birding beaumonts

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October 14th




Today was the official « journée de la migration » in France, that moment in the year when birders stand around on high ground all over the region and count the passing passerines. So there were a few of us standing at the Cascade for most of the day (Emmanuel, Isabelle, Maite and me) trying hard to count the bounding blobs streaming in from the north.




As was the case yesterday, better-than-usual numbers of WOODLARKS (lulu), this one included, went overhead and there were the usual large numbers of CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres) and MEADOW PIPITS (farlouse).

But no big surprises today, although there there were the first LAPWINGS (vanneau) of the autumn, a single BRAMBLING (pinson du Nord) and a late SWALLOW (rustique).


October 12th




Good migration action this morning, including this excellent RING OUZEL (merle à plastron).

September 30th

Record shot here of a distant TURTLE DOVE (tourterelle des bois) feeding in the middle of the Savanna amongst a few WOODPIGEONS (ramier), a real rarity here, especially in autumn. And the BUZZARD (buse) next door gave some great views - it had probably landed on site before being chased off by a noisy hoard of MAGPIES.

Before all this, in the early morning, a migrating RING OUZEL (plastron) had flown in from the north and landed briefly near the Cascade.


September 29th





Not much on site today but this superb RED KITE (milan royal) sailed overhead in the early afternoon.










September 16th

A migrating OSPREY (balbu) this afternoon.


September 9th




Not much migrating again today although this HONEY BUZZARD (bondrée) flew over low in the company of 2 BUZZARDS (buse).

September 8th


This local-looking HOBBY flew over this morning, accompanied by unidentified prey.

A flock of 6 WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche) went south but there was little else migrating. Quite birdy on site though with a couple of REDSTARTS (rouge-queue à front blanc) and SPOTTED (gobemouche gris) and PIED FLYCATCHERS (gobemouche noir).

Only the second LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER (pic épeichette) of the year was heard calling.



September 2nd

Nice WHEATEAR (motteux) in the Savanna this morning, perched right next to a WHINCHAT (tarier des près). The first MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) of the autumn flew south, along with a smattering of SWALLOWS (rustique).


August 31st



Good numbers of TREE PIPITS (pipit des arbres) were bounding overhead this morning and this GREAT EGRET (grande aigrette) flew slowly south.











August 26th




This flyover YELLOW WAGTAIL (printa) was the first of the autumn and a very distant flock of 12 WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche) circled over Romainville, in and out of the heat haze.

August 25th


One of at least two SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS (gobemouche gris) here on site this morning - there were also 3 REDSTARTS (rouge-queue à front blanc) and a TREE PIPIT (pipit des arbres).

Grey and windy conditions didn’t bode well for skywatching but it turned out to be almost a record-breaking day for HONEY-BUZZARDS (bondrée) with at least 17 flying over. Migrating SWIFTS (martinet) are disappearing fast, and there were just 3 today. 





August 19th

Another huge flock of WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche) today, and the first migrating SWALLOW (rustique) and HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée).

Finally managed to get a photo of that elusive SWALLOWTAIL (machaon), glimpsed a few times recently from the Cascade.


August 18th

Plenty of autumn firsts this morning - PIED FLY (gobemouche noir), TREE PIPIT (pipit des arbres), REDSTART (rouge-queue à front blanc) and WHINCHAT (tarier des près ). A LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde) was seen again around the Compost.


August 16th

Large clouds of SWIFTS (martinet) over the park this evening. A HOBBY was meandering around, idly catching insects.


August 15th

Another (much smaller) flock of WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche) today, unfortunately evaporating quickly in low cloud. A SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (gobemouche gris) was on site and a big band of warblers roaming around the Compost included two WHITETHROATS (grisette), a WILLOW WARBLER (fitis) and an impeccably smart LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde).


August 12th




This superb flock of 92 WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche) flew over this afternoon.

July 24th

Unusually for July a GARDEN WARBLER (fauvette des jardins) singing non-stop this morning from the Petite Praire, completely surrounded at times by a group of inquisitive and very silent BLACKCAPS (fauvette à tête noire).


July 19th




One of the local SWIFTS (martinet) here flying around low with a big gobful of insects - other birds these days are apparently migrating, flying much higher up and in steady straight lines. 








July 17th

A flyover GREEN SANDPIPER (cul-blanc) early this morning, and a good number of the SWIFTS (martinet) were migrating south.


June 30th


Very exciting news this morning with this MIDDLE SPOTTED WOODPECKER (pic mar), a real rarity here, present for at least an hour and roaming widely. Nothing much else…


May 26th

A pair of HAWFINCHES (gros bec) on site today and the first LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER (pic épeichette) of the year - rather a rare bird these days.


May 21st

Good skywatching during the afternoon with a MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux), 2 BLACK KITES (milan noir) and 11 HONEY-BUZZARDS (bondrée).


May 20th

SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (gobemouche gris) in the Savanna this morning.


May 19th

A LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde) was again seen and briefly heard near the Cascade - the very small amount of song from this bird (assuming it's the same) suggests maybe a breeding pair ??


May 13th

Drizzly rain early morning - a singing TURTLE DOVE (tourterelle des bois) on site.

May 12th

This superb male MONTAGU’S HARRIER (busard cendré) flapped north this morning on exactly the same date (and just one hour later) as one of the two spring birds last year. Not much else moving, just a few SWALLOWS (rustique) and a HONEY-BUZZARD (bondrée).

Presumably the same LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde) is still singing on site and a REED WARBLER (effarvatte) was at the Butte Sud.


May 8th

A singing LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde) roaming around in the afternoon.

May 6th


At first light this tired-looking WHEATEAR (traquet motteux) was at the Petite Prairie, spending a very long time just sitting still and looking around. At least two singing WHITETHROATS (grisette) now on site and, intrigingly, a pair of HAWFINCHES (gros bec).

Yesterday’s pale BUZZARD (buse) reappeared, mobbed seriously once again by crows. The local SWIFTS (martinet) are now in, and racing around in pairs.




May 1st

Another OSPREY (balbu) went over today and the first HONEY-BUZZARD (bondrée) of the spring circled with a WHITE STORK (cigogne blanche). The first REED WARBLER (effarvatte) of the year was in the woodland along the Sentiers des Vergers and a LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde) was singing again near the Cascade.

April 28th

A smart-looking WHINCHAT (tarier des près) and a singing LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde) on site. An OSPREY (balbu) went over in the afternoon.

April 23rd


A nice male WHEATEAR (traquet motteux) lapped low over the Cascade early this morning, and a HAWFINCH (gros bec) and yet another REDPOLL (sizerin) also went north.


April 22nd



Another LESSER REDPOLL (sizerin cabaret) and HAWFINCH (gros bec) this morning, and a migrating RED KITE (milan royal) went over later in the day, the first I've seen for ages. 

Star bird today though was this JAY (geai des chênes), proudly decorating its nest with at least 3 coat hangers, probably nicked from a garden along the nearby rue des Quatre Ruelles?





April 21st



This MERLIN (émerillon) flew over today and there were a few firsts for the year: YELLOW WAGTAIL (printa), WHITETHROAT (grisette), GARDEN WARBLER (fauvette des jardins), a pair of local-looking HOBBIES (hobereau) and an apparently migrating LESSER REDPOLL (sizerin cabaret) which dropped in and landed briefly by the mare Perchée.

A HAWFINCH (gros bec) flew over and there were a few more SWIFTS (martinet).

April 19th

The first SWIFTS (martinet) of the year drifted around in the late afternoon (several days later than usual).

April 15th

Really excellent skywatching this afternoon with Pierre, the highlights being this possible PALLID HARRIER (busard pale) and SHORT-EARED OWL (hibou des marais). The owl flapped in from the north and tried to land in the Savanna before being chased off by a crow, returning just above our heads. The harrier was another exciting affair - although distant it was in fine view for at least a minute, circling around and then beating away to the northeast. Seems a bit too early for a Montagu’s (busard cendré) and it does look rather more like a Pallid (which are apparently moving through France at the moment).

Other birds were moving today : going north were a pair of adult MEDITERRANEAN GULLS (mouette mélano) and 6 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux) whilst a BLACK KITE (milan noir), the first of the year, flew the other way. On site was a HAWFINCH (gros bec), a singing WILLOW WARBLER (fitis) and a pair of nest-building LONG-TAILED TITS (mésange à longue queue).

April 14th

A NIGHTINGALE (rossignol) and a WILLOW WARBLER (fitis) on site today, but apart from that almost no sign of any migration...hopefully everything's just late this year, or else we're in trouble.

April 11th

The first HOUSE MARTINS (hirondelle de fenêtre) of the year this morning, plus a flyover WATER PIPIT (spioncelle). Two RING OUZELS (merle à plastron) on site.

April 5th

First migrating SWALLOW (rustique) of the year this morning.


April 2nd


Excitement this morning with 5 MEALY REDPOLLS (sizerin flammé) landing near the Cascade and giving some scope views before flying off to the north.

Small numbers of birds migrating today, including a couple of MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux) and a group of 8 WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche).

This was one of a couple of local SPARROWHAWKS (épervier) flapping low overhead.

March 25th



Not a lot today either although there were more good views of the HAWFINCHES (gros bec), and in the late morning Emmanuel and Maite had a group of 40 migrating LAPWINGS (vanneaux).

Also migrating was this group of five BUZZARDS (buse) in the afternoon, which glided in and took a while circling high before moving on.





March 24th



Record shot here of the first MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) of the spring arriving overhead. Otherwise not much today ; still a couple HAWFINCHES (gros bec) flying around on site, and a flock of about 32 GOLDEN PLOVER (pluvier doré) flew northeast.

March 15th

Amazing record this morning of a KINGFISHER (martin pêcheur)- the first since November 2003 ! Seen from the Cascade, and with no time to lift the binoculars, the bird zipped through westwards towards the mare Perchée, although it couldn’t be found there afterwards.  

Quite a lot of migration going on with several SKYLARKS (alouette des champs), CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres), the first MEADOW PIPIT (farlouse) of the spring, 3 FIELDFARES (litorne) and 4 GOLDEN PLOVER (pluvier doré).


March 11th

30 GOLDEN PLOVER (pluvier doré) racing north very high in the sky this afternoon. At least three BUZZARDS (buse) still drifting around over Vincennes, and a HAWFINCH (gros bec) and SISKIN (tarin) on site.


March 4th

No sign of those REDPOLLS this morning, but two WOODCOCKS (bécasse des bois) were flushed up from the Compost, one almost immediately after the other.

A FIELDFARE (litorne) was on site along with the usual REDWINGS (mauvis), and a COAL TIT (mésange noire) was making lots of noise in a conifer up at the northern end of the park.


March 3rd

Since all the recent meddling with REDPOLL (sizerin) taxonomy a couple of COMMON REDPOLLS (sizerin flammé) at the Cascade this morning made for a park tick!!! An historic event indeed to see such a regional rarity, although to be honest there's been loads around everywhere these last few weeks, in what has been an exceptional « invasion year ».  

An interesting day with lots of birds on site and stuff moving north at last after a really cold week: distant lines of LAPWINGS (vanneau) were edging northeast, as was a flock of 12 ROOK (freux) and the first migrating BUZZARD (buse). On site were at least 7 HAWFINCHES (gros bec), a few SISKINS (tarin), large numbers of BLUE TITS (mésange bleue) and a singing male FIRECREST (triple bandeau).


February 24th



Wierd weather has set in; dry, bright and sunny with a very cold north-easterly (apparently Russian), and skies all hazed over by pollution. Nothing seemed to be flying through it this morning (not even a single gull), although this ROOK (freux), one of four, went north.

2 HAWFINCHES (gros bec) were on site, but no sign of any SISKINS (tarin).





February 18th

A flock of migrating SKYLARKS (alouette des champs) flew north this afternoon and 3 distant BUZZARDS (buse) were almost constantly on view, wandering high over the bois de Vincennes.

February 12th

Pierre had a FIELDFARE (litorne) on site today, a couple of HAWFINCHES (gros bec) and at least 10 SISKINS (tarin).

February 4th

A BLACKCAP (fauvette à tête noire) and about 20 SISKINS (tarin) for Pierre today.

February 3rd

SISKINS (tarins), BRAMBLING (pinson du Nord) and a couple of HAWFINCHES (gros bec) this morning.

January 27th


Cold and misty - a singing male BLACKCAP (fauvette à tête noire) and a HAWFINCH (grosbec) were on site but there were far fewer REDWINGS (mauvis), CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres), and not a single BRAMBLING (pinson du Nord).

As you can see the SISKINS (tarin) are still on site though, feeding this morning with GOLDFINCHES (chardonneret) near the car-park on rue Paul Doumer.

January 14th

A superb bright and sunny day - yesterday’s flock of SISKINS (tarin) was found again again feeding in trees in the northern part of the park (couple of shots here).

2 BRAMBLINGS (pinson du Nord) still present, and small numbers of adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULLS (goéland brun)  were flying north and east in the early afternoon.


January 13th



One of 4 BRAMBLINGS (pinson du Nord) here found amongst a roaming CHAFFINCH flock.

A group of around 20 SISKINS (tarin) was feeding in the alders behind the college and 4 COAL TITS (mésange noire), a HAWFINCH (grosbec) and plenty of REDWINGS also on site.

January 7th



Here's one of those HAWFINCHES (gros bec), still on site this morning near the mare de Milieu. A pair of BULLFINCHES (bouvreuil) as well today, and at least 4 FIRECRESTS (triple bandeau).

January 6th

A least 4 HAWFINCHES (gros bec) feeding on site this morning and still a large group of REDWINGS (mauvis) rambling around. There were also 2 wintering CHIFFCHAFFS (véloce), a FIRECREST (triple bandeau) and the mournful sounds of a BULLFINCH (bouvreuil).

January 1st

Happy New Year to you, dear reader. A grey and rainy day to kick off the year: a large group of around 30 REDWINGS (mauvis) was on site, but no sign of the BRAMBLINGS (pinson du Nord) or HAWFINCH (gros bec) which Pierre had a few days ago.


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