birding beaumonts


9th June

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.

8th June

A now rather rare SERIN on site this morning.

4th June

Pairs of SWIFTS (martinet) flying around above the pond in the early mornings have dwindled in number these past few days but there was still some copulation going on this morning. This photo shows quite clearly the male's neck-gripping technique...

3rd June

The discretely-singing, invisible REED WARBLER (effarvatte) was heard again and a GARDEN WARBLER (fauvette des jardins), presumably an unpaired male, continues to sing non-stop.

2nd June

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 !

30th May

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.

29th May

Record-shot here of a flyover GOLDEN ORIOLE (loriot) heading towards Vincennes, although it might well have dropped down and landed somewhere on site.

28th May

The first migrating QUAIL (caille des blés) was sound-recorded in the early hours and a HAWFINCH (gros bec) flew over east towards Fontenay. There were seven MOORHEN chicks visible this morning at the pond.

27th May

A distant CUCKOO was heard this morning coming from the south side, only the second time I've heard one here. Also singing unseen in the distance was a LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde), and in the afternoon a HONEY BUZZARD (bondrée) flew over.

24th May

The REED WARBLER (effarvatte) was still in the Petite Prairie this morning, being difficult and singing quietly, as was a MELODIOUS WARBLER (hypolais polyglotte) in the same area.

An adult SHORT-TOED TREECREEPER (grimpereau des jardins) was feeding young ones. 

22nd May

First trip to the park in ages this morning and it all seemed desperately dull and lifeless with a grey sky, lots of wind and nothing singing.

But after a while the first REED WARBLER (effarvatte) of the year sang softly in the Petite Prairie and strange frog-like noises at the pond eventually revealed these 6 MOORHEN (poule d'eau) chicks galavanting around, good news indeed...

11th May

Rémi and Sonia were skywatching this afternoon and had 6 HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée), a BLACK KITE (milan noir) and a couple of MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux).

29th April

A flyover TURTLE DOVE (tourterelle des bois) early doors but almost nothing later during a fairly long skywatch with Remi and David...

28th April

A HAWFINCH (grosbec) was on site this morning but didn't stay long. In the afternoon Florent Maupas saw and photographed a COCKATEIL (Perruche calopsite) !

27th April

A pair of GARDEN WARBLERS (fauvette des jardins) was at the Petite Prairie and SAND MARTIN (rivage) and SISKIN (tarin) flew over. In the afternoon Pierre found the second WRYNECK (torcol) of the spring near the cascade.

25th April

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.

24th April

The BLACK WOODPECKER (pic noir) was on site again early morning, although heard, not seen. There were two singing WILLOW WARBLERS (fitis) close together, and a migrating GREEN SANDPIPER (culblanc) flying low to the north had probably landed at the pond.

23rd April

Record shot here of a rare BLACK WOODPECKER (pic noir) which was roaming around and calling in the early morning. A RING OUZEL (plastron) was also on site and a flyover LITTLE GREBE (grèbe castagneux) during the night was a good year tick.

20th April

An excellent skywatch with Laura and Remi. A very small but regular stream of passerines bounded over throughout the day, the vast majority of the PIPIT variety, although YELLOW WAGTAILS (printa) were definately moving as well. A couple of MEDITERRANEAN GULLS (mélano), incredibly high in the sky, circled around a bit before disappearing east, and great views were had of a low-flying BLACK KITE (milan noir).

Easily the best birds though were this MERLIN (the first of two today) and SHORT-TOED EAGLE (circaète), the latter gliding north in exactly the same way, at almost exactly the same hour and on almost exactly the same date as the one two years ago.

18th April

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). 

16th April

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.

13th April

Pretty good on the hill early morning with another perched RING OUZEL (plastron) and a few flyover passerines including this WATER PIPIT (spioncelle). Unbeknownst at the time, yet another nocturnal CURLEW (courlis cendré) had flown over at about 4am.

10th April

Another RING OUZEL (plastron), a REDSTART (rougequeue à front blanc) and at least one singing NIGHTINGALE (rossignol) in the rain this morning.

8th April

A GREEN SANDPIPER (culblanc) flushed up from the pond at dawn and a WILLOW WARBLER (fitis) sang briefly. A bit later this RING OUZEL (merle à plastron) performed well, showing lots of white spotting around the head.

Star birds today were at least 2 CURLEWS (courlis cendrés) which flew over in the night, annoyingly at the same time as a passing aeroplane - and what are the chances of that these days ?

6th April

Great view of this MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) this morning.

5th April

Very cold and grim out there this morning on the hill but the birding was better than yesterday - a few PIPITS going over, 2 RING OUZELS (merle à plastron) flying north together and an excellent MERLIN (émerillon).

1st April

A COOT (foulque) and a GREEN SANDPIPER (culblanc) flew over in the night but there wasn’t a lot happening in the early morning apart from a fly-around REDPOLL (sizerin) which probably landed on site somewhere.

This was the litter-strewn scene by the pond - gives you an idea about some of the local riff-raff...

31st March

The pair of MOORHENS (poule d'eau) was there again this morning, apparently trying to build a nest in the tiny patch of reeds in the middle of the pond. However the water tap's been on these past few days and the level is slowly rising - when this happened last year the birds quickly gave up and went somewhere else.

Otherwise nothing much to say, although the first WILLOW WARBLER (fitis) of the spring was singing.

28th March

Excellent skywatch from the cascade with Remi today though we probably stayed out there too long (10 hours!) in the sun for our own good. Isabelle joined us briefly at lunchtime and Arnaud was there for a while in the late afternoon, both of them unfortunately missing the star bird, a super BLACK STORK (cigogne noire) which glided straight northeast at 13h50.

Also today were two WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche), a couple of BLACK KITES (milan noir) and a good passage of 9 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux). Actually there were really 10 MARSH HARRIERS today, but the last one was spotted afterwards from the bus-stop just outside the park, thus failing to meet the strict and very serious criteria for acceptance on the day-list.

Strangely few passerines though today....where are all the CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres) ?


26th March

Record shot here of the first MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) of the spring flapping over in the early morning. Quite a few high-flying THRUSHES were migrating north but not much else.

Arnaud found a STONECHAT (traquet pâtre) later in the day, an extremely good year-tick these days, but the best birds today were surely these PINTAIL (pilet) recorded flying over in the night

25th March

A pair of MOORHENS (Poule d'eau) at the pond early morning.

24th March

Great views of 4 FIRECRESTS (triple-bandeau) milling around a sunlit tree at the cascade this morning. Nothing much migrating again apart from a few CORMORANTS, but it was a difficult, cloudless blue sky.

23rd March

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).

4th March

Excellent brief views of a WOODCOCK (bécasse des bois) today, well spotted by Remi.

27th February

3 COOTS (foulque) and a MOORHEN (poule d'eau) flew over in the early hours but the most exciting thing was this rare COMMON GULL (goeland cendré), its single yelp coming several seconds after calls from BLACK- HEADED GULLS, as if it was lagging behind and playing catch-up.

24th February

A distant flock of migrating LAPWINGS (vanneaux) this morning. 

23rd February

A few ROOKS (freux) today and singing BLACKCAPS (fauvette à tête noire) and CHIFFCHAFFS (véloce) on site. The first COOT (foulque) of the spring few over in the evening.

19th February

A sign of spring this morning with a low-flying SKYLARK (alouette des champs) heading north.