A good skywatch today with Isabelle - high-flying flocks of migrating JAYS (geai des chênes) were visible again and 3 GREAT EGRETS (grande aigrette) flew together in a line. Not as many CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres) as in previous years and surprisingly no SKYLARKS (alouette des champs), but there were plenty of WOODLARKS (lulu), some COAL TITS (mésange noire) and a HAWFINCH (gros bec) amongst the flyovers.
A male MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) circled south and it was good to get another MARSH TIT (mésange nonnette) on site at the Cascade - quite a rarity here.
Ah, here it is, the devil in our midst...the infamous RED-EARED SLIDER TURTLE (Trachémyde à tempes rouges) that’s been reported now and again at the pond. This is definitely bad news for the various frogs and newts and we must find a way of removing it sharpish, but it won't be easy.
On the plus side this morning there were 8 MOORHEN chicks (poussins de poule d’eau) on show, all on fine form.
A QUAIL (caille) and this LITTLE GREBE (grèbe castagneux) flew over just after midnight. With headphones you can hear a ghetto-blaster going on in the background while the grebe is flying over - so much for the 9pm curfew !
A rather macabre SWIFT (martinet) situation this morning at their breeding colony just outside the park in the Résidence Jean Moulin - a very dead individual was hanging down from a window pane, the poor fellow having somehow hung itself on some sticking-out wire or plastic. Interestingly birds were still continuing to sweep up to the nest site without entering the cavity and at one point two birds landed together momentarily on top of the dead bird.
Inside the park a SISKIN (tarin) flew overhead (unheard of at this time of year) and a rare MARSH WARBLER (verderolle) was singing at the Petite Prairie.
It’s been a good spring so far for YELLOW WAGTAILS (printa), small but higher-than-usual numbers going through every day. And today this fellow dropped down for a brief scurry around the field - here he is, trying desperately to hide in the grass.
Otherwise not a lot to report with this strong northerly still blowing. There was a JACKDAW (choucas), a couple of LINNETS and TREE PIPITS, and a few of the SWIFTS (martinet) are looking local.
Terrible record shot here of a typically shy WRYNECK (torcol) in the Petite Prairie early doors - the singing REDSTART (rougequeue à front blanc) in the same area was much more cooperative...
A RING OUZEL (plastron) and at least 3 COOTS (foulque) had flown over in the night.
Rémi and Sonia did a skywatch in the early afternoon and had 3 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux), a BLACK KITE (milan noir), a HOBBY, a few HOUSE MARTINS (hirondelle de fenêtre) and an intriging sighting of 2 HAWFINCHES (grosbec).
There were singing WILLOW WARBLERS (fitis), NIGHTINGALE (rossignol) and REDSTART (rouge-queue à front blanc) on site this morning, but this blasted cold northerly still blows and stuff seems generally a bit late in this year.
This MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) flapped low overhead and 3 REDPOLLS (sizerin) flew east.
A couple of photo triumphs this morning : after years and years, at last a half-decent shot of a LINNET, this one here one of 4 near the cascade at dawn, before people and dogs arrived to flush them off. And later in the morning a PIPISTRELLE BAT (Pipistrelle indéterminée) appeared and fluttered around the pond for several minutes.
Not a lot moving today although the first migrating BLACK REDSTART (rouge-queue noir) of the spring flew over, and a noisy FIELDFARE (litorne) was on site at dawn, surrounded by a cluster of silent REDWINGS (mauvis).
A sign of spring this morning with a low-flying SKYLARK (alouette des champs) heading north.