Another bright, crisp and sunny day.
Seems like a great time to find LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKERS (pic
épeichette) - this is the male half of a pair on the edge of the Parc
Mabille early this morning.
CHIFFCHAFFS (véloce) on site along with a couple of female
BULLFINCHES (bouvreuil). A couple of hours skywatching from the Cascade
was unexpectedly successful with 3 high, distant lines of GREYLAG GEESE (oie cendrée) moving southwestwards between 12h30-13h30.
A PEREGRINE (pèlerin) performed very well today, spending a while wandering around over the Porte de Bagnolet, steadfastly refusing to move closer for that ever elusive photo...
There was a male BLACKCAP (fauvette a tête noire) and a CHIFFCHAFF (véloce) on site, and Pierre had 6 GREYLAG GEESE (oie cendrée) flying over in the late afternoon.
Pierre had a flock of 74 GREYLAGS (oie cendrée) moving south this afternoon.
Pierre had a PEREGRINE (pèlerin) and 29 LAPWINGS (vanneau huppé) today. 8 MOORHENS (poule d'eau) present.
A productive skywatch again for Pierre who had a MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) and 2 BUZZARDS (buse) in the early afternoon. 2 WOODLARKS (lulu) were also noted today.
Pierre's good run continues with a BARN SWALLOW (rustique) from the Cascade during a skywatch this afternoon. The bird flew northwards and, like the HOUSE MARTIN just recently, gave the impression of being in local flight.
Another excellent afternoon's work by Pierre who had another 34 COMMON CRANES (grues) flying south. However the highlight was probably a very late HOUSE MARTIN (hirondelle de fenêtre) which flew around overhead in what looked liked 'local' flight. Pierre also saw a MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseau) flying south today, along with 73 CORMORANTS.
Fantastic observation by Pierre this afternoon of a V-shaped group of 87 COMMON CRANES (grue cendré) moving south. Pierre also had 3 BUZZARDS (buse), a couple more ROOKS (freux), another COMMON GULL (goéland cendré) and 7 CORMORANTS.
CHIFFCHAFF (véloce) was on site and a distant BLACK REDSTART
(rougequeue noir) flitted along the rooftops of buildings outside the
During a skywatch this afternoon Pierre had a female MERLIN (faucon émerillon) and 47 LAPWINGS (vanneaux) moving south. A couple of ROOKS (freux) and a COMMON GULL (goéland cendré) were also noted.
Grey and dull conditions this afternoon
but thankfully no rain. Me and Pierre were joined at the Cascade by
visiting US birder Bill Link. Quite a lot of birds flying south
including LAPWINGS (vanneau), CORMORANTS and a small flock of WOODLARKS (lulu). More JACKDAWS (choucas) were on the move today, one small group of 8 birds flying south with a ROOK (freux).
Unfortunately for Bill the best birds arrived a few minutes after his departure - an impressive long line of GREGLAGS (oie cendrée) which wriggled south at 16h00. At distance the birds had initially been taken for CORMORANTS and so it was quite reassuring to discover later, looking at photographs, that a fair number of this species had indeed mingled in with the geese...
A YELLOWHAMMER (bruant jaune) flew over at first light this morning. Later in the day Pierre found a RING OUZEL (merle a plastron) at the Compost and saw small numbers of LAPWINGS (vanneau) flying south.
A short skywatch early morning was
interesting as WOODPIGEONS (ramier) were clearly on the move with a few
big groups swarming over in a generally southwesterly direction. There
were also more flocks of REDWINGS (mauvis) and STARLINGS (etourneau).
This flyover CORN BUNTING (bruant proyer) was an excellent tick for the yearlist which now stands at 122 (not far off the record)...
Pierre was birding in the park in the afternoon and managed to pull off an astonishing grip-back with 3 GREAT EGRETS (grande aigrette) flying slowly south at 15h35.
Bright and sunny early this morning and the large numbers of ROBINS (rougegorge) on site at the moment were singing everywhere. The highlights were a late SWALLOW (rustique) and about 30 JACKDAWS (choucas) which appeared suddenly as a tight flock, bursting over the treetops and rushing south.
The afternoon was as dull and cloudy as yesterday - nothing extraordinary during a skywatch with Pierre and Stéphane, although 4 BRAMBLINGS (pinson du nord) flew over and long broken lines of LAPWINGS (vanneau) flapped southwest, very high overhead.
A dull and cloudy day. Fittingly for Halloween this extremely large BAT (chauve-souris) winnowed erratically around the gloomy sky this afternoon.
Many migrants were on the move today, most notably REDWINGS (mauvis) and STARLINGS (etourneau), large flocks of which flew overhead early in the morning along with a steady trickle of migrating SKYLARKS (alouette des champs).
Also seen early morning was a group of 3 YELLOWHAMMERS (bruant jaune) flying south.
afternoon was spent skywatching from the Cascade, being joined there at
15h20 by Stéphane who, moments earlier, had helpfully phoned on the
mobile to point out that a WHITE STORK (cigogne blanche) was circling high to
the west of the park. Fortunately the bird was preparing for a long
straight glide to the southeast and a little later passed directly
overhead en route for Fontenay.
Other birds included a LESSER-SPOTTED WOODPECKER (epeichette), a small flock of migrating WOODLARKS (lulu) and a very distant flock of 45 LAPWINGS (vanneau) hurrying southwest in a strung-out bunch.
Much whooping and cheering at 16h25 when a distant flock of GREAT EGRETS (grande aigrette) was spotted over the watertower lumbering slowly south in a straight and orderly line. This is still a jolly rare bird in Seine-St-Denis and a first for the park. Here are a couple of poor photos which capture the moment, if nothing else...
More ROOKS (freux), SKYLARKS (alouette des champs) and CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres). A distant female HEN HARRIER (busard St Martin) flapped eastwards late this afternoon.
ROOKS (freux) were migrating high overhead in loose groups this afternoon. CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres) and SKYLARKS (alouette des champs) continue to fly over and very early this morning Laurent had a YELLOWHAMMER (bruant jaune). Surprisingly just the one raptor today, a BUZZARD (buse) flying south.
Good skywatching again for Pierre this afternoon : an OSPREY (balbuzard pêcheur) flew southeast, as did 3 BUZZARDS (buse) and a MARSH HARRIER
(busard des roseaux). Fairly large numbers of CHAFFINCHES (pinson des
arbres) and MEADOW PIPITS (farlouse) but the best passerine was a LESSER REDPOLL (sizerin).
Pierre saw a female RING OUZEL (merle a plastron) this afternoon along with a fair few migrants moving overhead including a MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux), a BUZZARD (buse), 5 HOUSE MARTINS (hirondelle de fenêtre), 3 ROOKS (freux) and a couple of BRAMBLINGS (pinson du nord), one of which landed on site. 2 more YELLOW-LEGGED GULLS (leucophee) were also seen - they appear to be moving south in small numbers at the moment.
A good skywatch again this afternoon: another excellent RED KITE (milan royal) moved south and a lone WHITE STORK (cigogne blanche) circled high out to the east and slowly dissolved into the haze. 4 BUZZARDS (buse variable) and a MARSH HARRIER
(busard des roseaux) migrated overhead but there were relatively few
passerines - the odd sprinkle of SKYLARKS (alouette des champs), a few WOODLARKS (alouette lulu), some WHITE WAGTAILS (bergeronnette grise) and larger-than-usual numbers of GOLDFINCHES (chardonneret).
In the late afternoon a distant PEREGRINE (pèlerin) glided west towards Paris.
Not much on site this morning and it was even blissfully devoid of people and dogs thanks to the ruggers World Cup semi-final between France and Wales. Later in the afternoon an agreable long skywatch in the company of Quentin and Stéphane produced a super RED KITE (milan royal) moving south along with 7 BUZZARDS (buse). Other migrants included a ROOK (freux), a few YELLOW-LEGGED GULLS (leucophée), several SKY LARKS (alouette des champs), 4 HOUSE MARTINS (hirondelle de fenêtre) and 7 BARN SWALLOWS (rustique).
Pierre had a very productive short skywatch this evening. A BUZZARD (buse) went over and at 18h55 a small flock of 5 BLACK-TAILED GODWITS (barge a queue noire) flew purposefully south.
A very good afternoon for Pierre who managed to grip-back MUTE SWAN
(cygne tuberculé) in style - a fine group of 6 birds beating high to
the west. Lots of migrants were passing overhead including a HEN HARRIER (busard St Martin) , a MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) and the first WOODLARKS (alouette lulu) of the autumn.
There were also good numbers of CORMORANTS and LAPWINGS (vanneau huppé) today.
Cold weather with grey skies and showers : the first REDWINGS (mauvis) of the autumn and a MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux).
A very good afternoon for Pierre who braved the showers and skywatched for most of the afternoon, seeing a COMMON TERN (pierregarin) and a RED KITE (milan royal) moving south. A good supporting cast included 2 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux), 2 HOBBIES (hobereau), a TURTLE DOVE (tourterelle des bois) and a LESSER REDPOLL (sizerin flammé).
Pierre also saw the first SISKINS (tarin) and BRAMBLING (pinson du nord) of the autumn and had good numbers of CORMORANTS.
Pierre Delbove reported the first SKYLARKS (alouette des champs) of the autumn early this morning along with a migrating TURTLE DOVE
(tourterelle des bois).
The heatwave continues and the sky was again hazy and cloudless this afternoon: a skywatch with Corentin was pretty birdless with nothing much apart from a small bunch of SWALLOWS (rustique) and a BUZZARD (buse) moving south.
2 COMMON REDSTARTS (rougequeue a front blanc) and a PIED FLY (gobemouche noir) on site this morning. Fair numbers of LINNETS (linotte mélodieuse) going over, and during the afternoon a MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) and a BUZZARD (buse) flew south.
A ROOK (corbeau freux) flew south early this morning along with plenty of SONG THRUSHES (grive musicienne), WHITE WAGTAILS (bergeronnette grise) and MEADOW PIPITS (farlouse).
ROSE-RINGED PARAKEETS (perruche a collier) are quite easily seen these days - much later in the afternoon Pierre had no less than 35 of them in small groups, one of them landing on site.
This rather ferocious-looking FIRECREST (roitelet triple bandeau) was one of at least 3 on site early this morning. Two COMMON REDSTARTS
(rougequeue a front blanc) were near the Cascade and a few LINNETS
(linotte mélodieuse) and a couple of MEADOW PIPITS (farlouse) flew
overhead - things were clearly happening...
Laurent was birding at midday and from the cascade had a PEREGRINE, a couple of BUZZARDS (buse) and a HONEY BUZZARD (bondrée).
In the afternoon a fairly long skywatch with Pierre produced a couple of more BUZZARDS and another HONEY BUZZARD, and towards evening BARN SWALLOWS (rustique) began slinking high overhead in small groups.
Operations were interrupted spectacularly by a WRYNECK
(torcol), only the second I've ever seen here, which flew into a
nearby bush and wryed its neck right around, surveying the odd surroundings. Visibly unsettled it didn't stay long but the
subsequent search for it revealed a nice WHINCHAT (tarier des
près). Fortunately the WRYNECK did reappear later near the
Cascade, and although partly hidden by leaves gave some corking close
The first migrating WHITE WAGTAIL (bergeronnette grise) and CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres) of the autumn bounded overhead early morning.
In the afternoon Pierre had a couple of MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux) and 2 HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée), one of which circled very low over the park and was pestered no end by an angry SPARROWHAWK (épervier).
Another GREY WAGTAIL (bergeronnette des
ruisseaux) and a couple more TREE PIPITS (pipit des arbres) flew
overhead this morning. 2 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux) flew
slowly south, one bird stalling and circling for a few
minutes to allow a more distant bird to catch up.
Pierre was skywatching for a long time time today but it was only very late in the afternoon when things started to happen: a HONEY BUZZARD (bondree), a MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) and a flock of LAPWINGS (vanneaux) flew south.
Pierre had an OSPREY (balbu) moving south this afternoon.
Panic stations early this morning when a migrating MERLIN (faucon émerillon) appeared as a distant speck to the north and hurtled headlong towards the park at top speed. Just enough time to heave up the camera and get these rather blurry shots as the bird dashed over the Cascade, the Bois de Bordure and away towards Vincennes, having a brief scrap with a SPARROWHAWK (épervier) en route.
Rain all day, although it brightened in the late afternoon when Pierre saw a HEN HARRIER (busard St Martin), followed later by an excellent OSPREY (balbu) which was on view for a rather long time, flapping south and circling.
A NUTHATCH (sitelle) was the highlight today. It's still very uncommon here, for some unknown reason.
Excitement early morning in the shape of this BAR-HEADED GOOSE (oie a tête barée), the first ever recorded at Beaumonts, which was in amongst a line of 13 CANADA GEESE (bernache du Canada) honking east.
The funny-sounding CHIFFCHAFF (véloce) is still present and was vocalising often around the Cascade for the third consecutive morning. HOUSE MARTINS (hirondelle de fenêtre) are currently migrating in numbers: yesterday Pierre and Laurent had 47 and this afternoon Pierre had another 71 heading south, along with a HONEY BUZZARD (bondrée) and a MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux).
A pretty ordinary-looking CHIFFCHAFF
(véloce) was flitting around the willows at the Mare Perchée very early
this morning, although there was nothing ordinary about its call
- anyone interested in this new ''beaumontii'' taxon can hear it here.
Not much else apart from a GARDEN WARBLER (fauvette des jardins) and another SWIFT (martinet) winging southwards.
Laurent paid an afternoon visit and had 14 more WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche) flying southwest, along with a HOBBY (hobereau) and a HONEY BUZZARD (bondrée).
Nothing much today apart from a lone SWIFT (martinet noir) flying south.
Brilliant view of a GRASSHOPPER WARBLER (locustelle
tachetée) early this morning which really did hop out of the grass and
into a small bush where it twitched agitatedly back and forth on the
spot, not really knowing what to do next.
Actually it was a good morning for warblers: a large roving flock of BLACKCAPS (fauvette a tête noire) contained at least one REED WARBLER (effarvatte) and a smart-looking LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde), the only one I've seen this year. 2 WILLOW WARBLERS (fitis), 3 SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS (gobemouche gris) and 4 PIED FLYCATCHERS (gobemouche noir) were also on site this morning.
Late afternoon was very good with large numbers of SWALLOWS, another BUZZARD (buse variable) and 3 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux). The highlight was a superb BLACK STORK (cigogne noire) which took an almost identical flight path to the one last weekend, by-passing the urban sprawl of Paris.
Interesting to see GREY HERONS (héron cendré) on the move this morning - one flew over very early and a bit later a very distant flock of 10 birds lumbered southwest.
Clear, crisp and bright early morning. A pale and watery sky was etched all over with the white lines of planes heading in and out of Roissy, which made it easier to track this male MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux), the first of the autumn, going high overhead.
Otherwise not a huge amount happening apart from a small flock of SAND MARTINS (rivage) and a YELLOW WAGTAIL (printa).
Another grey and cloudy day. A long skywatch from the cascade with Corentin and Stéphane was very good indeed with 16 migrating raptors.
They were almost all HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée) - 14 moved south including a group of 6 at 15h10. Also a BUZZARD (buse variable) and this fine OSPREY (bulbuzard pecheur).
At least 3 HOBBIES (hobereau) were very visible, though not many SWIFTS (martinet noir) for them to chase (only 3 seen today).
A grey day with frequent showers. Early in the morning this HONEY BUZZARD
(bondrée) loomed above the Bois de Bordure where it might possibly
have roosted overnight, and quickly incurred the wrath of the local
crows which suddenly poured into the area to shift it away.
Much later more HONEY BUZZARDS appeared to be taking advantage of the
bright, sunny gaps in the weather, with 5 birds soaring overhead in a 45
minute period as the first heavy, dark clouds rolled in.
Plenty of warblers on site including 2 REED WARBLERS (effarvatte) at the Mare Perchée, at least 2 GARDEN WARBLERS (fauvette des jardins) and a smart WILLOW WARBLER (fitis). A REDSTART (rougequeue a front-blanc), 2 SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS (gobemouche gris) and at least 2 PIED FLYCATCHERS (gobemouche noir) all on site today.
Best bird by far though was a distant BLACK STORK (cigogne noire) which Stéphane spotted circling way out to the east behind the watertower at 16h35. It was surprisingly low in the sky and was lost for a while behind the flats on rue Paul Doumer, eventually reappearing in the southeast as it flapped its way slowly over Fontenay and the Bois de Vincennes.
Another hot afternoon. Not much moving in the heat apart from this superb flock of 10 WHITE STORKS
(cigogne blanche) which took a long time to drift in from the north,
circling high over the Cascade before continuing on over the Bois de
Quite an eventful day with plenty of migrants moving through. Early in the morning a brown-coloured CUCKOO (coucou), a SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (gobemouche gris), a PIED FLYCATCHER (gobemouche noir) and this fine REDSTART (rougequeue a front-blanc) were all found around the edges of the Savanna.
Hot and sunny all afternoon and a skywatch with Phil and Pierre produced a loose group of 4 WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche) sailing high to the southwest.
A few hirundines were migrating overhead including 9 SWIFTS (martinet) and 2 SAND MARTINS (rivage). A HONEY BUZZARD
(bondree) flapped in steadily from the northeast and was eventually
lost from view after spiralling upwards to an incredible height.
At this time of the year it's alsmost guaranteed to find NIGHTINGALES
(rossignol) in the bushes near the
Cascade and, sure enough, there were at least two there at first light
However the highlight today was finding the elusive and much talked-about RABBIT (lapin) which one or two dogwalkers have seen near the Compost area recently.
Things are moving already: early this
morning 3 high-flying BARN SWALLOWS (hirondelle de cheminée) moved
southeast and 3 low-flying SAND MARTINS (rivage)
zipped southwest. This is one of them here on the right (a juvenile by
the looks of it). The other bird is one of the two MOORHEN chicks
(poussins) at the Mare Perchée, both of them now boldly swimming
around as if they own the place...
For the first time in ages a BULLFINCH (bouvreuil) was heard calling early this morning and this juvenile was eventually found munching away quietly in a bush at the Compost.
A ROSE-RINGED PARAKEET (perruche a collier) landed near the Cascade and a LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER (pic epeichette) was seen also. The 2 MOORHEN chicks (poussins de poule d'eau) are still present and correct, and getting bigger by the day.
At least 2 WILLOW WARBLERS
(fitis) were at the re-cycling plant early this morning, one of which
was having a go at singing. Its performance was rudely interrupted by a
which suddenly crashed through the foliage and tried to grab it,
narrowly missing and then chasing it around the bushes before the
warbler escaped - just.
Excitement this morning with a GRASSHOPPER WARBLER
(locustelle tachetée) singing briefly in the Savanna. Several short
bursts of song were heard just before 08h00 and it was seen well but
briefly from the same bush favoured by the bird present in early May -
could it possibly be the same bird?
2 ROOKS (freux) flew south this morning.
Thick grey clouds, wind and rain early this morning. And just as it began to clear a little this slightly frightening BALLOON drifted slowly, silently and eerily overhead. But it wasn't all doom and gloom : there was excellent news on the MOORHEN (poule d'eau) front with breeding success for two pairs - there were 2 fairly large chicks (poussins) at the Mare de Brie and another 2 at the Mare Perchée.
A 'for the record' shot here of a WHITE STORK
(cigogne blanche), only because it's the very first ever photo taken on my brand new camera, a Nikon D7000.
The bird sailed slowly into the distance over Romainville
this afternoon, having gone right over our heads a few moments
previously. 3 HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée) also went over today.
Just in case anyone might be wondering what's happened to the MALLARD ducklings (cannetons), I can report that all is well at the Mare Perchée. They now look like proper ducks and, although not yet able to fly, have started a few excercises in preparation - here they were early this morning...
Also of note today was a SAND MARTIN (rivage) zipping past and a brilliant view of a HOBBY (hobereau) going east.
Nothing particularly interesting these
past couple of days although, off the subject of birds for a minute, I
really must mention these amazing white webs which have completely
smothered several trees alongside the Jean Moulin entrance path.
According to André (our resident insect expert) thousands of catapillers
have spun them to protect themselves from predators; and fairly soon
they'll crack out of their cocoons as SPINDLE ERMINE MOTHS (Yponomeuta mahalebella) and disappear into the night.
Apparently ''mahalebella'' is derived from their chosen tree - the MAHALEB CHERRY (Cerisier de Sainte-Lucie).
An excellent day with the first sighting of a NIGHT HERON
(bihoreau) at the park ! At 15h00 the bird was spotted high in the sky,
and me and Pierre watched it beat a long, straight and steady path to
the north. This was bit of a disaster for Laurent who at that moment was
on family picnic duties away from the Cascade and out of earshot.
However he was to have some slight compensation later with a couple of
roaming CRESTED TITS (mésange huppé), an adult with a juvenile no less - a very uncommon bird at Beaumonts !
It was a good raptor day with a BLACK KITE (milan noir) and a HONEY BUZZARD (bondrée), along with one or two unidentifieds. HOBBIES (hobereau) are pretty much guaranteed at the moment and I wouldn't be surprised if there was a pair breeding in the nearby Bois de Vincennes.
Pretty good skywatch this afternoon with Pierre and Stéphane. A couple of HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée) were seen migrating overhead and a single MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) and a pair of ROOKS (freux) also. 'Bird of the Day Award' though has to go to a flock of 3 MUTE SWANS (cygne tuberculé), the first I've ever seen at Beaumonts, which flapped low and laboriously overhead.
Another rather disappointing skywatch this afternoon with Pierre - all had looked set for a few HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée) but only one distant bird was seen. However our efforts were rewarded with a super female RED-BACKED SHRIKE
(pie-griéche écorcheur) which was noticed low down in a bush between
the Cascade and the Compost. The bird allowed some excellent scope views
before suddenly shooting off somewhere (and not to be noticed again).
2 HAWFINCHES (gros bec) flew overhead this morning, and yet another BLACK KITE (milan noir) drifted southwest. Later in the afternoon a skywatch was disappointing with just a single BUZZARD (buse) to report.
Excitement at first light this morning when a COMMON SANDPIPER (chevalier guinette) fluttered up from the margins of the Mare Perchée and fortunately landed closeby. It's a rare bird here actually - the last one was seen 5 years ago, almost exactly to the day! And if you've got a magnifying glass handy you might just get a good view of it standing on the mud, here on the right.
After a worrying absence a MELODIOUS WARBLER (hippolais polyglotte) has now taken up territory at the Compost. However there's less good news about the park's 'flagship warbler', the LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde) - they're just not here this year !
The wonderful song of a GOLDEN ORIOLE (loriot d'Europe) was emmanating from the treetops in the Parc Mabille early this morning. However, true to form, the bird was a right bugger to see, although it was seen fairly well (albeit briefly) in the end.
At the Mare
Perchée the 4 MALLARD ducklings (cannetons) are rapidly growing in size
and the pair of MOORHENS (poule d'eau) has produced at least one chick
(poussin) which was treading gingerly about the reedbed with the
3 BLACK KITES (milan noir) seen
during a skywatch this afternoon - they're getting almost common ! Great
entertainment provided also by a pair of HOBBIES (hobereau)
which, for the second time in a week, were patrolling the skies high
over Montreuil and actively hunting the local SWIFTS (martinets), masses
of which now swarm high overhead. They were certainly successful at
least once this afternoon because at one point they glided around
together (almost touching each other at times) with one of them
clutching something dead and dangling.
STOCK DOVES (colombin) are reasonably common, flying over in small numbers every day, but it's pretty rare for them to land on site here like this one did this morning.
Sadly it appears that the GRASSHOPPER WARBLER (locustelle) may have left the site - not seen or heard today.
Pierre had two BLACK KITES (milan noir) during a skywatch this afternoon.
Pretty quiet otherwise with just a couple of YELLOW WAGTAILS (printa) and a TREE PIPIT (pipit des arbres) flying over. The 4 MALLARD ducklings (cannetons) are doing nicely.
(locustelle) still present early this morning, although it wasn't
singing much in the grey, cool and drizzly conditions. Pride of place,
though, went to a flyover TURTLE DOVE (tourterelle des bois) heading north - incredibly the first seen at the park in over 2 years !
The GRASSHOPPER WARBLER
(locustelle tachetéee) is still here - it could just be heard singing on
and off throughout the afternoon during skywatching operations from the Cascade.
A very good day for raptors with the first HONEY BUZZARD (bondrée) of the year, 2 HEN HARRIERS (busard St Martin), 1 MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux), 2 BLACK KITES (milan noir) and a couple of BUZZARDS (buse) all moving north or east.
A great start to the day with a wonderful GRASSHOPPER WARBLER (locustelle tachetée) in the Savanna.
At one point it obligingly flipped up on top of a bush and sang for
ages, offering corking scope views for me and Corentin who was
birding the park for the first time today - talk about beginners luck !
A WHINCHAT (tarier des pres) was on site, and a skywatch with Quentin and Pierre was good with a couple of MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux) going northeast and a super OSPREY (balbu) shooting straight over north at 15h00.
A good afternoon for Pierre who found a male PIED FLYCATCHER (gobemouche noir) and, at the Cascade, a super male COMMON REDSTART
(rougequeue a front-blanc) which was darting around the bushes there,
even popping down at one point for a quick bath at the water's edge.
Pierre also had a singing CUCKOO (coucou) which perched briefly in the Bois de Bordure.
Much earlier in the day there had been several TREE PIPITS (pipit des arbres) migrating overhead, along with a YELLOW WAGTAIL (printa).
An excellent MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) lapped low overhead this morning and continued on towards the Porte de Bagnolet, apparently slowed by the strong and cold northerly.
The first REED WARBLER (effarvatte) of the year was at the Mare Parchée and a TREE PIPIT (pipit des arbres) was on site.
Later in the day Olivier Laporte found the first MELODIOUS WARBLERS (polyglotte) of the year and noted just 5 MALLARD ducklings (cannetons), so we would appear to have lost one during the morning !
3 BUZZARDS (buse) and a HEN HARRIER (busard St Martin) were seen migrating this afternoon. 2 HAWFINCHES (gros bec) were on site early morning.
Thought I'd better hurry up and get a photo before they all disappear. Now sadly down to just 6 MALLARD ducklings (cannetons) after only 2 days - that's a loss of 50% already. Really must do something about these blasted rats...
fruitless skywatch this evening - nothing moving apart from a few BARN
SWALLOWS (hirondelle de cheminée) and SWIFTS (martinet noir).
Hats off to the pair of MALLARDS
(colvert) which has bred successfully for the third consecutive year -
Pierre saw the female with 12 ducklings at the Mare Perchee this
evening. It's quite amazing actually how they manage this feat, given
all that they have to put up with here: the constant charges by dogs
'off-leash', men wearing wellies wandering around the reedbed and
stone-throwing kids - not to mention the small hoard of resident rats.
A skywatch this evening with Pierre was very interesting with a few SWIFTS (martinet noir) racing through, and a pale BUZZARD (buse) circled around before gliding straight east.
The highlight, though, was a small party of 3 BLACK KITES (milan noir) which beat a steady and purposeful path northwards at 19h15, circling a little on the way. This was interesting behaviour because it's the first time we've seen them clearly migrating north in spring, (the few spring birds observed up until now have drifted rather aimlessly southwards and are, presumably, non-breeding birds just wandering around the region ?).
Warm and sunny again. Pleasant
afternoon skywatching from the Cascade with Stéphane, Suzanne and
Pierre. Small numbers of BARN SWALLOWS (hirondelle de cheminée) were
migrating through, and larger-than-usual numbers of STOCK DOVES
(colombin) might well have been migrants (all heading east).
The highlights were a single RING OUZEL (merle à plastron) flying indecisively over and around the Savanna, a fine PEREGRINE (pèlerin) moving northeast, a HOBBY (hobereau) dashing north and 2 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux).
At one point a CUCKOO (coucou gris) was heard singing brieflly (probably from the Parc Mabille).
Cool and cloudy again early this morning. The highlight was a SNIPE (bécassine des marais) which spent over 5 minutes careering around the airspace surrounding the park. It was no doubt highly interested in the Mare Perchée below - these days it's full of water and has lush, marshy fringes which must make for a tempting target. Sure enough it eventually winnowed in much closer and dive-bombed down to land momentarily on the muddy edge, although it was unfortunately flushed immediately by an arriving man and dog. Could this possibly be the same bird that was seen last Saturday ?
Other birds included at least 1 singing WILLOW WARBLER (fitis) and a couple of RING OUZELS (merle a plastron).
Cold and overcast early this morning. A group of 5 RING OUZELS
(merle a plastron) flew twice around the Savanna as if looking for
somewhere to land before eventually disappearing southwards. Just a few
minutes later a lone FIELDFARE (litorne) chacked high
overhead and meandered around in a similar fashion; like the other
thrushes it ended up flying south towards the Bois de Vincennes. The NIGHTINGALE (rossignol) continues to sing.
Another hot and sunny day. A long skywatch late this afternoon with Stéphane produced quite a lot including the first SWIFTS (martinet noir) and HOUSE MARTINS (hirondelle de fenêtre) of the year.
There were a few raptors on show : 3 BUZZARDS (buse) were seen and 2 very high RED KITES (milan royal) glided eastwards together at 16h20. The highlight, though, was surely a solitary COMMON CRANE (grue cendrée) which flapped slowly northwards, obligingly circling en route.
There were two singing NIGHTINGALES (rossignol) on site this morning and small numbers of PIPITS were flicking steadily overhead. Very unusually a TREE PIPIT (pipit des arbres) was found singing near the Mare de Milieu.
Skywatching was difficult in the early afternoon with a blue, cloudless sky and heat haze. Very little was moving - just the odd MEADOW PIPIT (farlouse) and LINNET (linotte). However things were salvaged by a SNIPE (bécassine des marais) which flew south over the Cascade before veering west and dropping down behind the Bois de Bordure.
A GRASSHOPPER WARBLER (locustelle tachetée) was singing by the bee-hive enclosure in the Savanna early this morning.
Hardly anything migrating over - a solitary COMMON REDPOLL (sizerin flammé) jinking north was the only thing of note.
A nice warm and sunny day with migrants moving - at least 4 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux) and 3 BUZZARDS (buse) moved north and east respectively. There were a few 'firsts' for the yearlist, namely a YELLOW WAGTAIL (bergeronnette printanière), 2 TREE PIPITS (pipit des arbres), a SAND MARTIN (rivage) and a singing WHITETHROAT (grisette). Lastly a super male RING OUZEL
(merle a plastron) interrupted its strong northward flight with a
rather long pit-stop, perching on a bare tree in the Savanna for several
minutes and seemingly just surveying the surroundings.
Laurent took some more fine photos again today including this SPARROWHAWK (epervier) which was apparently migrating northwards, and a BRAMBLING (pinson du nord).
Another bright, sunny and cloudless morning with a cold northeasterly. Mixed flocks of passerines continue to fly overhead and BRAMBLINGS
(pinson du nord) were particularly numerous today - one large flock
even did an about-turn and scattered into the treetops for a few
Quentin was also at the Cascade this morning and managed to get a couple of photos of one of the BRAMBLING flocks. Later in the morning he noted a couple of ROSE-RINGED PARAKEETS (perruche a collier) and two CANADA GEESE (bernache du Canada) flying overhead towards Paris.
Mist, grey clouds and an incessant cold northerly wind. However a skywatch this afternoon was interesting with a solitary CURLEW
(courlis cendré) flapping floppily overhead at 15h05, heading directly
north. This is such a rare sight here that I'm putting my photographic
record of the event here on the left, quite possibly the worst ever
photo ever taken of this species. However it does, at least, ''capture
the moment'' as the bird flies towards the park. It was a moment that
made me realise that I absolutely must get a decent camera, a
feeling futher enforced when Quentin Dubost turned up just a few minutes
later (with a much better one) and shot this fine GREY HERON (héron
cendré) here on the right, documenting the first
ever landing of a heron on site this year...
Major news today...Pierre had an adult female GOSHAWK (autour) circling close to site this afternoon, the bird then shifting away towards the northeast. This is only the second ever record for the park. But, apart from that, absolutely nothing all day.
A WOODCOCK (bécasse des bois) was flushed from the Savanna this morning.
was difficult in the afternoon with a strong southwesterly wind, grey
skies and specks of rain, but a fair few birds were migrating overhead.
There were steady small flocks of CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres)
bounding eastwards and 3 FIELDFARES (litorne) flew high to the
north. A group of about 25 REDWINGS (mauvis) appeared from the west and
tumbled down into trees for a quick breather before heading onwards.
Small numbers of BRAMBLINGS (pinson du nord) were moving north early morning. In the afternoon Pierre had a fine PEREGRINE which approached the park from the northeast, circled and then powered on in the direction of Porte d'Ivry.
You'll just have to believe me when I say this is a HAWFINCH
(gros-bec). The recent flock of them seems to have disappeared and this
was a rather lonely-looking thing, zipping restlessly around the
Cascade at first light and perhaps wondering where all its mates had
By the way the sky really is this colour in the early mornings !
In spite of good, clear conditions there was little about although a FIELDFARE (litorne) chacked high overhead and several SONG THRUSHES (musiciennes) were migrating north. A REED BUNTING (bruant des roseaux) was at the Mare Perchée.
Later in the day Olivier Laporte found a fine male STONECHAT (traquet pâtre) near the Compost. He also had a couple of FIRECRESTS (roitelet triple bandeau) and a male BLACKCAP (fauvette à tête noire), which was half-heartedly singing and struggling to find the right notes.
Nice and sunny again with thankfully less mist than yesterday. The cold northerly wind still blows. Quite a long skywatch from the Cascade this afternoon produced the first large group of CORMORANTS flying east, and the first migrating raptor of the spring, a distant BUZZARD (buse variable), crossed the sky in the same direction. Pierre found the first BLACKCAP (fauvette à tête noire) of the year today and there is still at least one HAWFINCH (gros-bec) on site.
sunny and cloudless it was hopeless for skywatching this afternoon with
an annoying hazy, misty sky which smothered even the buildings in
downtown Montreuil just a few hundred metres away.
However a few passerines were migrating anyway, notably 3 MEADOW PIPITS (farlouse) (the first this year) and 3 rather nice WHITE WAGTAILS (bergeronnette gris), one of which dropped down to feed on the margins of the Mare Perchée.
A long skywatch with Pierre from the
Cascade early this afternoon produced rather few birds – the highlight
was this flock of 14 GREYLAG GEESE (oie cendrée) which flew in perfect formation, high overhead to the east-northeast at 13h25.
The first CORMORANTS of year appeared today and several HAWFINCHES (gros bec) are still offering excellent views from the Cascade, often perching obligingly atop the bare trees in the Compost area opposite.
More JACKDAWS (choucas) early this morning before the rains came - a loose flock of 27 clipped their way eastwards across the sky, disappearing behind the flats on rue Paul Doumer.
By the early afternoon the rain had stopped and a skywatch from the Cascade produced a distant flock of 7 COMMON CRANES (grue cendrée) , the first I’ve ever seen at Beaumonts - they wheeled over the Bois de Vincennes and spent some 15 minutes or so beating east. A bit later a single bird suddenly appeared and flapped slowly northeast.
The first CHIFFCHAFF (véloce) of the year appeared today and a single SKYLARK
(alouette des champs) passed rather low overhead, revolving slowly over
the Cascade and most probably landing on site somewhere. Also of note
was a single ROOK (freux) and a flock of 37 LAPWINGS (vanneau) flying northwards.
For the last few days a few
BLACK-HEADED GULLS (rieuse) have been moving north in the early
mornings but today there were greater numbers: several bunches of
about 30 birds beat overhead through the grey and more than 200 passed
in just an hour. A few small parties of CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres)
were migrating overhead.
A few HAWFINCHES (grosbec) are still on site and there were 3 REED BUNTINGS (bruant des roseaux) at the Mare Perchée. Much later in the afternoon Pierre had the first JACKDAW (choucas) of the year flying north.
A pair of LONG-TAILED TITS (mésange à longe-queue) is already building a nest !
An excellent bright and sunny day, feels like spring already ! Spent a couple of hours skywatching from the Cascade this afternoon with Pierre who spotted a spectacular long, strung-out line of 84 GREGLAG GEESE (oie cendrée) high in the distance over the Bois de Vincennes. Fortunately they were moving steadily towards us although they were deceptively fast and it was a mad scramble to get the camera out in time. Just moments later we could hear the birds’ honking calls as they powered high overhead and away northwards. Later in the afternoon another 13 birds were seen flying east north-east.
Otherwise not much – the odd SISKIN (tarin) flew over, and a REED BUNTING (bruant des roseaux) and at least one HAWFINCH (gros-bec) are still on site.
A BUZZARD (buse), presumably the same bird that Pierre saw yesterday, has landed again on site and was flushed from a small tree in the Savanna this morning.
An exciting few moments for Pierre this afternoon when he heard a BUZZARD
(buse variable) calling from the wooded slope above the Dinosaur. The
bird shortly burst into view as it flew off from its perch and away from
the park, chased along by three marauding CARRION CROWS (corneille).
It’s only the second time this species has been recorded landing on
Pierre also had the first NUTHATCH (sitelle) of the year, and the second FIRECREST (roitelet triple-bandeau).
Pierre reported exceptional numbers of
LONG-TAILED TITS (mésange à longue queue) today – 37 birds in total ! 9
BRAMBLINGS (pinson du nord) were feeding on the ground near the Danton
entrance and these, along with several REDWINGS (mauves) and at least 1
HAWFINCH (gros-bec), seem to be pretty well settled on site at the
Roland and his dog Rugby report the first LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER (pic épiechette) of the year.
A few ROBINS (rougegorge) were singing this morning, and 3 REED BUNTINGS (bruant des roseaux) were in the reeds early - I reckon they'd roosted overnight at the Mare Perchée. A HAWFINCH (grosbec) and 6 BRAMBLINGS (pinson du nord) were flying around the Savanna.
Interesting to see a couple more BUZZARDS (buse) and SKYLARKS (alouette
des champs) flying over today – birds we don’t normally see in winter.
There’s a small flock of 11 GOLDFINCHES (chardonneret élégante) on site
and 9 SISKINS (tarin) occasionally bounce overhead. We had a nice HAWFINCH
(gros-bec) near the Cascade which perched in the open briefly before
disappearing down into the daunting mass of tangled, bare bushes by the
An exceptionally good start to the year - Pierre had a few top draw year-ticks today, the best being a LONG-EARED OWL (hibou moyen-duc) which flew westwards across the sky, harried all the way by 3 CARRION CROWS (corneille). Also of note were a CRESTED TIT (mésange huppé), a PEREGRINE (pèlerin) flying southwest, a FIELDFARE (litorne), a GREY WAGTAIL (bergeronnette des ruisseaux) and 2 BUZZARDS (buse variable).
This is certainly a better January than usual. Large numbers of birds are flying around the area and plenty are landing and feeding on site - these included 5 HAWFINCHES (grosbec), 3 BULLFINCHES (bouvreuil) and a flock of 14 BRAMBLINGS (pinson du nord) today.
HAPPY NEW YEAR ! (Bonne Année), dear reader. Off to a fairly good start today with a pair of HAWFINCHES (grosbec) on site, along with at least one BRAMBLING (pinson du nord).