) flying north.
Laurent was out there early , skywatching from the new observatory near the Mare de Brie. Plenty of SONG THRUSHES (grive musicienne), REDWINGS (mauvis) and a flock of 42 CORMORANTS went over but best bird was a SHORT-EARED OWL (hibou des marais) which spent some 10 minutes or so moving southeast, mobbed now and again by the odd CARRION CROW (corneille). Incidentally this is the third time Laurent has witnessed exactly the same scenario - of course it couldn't possibly be the same bird, could it?
A WOODCOCK (bécasse des bois) was in the Savanna this morning and a single GREY WAGTAIL (bergeronnette des ruisseaux) flew northeast. A restless flock of 14 FIELDFARES (litorne) landed briefly near the Mare de Brie.
In the afternoon Pierre reported another STONECHAT (traquet pâtre), this time a male, which made a brief appearance near the Compost before predictably disappearing quickly, never to be seen again. During an impressively long skywatch he had another BARN SWALLOW (hirondelle de cheminée) moving northeast and 3 MEADOW PIPITS (farlouse), one of which landed.
A STONECHAT (traquet pâtre) was
in the Savanna first thing this morning, although true to form it
promptly disappeared into thin air and couldn’t be relocated. Quite a
few birds about in spite of the heavy rain and the grim and dull
conditions : another BLACK REDSTART (rougequeue noir) near the Compost, 2 REED BUNTINGS (bruant des roseaux), a small flock of SISKINS (tarin des aulnes) bounding overhead and a corking pair of FIRECRESTS (roitelet triple bandeau).
Still a few REDWINGS (mauvis) on site, and more CHIFFCHAFFS (véloce) today (at least 4). The pair of BULLFINCHES (bouvreuil) is still going steady – both birds were found alongside the rue des Quatre Ruelles.
Pierre saw another WATER PIPIT (spioncelle) today, this one flying over and around the Mare Perchée, calling frequently, before continuing away northwards.
Many SONG THRUSHES (musicienne) and
REDWINGS (mauvis) moving through early this morning, and a GREY WAGTAIL
(bergeronnette des ruisseaux) bounded over the Mare Perchée. The first BLACK REDSTART (rougequeue noir) of the year was seen in the Savanna.
A second BLACK REDSTART
(this time a superb male) was seen just a few hours later by Pierre who
birded the park this afternoon. He also had a REED BUNTING (bruant
des roseaux) at the Mare Perchée and 3 FIRECRESTS (roitelet triple bandeau).
Another BLACKCAP (fauvette
à tête noire) this morning - this time a worn and tatty-looking female
by the Mare de Brie. In rather dim first light, a lively FIRECREST
(roitelet triple bandeau) was flitting around the tops of the willows at the Mare Perchée.
The pair of FIRECRESTS (roitelet triple bandeau) was seen again this morning at the top of the entrance steps, where the male sings in the early mornings. Last year’s breeding pair of LONG TAILED TITS (mésange à longue queue) is still present and they were dropping into the Petit Prairie this morning to collect small feathers to line this year’s nest, wherever it may be. One of these birds has a silver ring on its left leg.
The first BLACKCAP (fauvette à tete noire) of the year was found singing an unfamiliar and subdued song and a single HAWFINCH (gros bec) (also a first for the year) ticked low overhead.
Drama overnight with the burning down of the new fence at the Coffee Dome. Word has it that 'kids' were seen running away from the scene of the crime late yesterday afternoon, the pompiers then duly arriving to put out the huge, high flames. Although no one will be very sorry to see the disappearance of the controversial high 'blinds', it's sad to see that major damage has been done to the very good, low, wooden barrier, which was very much appreciated by all.
On the birding front there was a MEADOW PIPIT (farlouse), a SERIN and a REED BUNTING (bruant des roseaux) all on site briefly today, and a CHIFFCHAFF (pouillot véloce) was heard singing. A SPARROWHAWK (épervier) was displaying over the Bois de Bordure and there are still about 10 REDWINGS (mauvis) on site.
Another bright, clear, cold day with a
strong northerly wind. A skywatch in the early afternoon in the company
of Pierre, Stephane Chambris and (briefly) Pierre Delbove and Marie
Christine was quite productive, with another super flock of GREYLAG GEESE (oie cendrée) flapping northwards at 14h20.
More bright and sunny clear skies
today, although freezing cold early morning with a strong
wind from the northeast which probably put a stop to any migration.
Almost nothing was seen moving overhead apart from a group of 4 MALLARDS
(carnard colvert) which carreered around and around for ages before
eventually landing in the Savanna, right in front of one of the new
whacking great ‘bird blinds’ there (see photos below).
Readers who know the park will rightly gasp in amazement at such a monstrosity, so clearly inappropriate it is in such a small urban park where an overall view is needed to spot the birds.
Incredibly there are 3 of these "bird-blinds" that have been erected, presumably at huge expense, by the well-meaning but totally incompetant authorities who have been ill-advised by idiots...
3 REED BUNTINGS (bruant des roseaux) and the first CHIFFCHAFF (pouillot véloce) of the year were in the reeds at the Mare Perchée early this morning. A few more WHITE WAGTAILS (bergeronnette grise) and a single GREY WAGTAIL (bergeronnette des ruisseaux) flew north. Later in the day Pierre was to find the first NUTHATCH (sitelle) of the year.
No sign of last week’s FIELDFARES although there are still around 10 REDWINGS (mauvis) in and around the
Savanna. SPARROWHAWKS (épervier) were very visible today and at one
point there were 3 of them swooping around together in a high aeriel
battle over the Bois de Bordure where they nested last year.
Highlights today, though, involved big birds migrating north: 2 GREYLAG GEESE (oie cendrée) at 13h10 and, a little later at 14h50 (and just seconds after having packed away the telescope), 5 WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche) !!
Unusually there was quite a large, loose flock of winter thrushes on site today - about 25 FIELDFARES (litorne) and 15 REDWINGS (mauvis) were rambling around the treetops, occasionally dropping down to feed on the rough grassland in the Savanna.
BLACK-BACKED GULLS (goéland brun) were moving north and one notable
flock of 19 flew overhead, all but one of them adults.
The first larger raptor of the year was seen today – a distant BUZZARD (buse variable) moving slowly west, very high over the Bois de Vincennes.
A sad day for the park - the GREY HERON (héron cendré) which has been seen daily for the past couple of months has unfortunately died. Roland found the body this morning in a bush near the Mare Perchée.
Great weather today with clear skies and sunshine. A
skywatch with Laurent in the early afternoon produced the
first STOCK DOVES (colombin) of the year and a lone CORMORANT flying high overhead was also a year tick.
Unusually a 1st winter BLACK-HEADED GULL (rieuse) (here on the right)
landed on site and spent a long time just standing about on the grass,
oblivious to all the people, scooters and dogs passing closeby.
Good to see 2 FIELDFARES (litorne) today - the first one flew in purposefully from the north, landed briefly atop a small tree to have a look around, and then took off with a chack and carried on south.
A REED BUNTING (bruant des roseaux) still present at the Mare Perchée and a LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER (pic épeichette) called once from the Savanna this morning. Otherwise, not a lot.
Early morning at the Mare Perchée - no sign of the HERON there but a single REED BUNTING (bruant des roseaux) was in the reedbed and a mixed flock of thrushes, 7 FIELDFARES (litorne)
and at least 9 REDWINGS (mauvis), was perched in the bare treetops at
the Coffee Dome. However they didn’t stay long, all taking off together
and flying away eastwards.
Roland reported the HERON flying away from the park this afternoon. With the pond still frozen over it's probably still hungry, but alive and well at least...
Rather disturbing news on the HERON
front: Pierre was birding in the park this afternoon and saw it there on
the ice again, allowing people to walk right up to it before flapping
feebly away a short distance, apparently lacking the strength to fly up
onto its usual perch where it watches the world go by.
Pierre noted a big flock of MAGPIES (pie) today – 48 of them in the woodland along the Sentier de la Renardière.
HERON (héron cendré) was standing on the ice again this afternoon
with a rather angry expression. Completely immobile for minutes on end
it seemed for a moment that it might even have got itself stuck there…
a few HERRING (argenté) and LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS (goéland brun)
beat their way low overhead it was all generally a bit dead for birds
today - just silence and snow.
A very good afternoon for Pierre who braved the big freeze and flushed a WOODCOCK
(bécasse des bois) from the Savanna. Although it’s probably the same
bird that’s been seen a few times recently, word has it that there’s
currently some kind of ‘invasion’ going on of birds fleeing an ice
covered Poland, some of them even ending up on Parisien balconies…
Additional good news today in the shape of a CRESTED TIT (mésange huppé) in the Northern Fields – a rare bird here this a fine year tick indeed. A fair-sized flock of REDWINGS (mauvis) continues to roam around the site - Pierre had 18 today, and there are still 2 MOORHENS (poule d’eau) tucked up in the reedbed.
Pierre had another view of the WOODCOCK (bécasse des bois) this afternoon as it flew relatively high above the Northern Fields, heading south down the eastern edge of the park. The HERON was again present at the Mare Perchée, standing obstinately on the ice.
A HAPPY NEW YEAR !! to any readers out there reading…best of birding luck for 2010 !
Highlight today was a lovely FIRECREST (roitelet triple bandeau) near the Coffee Dome and a LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL (goéland brun) circled overhead. Little troops of BLACK-HEADED GULLS (rieuse) continue to move northwest and Pierre had a small flock of 8 SISKINS (tarin) flying north and 14 REDWINGS (mauvis) on site, in and around the Savanna.