Birding Beaumonts


November 12th

One of 39 GOLDEN PLOVER (pluvier doré) flying over this morning. Small numbers of STARLINGS (étourneaux) were streaming west.

November 11th

GREYLAG GEESE (oie cendrée), LAPWINGS (vanneaux) and GOLDEN PLOVER (pluvier doré) all moving south this morning.

November 4th

Excellent SHORT-EARED OWL (hibou des marais) here, flapping high over the park to the northeast in the early morning. 

November 2nd

The SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF (pouillot de Sibérie) was showing well early in the willows around the pond.

November 1st

Flocks of STARLINGS moving today, along with a few LAPWINGS (vanneaux) and CORMORANTS. In the late afternoon some familiar-sounding bullfinch-like peeps from the reedbed led to another (or the same?) SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF !!

October 30th

A good raptor show this afternoon with a fine RED KITE (milan royal) circling over the town centre, at least 10 migrating BUZZARDS (buse) and a HEN HARRIER (busard St Martin) flying north.

October 24th

More dark grey clouds, rain and drizzle early this morning - there was great excitement when Sean found a phyllosc warbler with a prominent long white super and wing bar, the bird darting briefly through the trees by the Mare Perchée, vaguely tied to a passing flock of Long-tailed Tits. Since it definitely wasn’t a firecrest it must, surely, please, be that long-awaited Sibe ? Just the small matter of finding it again....
October 23rd

October 22nd

A cold northerly wind and misty grey skies at first light - only REDWINGS (mauvis) were moving. There was the first "rarity" of the autumn a bit later with a briefly confiding SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF (pouillot de Sibérie) in the ditch at the Petite Prairie, only noticed thanks to its peeping bullfinch-like calls.

Visiting UK birder Sean Offord found this STONECHAT (tarier pâtre), a good bird for the park these days, and a flyover WATER PIPIT (spioncelle) was a year-tick. In the afternoon an OSPREY (balbuzard) flew south before the rains arrived.

HEN HARRIER (Busard st Martin) flying south this afternoon.
October 16th

Today was the traditional annual  « journée de la migration » when migration spots around the region  are covered simultaneously by birders, the results being collated and analysed by the powers that be.

It was quite good at Beaumonts until midday, with lots of SKYLARKS (alouette des champs) and WHITE WAGTAILS (bergeronnette grise) and CHAFFINCHES (pinsons) going over, although it feels like there are fewer birds around compared to last year. 


We had the first WOODLARK (lulu) of the year, and Pierre had a couple of RING OUZELS (plastron).

Pictured here is one of the relatively few SONG THRUSHES going over. True to form it was an early bird today, passage petering out around 9am.
October 15th

Nothing - not even a BLACKCAP....

October 8th

Strange, loud calls from the Savanna this morning eventually traced to this crazy COCKATEIL (calopsitte élégante), which appeared to fly off for good around midday.

A RING OUZEL (plastron) was on site.

October 5th
Excellent migration action early this morning with hundreds of tiny specks (mostly unidentified) streaming high across the skies, buffeted along by a cold northeasterly. Lots of SONG THRUSHES (grive musicienne) were moving and REDWING (mauvis), SISKINS (tarin), 34 LAPWINGS (vanneau huppée) and a pair of JACKDAWS (choucas) were all firsts for the autumn.

Record shots here of a fine OSPREY (balbu) and one of two GREAT EGRETS (grande aigrette).

September 24th

1 of a pair of RED KITES (milan royal) here, gliding high to the south this afteroon. Nothing else migrating apart from a few SWALLOWS (rustique).

REED WARBLER (effarvatte) and PIED FLYCATCHER (gobemouche noir) on site.

September 22nd
The first definite MEADOW PIPITS (farlouse) of the autumn this morning. A HOBBY flew low overhead again towards the Bois de Vincennes, probably one of the breeding pair just down the road at Lac Minimes. A male LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER (épeichette) was at the Mare Perchée and there were increased numbers of CHIFFCHAFFS (véloce). 

September 18th

This HONEY BUZZARD (bondrée) careered in low and silently from the north and crash-landed in a small tree at the Mare Perchée, only to be quickly chased off by the local MAGPIES.

Quite a lot about this morning with SPOTTED and PIED FLYCATCHERS (gobemouches gris et noir), at least 2 REDSTARTS (front-blanc), WHITETHROAT (grisette) and 2 REED WARBLERS (effarvatte) all on site.


Plenty of raptors around during the afternoon: 6 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux) and another HONEY BUZZARD were on migration, whereas on site there were 2 insect-chasing KESTRELS (crécerelle), a circling adult PEREGRINE, several SPARROWHAWKS (épervier) and 2 HOBBIES.

September 14th
3 REDSTARTS (rougequeue à front blanc) darting around the Mare Parchée this morning, including a fine black-throated male. An easy-to-see REED WARBLER (effarvatte) continues to show in the willows there.
September 11th

Quieter today - grey skies and drizzle in the morning. The LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde) was still on site, along with most of yesterday’s birds.

Although this BUZZARD (buse) flew over this afternoon there’s been a strange lack of the usual raptors so far this autumn - the skies have never been as empty as this in late August/early September…
September 10th
Very birdy today with the WHINCHAT (tarier des pres) and plenty of warblers, including the LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde), milling around with SPOTTED and PIED FLYCATCHERS (gobemouches gris & noir). Good for raptors as well with a PEREGRINE, a HOBBY (once again flying straight towards Vincennes with dangling prey) and a distant OSPREY (balbu).
September 9th
LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde) in the same bush at first light, and there were more birds about generally including a WHINCHAT (tarier des près) and two WHITETHROATS (grisette).
September 8th
A superb LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde), one of the world’s top birds, was skulking in the ditch at the Petite Prairie this morning and a lonely-looking, distant SWIFT (martinet) high over the town centre must, surely, be the last of the year ?
September 7th
A WHINCHAT (tarier des près) at the Compost.
September 6th
2 REDSTARTS (rougequeue a front blanc) near the Cascade this morning.
September 3rd

This CRESTED TIT (mésange huppée) was a much needed year-tick, in amongst a large mixed species flock including CHIFFCHAFFS (véloce) and a couple of FIRECRESTS (triple bandeau).

2 SWIFTS (martinet noir) went over during the afternoon, surely the last ??

August 31st
A WHINCHAT (tarier des près) on site today, having a good look around from the tops of the larger trees by the mare Perchée. And we’re fast running out of migrating SWIFTS (martinet) - none was seen early this morning.
August 27th

These WHITE STORKS (part of larger group of 22) sailed slowly overhead his afternoon and a tatty-looking MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) was the first of the autumn.
August 26th
Interesting to see the usual migrants (TREE PIPITS, YELLOW WAGTAILS, HOUSE MARTINS) flying north instead of south early this morning…
August 24th

Another HOBBY here, flying over the Cascade early this morning, carrying rather long-legged and unidentified prey.

There were first autumn appearances for YELLOW WAGTAILS (in a small migrating flock) and TREE PIPIT. A WHITETHROAT (grisette) was at the Compost.

August 23rd
A COMMON REDSTART (rouge-queue a front-blanc) for Pierre today.
August 20th

It’s been desperately dull these past couple of weeks but things picked up slightly with a couple of skulking WHITETHROATS (grisette) and the first PIED FLYCATCHER (gobemouche noir) of the autumn.In the afternoon a HOBBY raced south over the Cascade.

Too much wind today…

August 19th

One of the small band of GREENFINCHES (verdier) here at the Mare Perchée this morning, warts and all (check out those legs!)...

July 26th
GREEN SANDPIPER (culblanc) careering south, high overhead this morning.
July 24th

Record shot here of two of three distant BLACK STORKS (cigogne noire) gliding southwest this afternoon.

A HONEY BUZZARD (bondrée) looked to be migrating, whereas a BLACK KITE (milan noir) over the watertower looked more local and drifted off northwards. A few HOUSE MARTINS (hirondelle de fenêtre) around this afternoon, and good numbers of SWIFTS (martinet).

June 1st
Good views of one of the MARSH WARBLERS (verderolle) early this morning, singing superbly from the tall weeds and bursting bits of SKY LARK into the mix. No sign of the MELODIOUS (polyglotte) though, and the other MARSH was unusually subdued at the reed bed (maybe because a REED WARBLER (effarvatte) is there as well??).
May 27

A YELLOW-LEGGED GULL (goéland leucophée) here flying over early this morning - small numbers have been passing through to the north and east these past few weeks.


The two MARSH WARBLERS (verderolle) and the MELODIOUS WARBLER (hypolais) are still singing on site.

May 26th

2 singing MARSH WARBLERS (verderolle) on site these past few days, and one of them today was roaming around between the reedbed and the Compost. The MELODIOUS WARBLER (polyglotte) is still at the Petite Prairie and the mysterious pair of HAWFINCHES (gros bec) flew low overhead, again.

An apparently migrating BLACK KITE (milan noir) glided north and this LARGE RED DAMSELFLY (Petite nymphe au corps de feu) was at the Cascade.

May 22nd
Singing GOLDEN ORIOLE (loriot) this morning and a flyover HAWFINCH (gros bec). MARSH WARBLER (verderolle) still on site.
May 21st

Quite a racket going on at the Petite Praire early morning with 7 species of warbler all singing in a small space - the MELODIOUS (polyglotte) was still there, as well as this newly-arrived MARSH WARBLER (verderolle).
May 17th
The MELODIOUS WARBLER (hypolais) is still singing non-stop at the Petite Prairie and quite easy to see. Not been much else around lately, although a pair of HAWFINCHES (gros bec) flew north this morning.
May 11th

Park smothered in thick mist early morning, although this singing
MELODIOUS WARBLER (hypolais polyglotte) was just about visible at the Petite Prairie...
May 10th
Another TURTLE DOVE (tourterelle des bois) dashing through, and a local-looking HOBBY over the Bois de Vincennes.
May 8th

Not a lot today although there was, incredibly, a new bird for the park bird list with this escaped BLUE-CROWNED PARAKEET (conure a tête bleue). 

A silent REED WARBLER (effarvatte) was at the Mare de Bas and another HONEY-BUZZARD (bondrée) flew over.

May 7th

This WHITETHROAT (grisette) is still giving it all around Petite Prairie, songflighting and singing throughout the day.

In the same area a pair of GARDEN WARBLERS (fauvette des jardins) seems pretty sorted, the two birds moving around together with nest material early morning.



In the afternoon a lone WHITE STORK (cigogne blanche) flapped west towards Paris. Rather a good day for raptors with 4 BLACK KITES (milan noir), a BUZZARD (buse) and 4 HONEY-BUZZARDS (bondrée), the first of the year, gliding over. 

May 6th
Female PIED FLYCATCHER (gobemouche noir) this morning.
May 5th

2 TREE PIPITS (pipit des arbres) this morning and the first REED WARBLER (effarvatte) of the year was singing at the Compost.

Small numbers of SWALLOWS (rustique), HOUSE MARTINS (hirondelle de fenêtre) and SAND MARTINS (rivage) were flying over and this TURTLE DOVE (tourterelle des bois) was a big surprise - very rare to see them landing at Beaumonts.

May 2nd

The Montreuil SWIFTS (martinet noir) have arrived in force at last - larger numbers today swarming over the town, and one or two small screamimg groups racing around the buildings.

Good news on the MOORHEN (poule d'eau) front with successful breeding at the Mare de Bas - Pierre found a newly-hatched chick there this afternoon.

May 1st
Shots here of GARDEN WARBLER (fauvette des jardins) and WHITETHROAT (grisette), both singing away this morning around the Petite Prairie. The first MELODIOUS WARBLER (hypolais polyglotte) of the year sang intermittently at the Compost. A few YELLOW-LEGGED GULLS (goéland leucophée) and a migrating HOBBY went over during the afternoon.

April 30th
A late FIELDFARE (litorne) today and at least two singing WILLOW WARBLERS (fitis).
April 28th
SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (gobemouche gris) on site this morning.
April 26th
Flyover TURTLE DOVE (tourterelle des bois) and COMMON TERN (sterne pierregarin) this morning, and the first NIGHTINGALE (rossignol) of the year singing intermittently near the Mare Perchée.
April 25th

Another cold and grim morning, a blanket of thick grey cloud overhead. Great excitement, though, when this rare PURPLE HERON (héron pourpré) beat its way north.

Actually it was a morning for large waterbirds - almost nothing else was moving apart from three GREY HERONS (héron cendre) and a small flock of CORMORANTS (grand cormoran).

April 21st
Two RING OUZELS (plastron) on site this morning and good views of a BLACK KITE (milan noir) meandering south. The BLACK WOODPECKER (pic noir) put in another brief appearance, this time departing off and away to the north, disappearing high over the urban landscape.

April 20th

Brief views at first light of this distant singing male GOLDEN ORIOLE (loriot), perched in the middle of the Savanna before taking off  northwards.   


Two more MEDITERRANEAN GULLS (mélano) flew over, as did another REDPOLL (sizerin).

April 19th
A TURTLE DOVE (tourterelle des bois) hurtled in from the south and landed in trees at the Compost. Two MEDITERRANEAN GULLS (melano) and a MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) flew north.

April 18th
Excitement this morning with the return of the BLACK WOODPECKER (pic noir), eventually tracked down inside the woodland thanks to its frequent loud calling and soft drumming. As on previous occasions, though, it didn't stay long...
April 17th
A flyover REDPOLL (sizerin flammé) this morning.
April 16th
In the early afternoon Pierre phoned my mobile from his appartment downtown, helpfully pointing out that a BLACK KITE (milan noir) had just flown over the balcony. A few frantic scans eventually found the bird in the distance, still in view and wheeling around the grey clouds over Bagnolet.

Not much else today apart from two more SWIFTS (martinet) and a migrating GREEN SANDPIPER (cul-blanc).
April 15th
Good views of another RING OUZEL (plastron) near the Cascade this morning, a female.
April 14th

For the third consectutive day at least one RING OUZEL (plastron) was on site. A lonely-looking HOUSE MARTIN (hirondelle de fenêtre), the first of the year, winnowed high to the north and an early TURTLE DOVE (tourterelle du bois) was a surprise, going the same way just seconds afterwards.

Later in the day Pierre had two WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche) and the first SWIFT (martinet noir).

April 12th
A male RING OUZEL (plastron) on site this morning and a migrating MERLIN (émerillon) flew straight to the northeast.
April 11th
Another HAWFINCH (gros bec) on site this morning and the first RING OUZELS (merle a plastron) of the year flew overhead.
April 10th

One of three adult MEDITERRANEAN GULLS (melano) here, circling high to the north with five BLACK-HEADED GULLS (rieuse) in the early afternoon.

A BRAMBLING (pinson du nord), and the first TREE PIPITS (pipit des arbres) and YELLOW WAGTAILS (printa) of the spring flew overhead.


At just after midnight, Yves heard a TAWNY OWL (hulotte) calling from the southern side of the park. 

April 8th
The BLACK WOODPECKER (pic noir) was back again early this morning, spending about 20 minutes on site and calling frequently.
April 7th
BLACK WOODPECKER (pic noir) this morning, heard calling from the Parc Mabille from about 08h10 to 08h40 and eventually seen flying away south towards the Bois de Vincennes. It could be the same bird that prospected the park, at the same time of day, on three dates in early April last year.
April 5th
A HAWFINCH (gros bec) on site this morning, perched atop a distant tree, having a good look around…
March 30th
A BLACK REDSTART (rougequeue noir) and a WILLOW WARBLER (fitis) were firsts for the year this morning, the latter singing half-heartedly at the Mare de Bas.
March 28th

2 PEREGRINES over Fontenay this afternoon and another COMMON GULL (goéland cendré) showed up, circling north between the showers.

A distant MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) was the first of the year.

This rainbow showed briefly behind the Antenna Building.

March 26th
Pics here of a brilliant BRAMBLING (pinson du nord) and one of two REED BUNTINGS (bruant des roseaux) on site this afternoon. Lots of stuff moving today through dingy grey skies, buffeted along by a strong southwesterly. The highlight was a flock of PINTAIL (canard pilet) racing east, and other flyovers included a COMMON TERN (pierregarin), a LAPWING (vanneau), two COMMON GULLS (goéland cendré), two BUZZARDS (buse), a couple of SWALLOWS (rustique) and the first SAND MARTIN (rivage) of the year.

March 23rd
Good numbers of the usual migrants overhead this morning, flying much lower down than usual against a dull, grey, misty sky and another strong, cold northerly. There were more REDWINGS (mauvis), unusually high numbers of WHITE WAGTAILS (bergeronnette grise), the first  SWALLOWS (rustique) of the year and a WOODLARK (lulu).

March 22nd

A CORN BUNTING (bruant proyer) flew over the Cascade early this morning.

This was one of many REDWINGS (mauvis) rushing north, and CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres) and WHITE WAGTAILS (bergeronnette grise) are bounding over now in bigger numbers.

Absolutely no GULLS around at the moment..
March 12th
Singing FIRECRESTS (triple bandeau) and BLACKCAP (fauvette a tête noire) this morning, and a corking male BRAMBLING (pinson du nord) landed on site with a couple of CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres). The first LAPWINGS (vanneau) of the year flew north in a large flock.

February 27th

Exciting discovery early this morning of this startled WATER RAIL (Rale d’eau) poking around the icy edges of the Mare Perchée. After that it was discreet and difficult and only occasionally visible scampering between the two reed beds.


The first migrating WHITE WAGTAILS (bergeronnette grise) and MEADOW PIPITS (farlouse) of the spring went overhead and a STONECHAT (traquet patre) was in the Savanna.


In the afternoon an impressive group of 45 WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche) had a hard time flapping north against the strong, cold wind.

February 24th
First serious skywatch of the spring early morning - cold, crisp and bright like a proper winter. A FIELDFARE (litorne) chacked from the Savanna and a REDWING (mauvis) was at the Cascade briefly before heading on north. Nice image of 7 ROOKS (freux) flying northeast.

February 7th
Flock of 20 GREYLAGS (oie cendrée) flying north this afternoon.
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