Birding Beaumonts


05 November

BULLFINCHES (bouvreuil) have sadly become rather a rarity here lately but there were 3 on site again this morning.

Here's one of a few REED BUNTINGS (bruant des roseaux) passing overhead. Migrants were a bit thinner on the ground but there were still more HAWFINCHES (gros bec), REDPOLLS (sizerin), REDWINGS (mauvis), and good numbers of SKYLARKS (alouette des champs).

04 November

A long skywatch with Emmanuel, Isabelle and Maite today: an early-morning REDPOLL (sizerin) landed on site near the Cascade, a tight bunch of 8 HAWFINCHES (gros bec) flew past, and a small flock of LAPWING (vanneaux) flapped over. A very dark-looking FOX (renard) was spotted briefly.

01 November

Shots here of fly-over REDWING (mauvis) and BRAMBLING (pinson du Nord) this morning. Also overhead were a few more REDPOLLS (sizerin) and an impressive bunch of 15 HAWFINCHES (gros bec) - seems like a very good autumn for those two so far. Two GREAT EGRETS (grande aigrette) flew north and there was a steady stream of migrating STARLINGS (étourneaux) going west throughout the day.

28th October

Today another small flock of GOLDEN PLOVER (pluvier doré) raced over and there were several REDPOLLS (sizerin) either seen or heard.

The first FIELDFARES (litorne) of the autumn appeared in two groups, both flying northwest, and there were plenty of migrating REDWINGS (mauvis) and still a fair few HAWFINCHES (gros bec) about. Meanwhile small flocks of CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres) poured over, sometimes tagged with the odd BRAMBLING (pinson du Nord), like this lot here…

22nd October

Grey skies and far too much wind again today so not a lot to report, although there was a migrating OSPREY (balbu), the first flock of GOLDEN PLOVERS (pluvier doré) of the year, and more than twenty flyover  HAWFINCHES (gros bec).

21st October

There’ve been good numbers of HAWFINCHES (gros bec) around these past couple of weeks, and a few more flew over this morning, including this distant group of four whizzing over the rooftops of rue Paul Doumer. Otherwise not a lot about - far too windy anyway.

15th October

These two chaps sum it up today - CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres) and BRAMBLINGS (pinson du nord), over and over, (although there were, of course, miles more of the chaffinches). A fair number of HAWFINCHES (gros bec) were zipping around and a vocal but frustratingly invisible CROSSBILL (bec croisée) landed in a tree by the mare Perchée. A pair of WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche) flapped slowly south in the afternoon.

14th October

Lots of passerines bounding across the cloudless sky. Some BRAMBLINGS (pinson du nord) were in amongst the CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres) and there were good numbers of WHITE WAGTAILS (bergeronnette grise). SKY LARKS (alouette des champs), though, seemed to be down on previous years. A flyover REDPOLL (sizerin) and an elusive BULLFINCH (bouvreuil) on site were both firsts for the year.

Hardly any raptors today - just a couple of BUZZARDS (buse) and an excellent HEN HARRIER (busard St Martin) which flew south in the early morning.

7th October

Fairly large numbers of passerines moving today including this WOODLARK (lulu), some HAWFINCHES (gros bec), and the first SKYLARKS (alouette des champs) and BRAMBLINGS (pinson du nord) of the year.

3rd October

Very exciting short skywatch this morning with two top-draw birds : first up was a super SHORT-EARED OWL (hibou des marais) found flapping around with a crow over the antenna building, the bird taking a few minutes to move slowly high overhead and south over the bois des Vincennes. Incredibly, less than half an hour later, a dark brown adult ARCTIC SKUA !!!!!! (labbe parasite), a first for the park, suddenly appeared over the rooftops of rue Paul Doumer beating a straight and steady path away to the Porte de Bagnolet.

30th September

Not much migration happening today - highlights were a rather late HONEY BUZZARD (bondrée) and a few HAWFINCHES (gros bec). On site there were large numbers of CHIFFCHAFFS (véloce) and BLUE TITS (mésange bleue) milling around all over the place, and Emmanuel and Maite had a STONECHAT (tarier pâtre) in the Savanna.

17th September

SPOTTED and PIED FLYCATCHERS (gobemouches gris et noir) on site this morning, along with a GARDEN WARBLER (fauvette des jardins) and at least two WILLOW WARBLERS (fitis).

Pictured here is the first of at least 6 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux) going over in the afternoon. There was also yet another OSPREY (balbu), and just one HONEY BUZZARD (bondrée).

16th September

A flyover HAWFINCH (gros bec) this morning and this WHINCHAT (tarier des pres) was at the Compost.

A distant and rather lethargic WHEATEAR (traquet motteux), perched on a rooftop outside the park, was eventually shifted off by the local BLACK REDSTARTS (rougequeue noir).

A few MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux) migrated over, along with another OSPREY (balbu).

10th September

4 CROSBILLS (bec-croisé des sapins) flew over today and there was another COAL TIT (mésange noire) on site.

9th September

A late, solitary SWIFT (martinet) flew south this morning, and 3 COAL TITS (mésange noire) moved through in a hurry. On site were at least 3 COMMON REDSTARTS (rouge-queue a front-blanc), SPOTTED and PIED FLYCATCHERS (gobemouches gris et noir), and a BUZZARD (buse) being mobbed by crows and magpies.

3rd September

Much quieter on site today - looks like most of yesterday’s birds disappeared overnight. Not much migrating overhead either in the afternoon apart from 87 WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche) which moved through in two large groups.

Rarest bird today (and a year tick) was a NUTHATCH (sittelle).

2nd September

Two WHINCHATS (tarier des près) were milling around the Savanna this morning, staying closely together at all times. Most of last weekend’s birds still on site including PIED and SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS (gobemouches noir et gris). A long and agreable skywatch was had in the afternoon in the company of Emmanuel, Maite, Sorlin, Suzanne and Pierre (in order of appearance) : there were plenty of raptors including 8 HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée), 9 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux) and 4 BUZZARDS (buse), one of which pictured here next to a fine HOBBY which performed well over the Cascade. Nice image late in the day of 4 WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche) circling slowly south in excellent light.

27th August

Good skywatching again today with three large groups of WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche) and the first record of CROSSBILL (bec-croisé des sapins) since 2012 - a single bird chipping high overhead was followed an hour or so later by a group of about 12 heading south.

Pictured next to some of the storks is one of seven HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée), and a MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux), another OSPREY (balbu) and several flocks of SWALLOWS (rustique) were also migrating. 

26th August

Very birdy again early this morning in spite of the thick white mist - the first TREE PIPIT (pipit des arbres) and YELLOW WAGTAIL (printa) of the autumn showed up and LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde) and MELODIOUS WARBLER (polyglotte) were among the loose bird parties roaming the edges of the Savanna. SPOTTED and PIED FLYCATCHERS (gobemouches gris et noir) are still on site, along with a mobile, vocal LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER (pic épeichette).
Great skywatching in the afternoon with good numbers of raptors going over : pictured above are one of 7 HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée) and one of 8 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux). There were also 3 OSPREYS (balbu), BUZZARDS (buse) and the first proper flocks of SWALLOWS (rustique) dashing south.

23rd August

Excellent short skywatch in the early evening : the third MONTAGU’S HARRIER (busard cendré) of the year beat quickly southwest over Fontenay, circling en route, and this HONEY-BUZZARD (bondrée) went low overhead, perhaps aiming to crash in the nearby Bois de Vincennes.

The first serious group of CORMORANTS of the autumn wheeled south, but there were very few SWIFTS (martinet).

22nd August

Pierre had an OSPREY (balbu) flying low overhead in the late afternoon.

20th August

The last of the SWIFTS (martinet) are still going through but it was impossible to gauge exactly how many were around this afternoon - aimless swarming groups would suddenly appear and disappear in all directions. 3 BUZZARDS (buse), 1 BUZZARD (bondrée) and the first MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) of the autumn flew over, and an impressive PEREGRINE made several unsuccessful stoops at a passing pigeon.

Most of yesterday’s birds were still around in the early morning, plus a LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde), a couple of REDSTARTS (rougequeue a queue blanc) and two WILLOW WARBLERS (fitis).

19th August

Many more birds on site this morning: SPOTTED and PIED FLYCATCHERS (gobemouches gris et noir), a NIGHTINGALE (rossignol), 3 WHITETHROATS (grisette), GARDEN WARBLER (fauvette des jardins) and visibly more CHIFFCHAFFS (véloce).

5 HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée) went over in the late morning, along with 30 or so SWIFTS (martinet).


15th August

Two WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche) and a BLACK KITE (milan noir) this afternoon, and more SWIFTS (martinet).

13th August

Small numbers of SWIFTS (martinet) going through this afternoon, along with 3 HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée) - this one here was very low and might have landed.

REED WARBLERS (effarvatte) have clearly bred this year and are moving noisily around the bushes at the Compost. 

23rd July

A distant BLACK STORK (cigogne noire) at midday, gliding slowly southwest against the wind.

29th May

A rare traipse around the northern bit of the park produced these CRESTED TITS (mésange huppée), the left-hand bird strangely frozen like a stealthy heron for several seconds. The MELODIOUS WARBLER (hypolais) looks to have gone, but the REED WARBLER (effarvatte) is still there at the Mare Perchée.

28th May

The singing MELODIOUS (hypolais) still present, presumably an unpaired male...

26th May

A singing MELODIOUS WARBLER (polyglotte) near the cascade today. REED WARBLER (effarvatte) still in the reed bed.

24th May

Two adult MED GULLS (mélano) this afternoon.

23rd May

Two immature PEREGRINES wandered over this morning, low enough for once to get a few photos. A REED WARBLER (effarvatte) was singing in the reed bed.

18th May

Pierre had a singing MARSH WARBLER (verderolle) this afternoon near the Mare de Milieu.

13th May

BLACK STORK (cigogne noire) this afternoon.

12th May

No sign of the MARSH WARBLER (verderolle) this morning and there weren’t so many raptors as yesterday, although this superb MONTAGU’S HARRIER (busard cendré) flew eastwards, just before the rains arrived.

11th May

A singing MARSH WARBLER (verderolle) on site today, and there was an amazing passage of HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée) around midday, when 13 went over in under two hours.

10th May

Excitement early doors with this brilliant MERLIN (émerillon) flashing fast over the Cascade.

3 MUTE SWANS (cygne tuberculé), a very rare bird here, flew low to the southwest and a pair of HAWFINCHES (gros bec) flew over, yet again.

A few flyover YELLOW WAGTAILS (printa) included a probable thunbergi, and in the afternoon 4 HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée) and a MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) went north.

A very quiet REED WARBLER (éffarvatte) still at the Mare Perchée.

9th May

A HAWFINCH (gros bec) and 2 discretely-singing REED WARBLERS (effarvatte) on site this morning.

HOUSE MARTINS (hirondelle de fenêtre) were migrating in numbers, and a HONEY BUZZARD (bondrée) and an OSPREY (balbu) flew over.

7th May

Shots above of one of two SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS (gobemouche gris) on site today, and a FOX in the Savanna. The first REED WARBLER (effarvatte) of the spring was in bushes near the Mare de Bas.

6th May

A SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (gobemouche gris) along the Sentier des Vergers this morning.

5th May

Thick white mist began breaking up in the late afternoon, revealing lots of hirundines (mainly SWALLOWS) racing north against a blustery northerly wind.

The first HONEY-BUZZARDS (bondrée) of the spring went over, as did this excellent MERLIN (émerillon) which dashed north over the Cascade, our first ever May bird.

3rd May

Nothing today, but I really should mention this CHIFFCHAFF (véloce) nesting at the eastern end of the Sentier des Vergers, which calls an odd-sounding « seeu » and « swee » . And there’s a different bird sounding much the same in the parc Mabille right now. These are calls we hear a lot in autumn but so far this spring I dont think I’ve even heard the usual « hooet » from any bird, which is all a bit strange…

2nd May

Excellent skywatching today with a MONTAGU’S HARRIER (busard cendré) migrating northeast, circling on the way. The Montreuil SWIFTS (martinet) have been back in force these past few days, and they were screaming and swarming overhead in the morning, making numerous attempts at copulation…
Another LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde) was on site, and there’s a bonded pair of GARDEN WARBLERS (fauvette des jardins) now in the Petite Prairie.

30th April

A singing male GOLDEN ORIOLE (loriot) was on site for half an hour or so early morning, seen flying restlessly over the treetops of the Bois de Bordure.  

Two MEDITTERRANEAN GULLS (mélano) circled very high to the south, tagging loosely behind a bunch of BLACK-HEADED GULLS (rieuse) and for the third time recently two HAWFINCHES (gros bec) flew over, so there might just be a breeding pair nearby. This BLACK KITE (milan noir) and a couple of MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux) flew north.

29th April

This smart-looking WHINCHAT (tarier des près) was on site this morning and in the afternoon a BLACK KITE (milan noir) migrated high overhead.

At least 2 GARDEN WARBLERS (fauvette des jardins) today, and a  FIRECREST (roitelet a triple bandeau) was singing on the the Ave des Marronniers.

26th April

This male SPARROWHAWK (épervier) flapped quite low over the Cascade this morning - looks like they’re nesting again this year in the Bois de Bordure.

A pair of HAWFINCHES (gros bec) flew northeast, apparently migrating.

24th April

A RING OUZEL (merle a plastron) on site this morning, and a pair of WHITETHROATS (grisette) were busily nest-building.

23rd April

A hard-to-see SEDGE WARBLER (phragmite des joncs), a very good bird for here, glimpsed briefly early morning at the Compost where it sang on and off from an inpenetrable mass of bushes. Not much else…

22nd April

A few new arrivals early this morning - there’d clearly been a fall overnight. Near the Cascade was singing LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde), MELODIOUS WARBLER (hypolais polyglotte) and NIGHTINGALE (rossignol), and a TREE PIPIT (pipit des arbres) flushed from the reedbed. Also on site was a RING OUZEL (merle a plastron) and a restless FIELDFARE (grive litorne).

18th April

Two more firsts for the year this morning : SWIFTS (martinets) racing north in a line, and this fine HOBBY.

17th April

A good morning for pipits, which don't often land on site: the first TREE PIPITS (pipit des arbres) of the year were in the Petite Prairie (one even singing briefly), and this MEADOW PIPIT (farlouse) was flushed from the short grass at the Compost nearby.

16th April

The first WHITETHROAT (grisette) and NIGHTINGALE (rossignol) of the spring this morning.

15th April

The first WILLOW WARBLER (fitis) of the spring was singing near the Cascade this morning.

Here's one of three YELLOW WAGTAILS (printa) which dropped in to feed in and around the Mare Perchée. They stayed at least 30 minutes, constantly flushed into nearby trees by blasted dogs and dogwalkers. This was all actually quite exciting - yellow wags almost never land on site !

14th April

The first GARDEN WARBLER (fauvette des jardins) of the year today was singing discretely on the edge of the Savanna. Almost in the same bush was a LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde), giving the odd half-hearted rattle.

In the early afternoon an excellent female MERLIN (émerillon) went northeast, making many circles « en route » high over rue Paul Doumer.

11th April

Yet another migrating GREEN SANDPIPER (cul-blanc) here, dive-bombing down to the Mare Perchee this morning at the sight of its small patch of water.

Fairly large numbers of MEADOW PIPITS (farlouse) were flying overhead, but hardly any other passerines.

3rd April

Plenty of MEADOW PIPITS (farlouse) going over in the early morning (67 actually), and this GREEN SANDPIPER (culblanc) dropped in and landed for a second or two at the Mare Perchée, flushed immediately by a man and dog.

31st March

This STONECHAT (traquet pâtre) on site this morning, and a RING OUZEL (plastron) dropped in briefly.

30th March

This BUZZARD (buse) flew over today, and there were two more migrating MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux).

One or two SWALLOWS (rustique) going through, along with the first HOUSE MARTIN (hirondelle de fenêtre) of the spring.

28th March

An amazing migrating HOOPOE (huppe fasciée) flew right over my head this morning and straight on to the north, (without stopping, unfortunately). Pretty exciting stuff - only the third ever at Beaumonts, and a patch-tick for me.  

Raptors were moving again today with 5 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux) and a ringtail HEN HARRIER (St Martin) going north. In the afternoon a PEREGRINE wandered around high over Fontenay, and a BLACK KITE (milan noir) towards Paris.

27th March 

WHITE STORK (cigogne blanche) and another MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) this afternoon.

26th March

Sorry folks for the long delay in writing, but been away a lot recently. Went up this afternoon for a skywatch and just couldn’t believe what I was seeing there at the top: just look here at what the mindless idiots in charge at the Town Hall have done while I’ve been away...cut down the reed bed and all of the surrounding willows !!! Apparently the "reasoning" for this wanton destruction of good habitat (which can host breeding Reed Warbler and Mallard) is that it opens up the space necessary for summering SWIFTS (martinet) to drink from the pond ! Yes, you heard it right…this is what we have to live with, unfortunately.

Anyway, after this dramatic shock there was good skywatching had from the Cascade in the company of Quentin and Toby, on a warm and sunny first day of spring : an excellent male HEN HARRIER (Busard St Martin) and 4 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux) were all seen migrating high to the north, (and there were surely others missed in the cloudless, hazy sky). Pictured here is one of the Marsh Harriers which was totally lacking a tail, causing all sorts of panic as it flew towards us : « it’s an owl…no it’s not, it’s a heron » , etc etc…

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