Not much this morning apart from a group of 3 BULLFINCHES (bouvreuil); it was all pretty bird-less and quiet in the Savanna.
Part of the reason for traipsing around there at the moment is the off-chance of finding a WOODCOCK (bécasse des bois). Ironically Roland found this one (dead, unfortunately) at the bottom of his apartment-block, just outside the park this afternoon.
A fine HAWFINCH (gros bec) was on site this morning. A MEADOW PIPIT (farlouse) flew overhead and a COAL TIT (mésange noire) was found again in the ''Northern triangle''.
Major news today with the park's first LITTLE EGRET (aigrette garzette) - a single bird flapping south towards Vincennes in the early afternoon. 2 late SWALLOWS (rustique) skimmed low over the Cascade in the same direction and a GREY WAGTAIL (bergeronnette des ruisseaux) and a BRAMBLING (pinson du nord) were on site.
Finally managed to nail down one of these blasted COAL TITS (mésange noire) which have been nipping about these last couple of weeks, never settling. This was one of 3 birds in conifers in the northern section, overlooking the cemetary.
Quite a lot of GOLDCRESTS (roitelet huppé) around today and a flock of around 20 FIELDFARES (litorne) flew over. A large group of GOLDFINCHES (chardonneret) (at least 20 birds) is on site at the moment.
Another CRESTED TIT (mésange huppé) for Pierre today in the Northern Triangle.
A real BUZZARD (buse) bonanza today with 21 birds recorded, a world record for Beaumonts. At one point there were 6 circling together and moving southwest. Although the majority moved west and southwest a small number meandered around rather more aimlessly, and so it's not impossible that one bird might have been counted more than once (although we dont think so).
Apart from all these BUZZARDS there was surprisingly little, and much less diversity than yesterday - not even a CORMORANT.
One or two ROOKS (freux) flew overhead and a line of 25 GREYLAGS (oie cendrée) crossed the sky over Paris. Skywatching operations were interrupted briefly by this excellent GOLDCREST (roitlet huppe) which popped in close for a photo.
Nothing migrating through clear, early-morning skies. Not the case later in the afternoon though, when the bitterly cold northerly strengthened even further and threatened to fell the tripods of the brave skywatchers present.
A high OSPREY (balbu) moved south, as did a typically flashy MERLIN (émerillon). Pictured here (thanks to Quentin) are some of the first GREYLAG GEESE (oie cendrée) of the autumn arriving.
BUZZARDS (buse) were also on the move -9 were seen this afternoon including a tight bunch of 5 birds which circled together before splitting and shifting high to the southwest in single file.
Also of note were 111 CORMORANTS, a few FIELDFARES (litorne) and a single REDPOLL (sizerin flammé) which jinked south and probably landed on site.
Pierre had 2 CROSSBILLS (bec-croisé des sapins) flying north-east this afternoon. Also noted were a couple more BUZZARDS (buse) and 4 CHIFFCHAFFS (véloce) were on site.
Olivier had 2 RED KITES (milan royal) at midday along with a couple of BUZZARDS (buse), 2 BRAMBLINGS (pinson du nord) and more SKYLARKS (alouette des champs), STARLINGS (étourneau) and CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres).
A very good report by Pierre later in the afternoon of a CRESTED TIT (mésange huppée), seen in the so-called ''Northern Triangle'' - an area of the park which sounds much more exciting than it really is.
A very good skywatch this afternoon with huge numbers of birds all piling high overhead towards the south. These are just a few of the many LAPWINGS (vanneau), and there were large numbers of STARLINGS (étourneau), SKYLARKS (alouette des champs) and CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres).
A good support cast included a RED KITE (milan royal), 9 BUZZARDS (buse), a HEN HARRIER (busard St.Martin), 3 WOODLARKS (lulu) and 5 REDPOLLS (sizerin flammé).
An excellent male MERLIN (faucon émerillon) flew south, as did a flock of JACKDAWS (choucas), accompanied by a couple of ROOKS (freux). 2 REED BUNTINGS (bruant des roseaux) are on site, and the REED WARBLER (effarvatte) is still present at the Mare Perchée.
A REED WARBLER (effarvatte) in the reedbed early this morning and two whacking great flocks of STARLINGS (étourneau) whizzed over through the mist and drizzle - there must have been about 450 birds in all.
An exceptionally large passage of autumn migrants was reported by Olivier this afternoon - a short 45 minute skywatch produced 172 SKYLARKS (alouette des champs) and 164 CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres). On site there was a STONECHAT (tarier pâtre) and a fine male RING OUZEL (merle a plastron).
Mist and drizzle...2 REED BUNTINGS (bruant des roseaux) in the reedbed, and a quickly moving group of 5 COAL TITS (mésange noire).
A skulking REED WARBLER (effarvatte) was at the Mare de Milieu early this morning. A REDWING (mauvis) and a flock of about 28 JACKDAWS (choucas) flew south.
A good skywatch this afternoon for Pierre, Stéphane and Quentin: 8 BUZZARDS (buse), 2 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux), 140 CORMORANTS and 125 LAPWINGS (vanneau huppé) were the highlights. A COAL TIT (mésange noire) and a NUTHATCH (sitelle) were on site.
Quite a few migrating passerines for Pierre early this morning during a skywatch, including 106 CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres), 62 WHITE WAGTAILS (bergeronnette grise) and 68 SWALLOWS (rustique). A MARSH TIT (nonnette) was on site.
A HAWFINCH (gros-bec) was on site this morning and there was a good diversity of raptors in the afternoon. 7 MARSH HARRIERS went south along with a few BUZZARDS (buse), a RED KITE (milan royal), a ringtail HEN HARRIER (busard St Martin) and an OSPREY (balbu).
Very much fewer CORMORANTS today, and there was a steady small trickle of migrating passerines (mainly CHAFFINCHES).
Pierre had the first RED KITE (milan royal) of the year this afternoon and both HEN and MARSH HARRIERS (busard St Martin et busard des roseaux) flew south. A PEREGRINE wandered high over Montreuil and the first RING OUZEL (merle a plastron) of the autumn was at the Compost.
Not much on site today apart from a REDSTART (rougeque a front blanc), but an interesting skywatch in the afternoon. CORMORANTS continued to fly overhead in flocks although unlike yesterday there were no hirundines. 4 CROSSBILLS (bec-croisé des sapins) flying northeast were a surprise and this OSPREY (bulbuzard pêcheur) went purposefully south, interrupting it's course over Montreuil to circle around with a BUZZARD (buse).
A few YELLOW-LEGGED GULLS (goéland leucophée) moved northeast and a male MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) flew south in the late afternoon.
As you can see CORMORANTS were moving today - this was one of a few flocks flying south, high overhead, during the afternoon.
Also going south was an excellent ringtail HEN HARRIER (busard St Martin) and regular small groups of SWALLOWS (rustique).
A few BUZZARDS (buse) were in less of a hurry, floating around and idling northwards.
Unlike yesterday it was hot, sunny and cloudless - 8 BUZZARDS (buse), a MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) and 2 WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche) were the highlights during a skywatch with Stéphane. An agitated COAL TIT (mésange noire), the first of the year, appeared briefly in the crown of a tree by the Mare Perchée before it scarpered off immediately to the southwest. SWALLOWS (rustique) were again slipping quickly overhead in the late afternoon.
Pierre had a male REDSTART (rougequeue a front blanc) and a TREE PIPIT (pipit des arbres) on site this morning.
This STONECHAT (traquet pâtre) was on site today, seen mainly at the Petit Prairie and the Compost. Otherwise not a lot about apart from loads of BLACKCAPS (fauvette a tête noire) and CHIFFCHAFFS (véloce). A couple of NUTHATCHES (sitelle) and a LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER (epeichette) were seen again, and during the afternoon two large swarms of SWALLOWS (rustique) and a single MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) were seen migrating south.
A few GREY WAGTAILS (bergeronnette des ruisseaux) visibly migrating this morning.
Surprisingly few raptors found migrating this afternooon although an OSPREY (balbuzard) glided south and this BUZZARD (buse) flew very low overhead towards the north, apparently searching the thermal which whisked it quickly up and out of sight.
Unusually a couple of NUTHATCHES (sitelle) are on site and easily heard and seen. Quite a few lingering SWIFTS (martinets) were seen during the afternoon.
A lone SWIFT (martinet) was flying around in the early morning light and Pierre had a PIED FLY (gobemouche noir) a bit later. JAYS (geai des chênes) seem to be on the move these days, and making long, steady flights, high in the sky.
SPARROWHAWKS (épervier) are very visible at the moment, often seen gliding overhead or doing tremendously long, steep stoops for prey. Not much this afternoon: a couple of HOBBIES (hobereau) were on show and there were rather more SWIFTS (martinet) than yesterday. A fine dark juvenile HONEY BUZZARD glided south.
This very blue-legged MARSH TIT (mésange nonnette) is, believe it or not, quite exciting news. It's one of a pair which has just recently appeared in the park after a very long absence (none was seen in 2011). Quite a few things around today including 2 COMMON REDSTARTS (rougequeue a front-blanc) and at least 3 PIED FLYCATCHERS (gobemouche noir). A skulking NIGHTINGALE (rossignol) was in the Savanna, as was a juvenile BULLFINCH (bouvreuil).
In the afternoon a long skywatch produced the first MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux) of the autumn, along with a couple of BUZZARDS (buse), HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée) and a few SWIFTS (martinets).
Much better-looking flying conditions and, sure enough, a grand total of 18 HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée) were seen moving south during the afternoon, a day-count record indeed. They even outnumbered the SWIFTS (martinets) which are becoming harder and harder to find. A pair of MARSH TITS (mésange nonnette) was found along the entrance path and 2 GREY WAGTAILS (bergeronnette des ruisseaux) flew around the Cascade briefly - long time no see.
5 HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée) glided south this afternoon, slowed considerably by a annoyingly strong southwesterly.
A WHINCHAT (traquet tarier) was at the Compost briefly at dawn and a COMMON REDSTART (rougeque a front-blanc) was in the same area later (probably the same bird as was seen last Saturday).
There's not been much migrating overhead early in the mornings these last few days, and today there were just 3 SWIFTS (martinets) and a TREE PIPIT (pipit des arbres). A lone BULLFINCH (bouvreuil) was on site, along with another MARSH TIT (mésange nonnette) and a SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (gobemouche gris), both appearing loosely connected to a large, roaming flock of passerines. In the afternoon Phil reported another HONEY BUZZARD (bondrée) moving south.
Quite a lot about early this morning, the best bird being a TAWNY PIPIT (pipit rousseline) which flew southwest over the Coffee Dome, seemingly taking an interest in the green patch below and doing an about-turn to have a closer look. A MARSH TIT (mésange nonnette) (almost as rare as the pipit these days) hurried across the Savanna and a fine REDSTART (rougequeue a front-blanc) was by the goat enclosure at the perimeter fence.
An exceptionally low-flying HONEY BUZZARD (bondrée) had most probably landed on site and both SPOTTED and PIED FLYCATCHERS (gobemouche gris et noir) were on site today. Nothing much during a skywatch this afternoon from the Cascade - just another HONEY BUZZARD and a steady trickle of SWIFTS (martinet noir).
Excellent report from Pierre of a juvenile MONTAGU'S HARRIER (busard cendre) this afternoon. The bird flapped very low over the park and might just possibly have landed somewhere on site. Quite a few HOUSE MARTINS (hirondelle de fenêtre) and SWIFTS (martinet) passing through today.
Things starting to happen at last - there were a few firsts for the autumn early this morning. A PIED FLYCATCHER (gobemouche noir) and a NIGHTINGALE (rossignol) were in the Savanna and a TREE PIPIT (pipit des arbres) flew south overhead. A WHITETHROAT (grisette) and a MELODIOUS WARBLER (hypolais polyglotte) were skulking in bushes near the Compost.
This COMMON DARTER (sympétrum strié) was by the Mare Perchée and a good skywatch was had from the Cascade, with 3 WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche) and an OSPREY (balbuzard pecheur) wheeling their ways south. Small and steady numbers of SWIFTS (martinet noir) were moving through, as did a low-flying HONEY BUZZARD. 2 HOBBIES (hobereau) were also showing today.
A TURTLE DOVE (tourterelle des bois) flew south this morning and a couple of WILLOW WARBLERS (fitis) were on site.
A GREEN SANDPIPER (cul-blanc) dropped in briefly to the Mare Perchée this morning.
A grey and windy early morning. This SAND MARTIN (hirondelle de rivage) dashing south was a surprise, as was an adult COMMON GULL (goéland cendré) moving northeast.
A juvenile GREEN WOODPECKER (pic vert) was at the Tip. There was no sign of last Saturday's singing REED WARBLER (effarvatte) at the Mare Perchee.
2 CROSSBILLS (beccroisé des sapins) flew north today.
Huge blankets of grey cloud early this morning - hardly any light. Not a peep from the MARSH WARBLER unfortunately although a pair of HAWFINCHES (gros bec) flew overhead and a lone HOUSE MARTIN (hirondelle de fenêtre) went straight to the northeast, as if migrating.
A distant flock of 5 MUTE SWANS (cygne tuberculé) beat slowly over the river valley and 3 small groups of GREY HERONS (héron cendré) lumbered high to the southwest.
Nice hot sunny day with plenty of dragonflies and butterflies whizzing around, such as this BROAD-BODIED CHASER (libellule déprimée).
A MARSH WARBLER (verderolle), surely the same bird as was there at the end of May, is still singing from the long weeds and nettles at the Compost. From the Cascade a HONEY BUZZARD (bondrée), apparently migrating, flew northeast and a distant WHITE STORK (cigogne blanche) circling very high over Vincennes was a surprise.
Also high over Vincennes were 2 HOBBIES (hobereau) which moved steadily around like a couple, and the MOORHENS (poule d'eau) have had second broods - 2 tiny chicks (poussins) were at the Mare de Brie and at least one other at the Mare Perchée.
A HONEY BUZZARD (bondrée) flew east this afternoon.
No sign of the MARSH WARBLER (verderolle) this morning.
The 2 MALLARD ducklings (cannetons) are still doing well and starting to beat short wings. Just 1 MOORHEN chick (poussin) was visible today, although there were still 3 present two days ago. Pierre also saw a LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde) today at the Mare de Brie.
A very good day for Pierre who found a singing WOOD WARBLER (pouillot siffleur) and a singing MARSH WARBLER (verderolle).
Pierre had a REED WARBLER (effarvatte) singing half-heartedly from the Mare Perchee today.
Great report from Olivier Laporte today of a COCKATIEL (calopsitte élégante) flying about - a good one for the Yearlist (yes,they all count). Olivier also had a REED WARBLER (effarvatte) and a singing MELODIOUS WARBLER (polyglotte).
A good skywatch this afternoon from the Cascade with Richard, Romain and Pierre. Pierre got there early and had already seen an OSPREY (balbu), a MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) and a BUZZARD (buse) before we arrived.
HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée apivore) were clearly on the move - this was one of 8 seen gliding high overhead, most of them moving in a more easterly direction than usual.
Exciting encounter early this morning with this PURPLE HERON (héron pourpré)
which appeared high in the sky beating a straight and steady path to
the northeast, just ahead of the incoming rain.
A restless LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde) was singing from all corners of the park and a SERIN was singing again at the Tip.
There are only 3 MALLARD DUCKLINGS (cannetons) left now. These 2 MOORHEN CHICKS (poussins) occasionally ventured out of the reedbed this morning.
A few things seen today, most notably a pair of RING OUZELS (merle a plastron), a wandering BLACK KITE (milan noir) and the spectacle of 3 MEDITERRANEAN GULLS (mouette mélanocephale) moving north and circling high in the sky over Bagnolet.
Sadly just 4 MALLARD DUCKLINGS (cannetons) left this morning, and of course the RATS are most probably to blame. However the authorities seem to be ignoring the rat problem and are much busier constructing an expensive new electrified fence across the Savanna to hem in the 15 goats which are due to arrive any day now.
Although a sad day for MALLARDS, better news on the MOORHEN (poule d'eau) front -Roland reports seeing 3 tiny chicks yesterday. This morning saw a silent LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde) and another SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (gobemouche gris). The first MELODIOUS WARBLER (hippolais polyglotte) of the year was singing at the Compost and a COMMON SANDPIPER (guignette) flew up from the Mare Perchée and away to the north.
A damp and grey early morning with thick low cloud and drizzle. A restless group of 4 RING OUZELS (merle a plastron) flew around and around, high over the Savanna, but never really looked like landing on site. A GREEN SANDPIPER (cul blanc) was seen briefly at the Mare Perchee and a REED WARBLER (effarvatte) was in the reedbed.
The 6 DUCKLINGS (cannetons) are still alive and well...
This rather angry-looking LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde) was singing on and off throughout the day; great to have it back again after a complete blank in 2011...good news indeed.
The first GARDEN WARBLERS (fauvette des jardins) of the year were in the Savanna this morning and there was also a SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (gobemouche gris) and a singing male FIRECREST (roitelet triple bandeau) in the same area.
In the afternoon there was a couple of BUZZARDS (buse) moving slowly north and this TURTLE DOVE (tourterelle des bois) was one of a pair flying quickly the same way.
Evidently the GOLDEN ORIOLE (loriot) is still with us, song emanating at first light from the Parc Mabille, although unfortunately nothing was heard again after that.
Rather a grainy photo here of one of at least 2 SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS (gobemouche gris) which were in tall trees lining the Sentier des Vergers, and there was also a PIED FLYCATCHER (gobemouche noir) in the same area.
A RING OUZEL (merle a plastron) was in the Savanna.
A very windy day. This excellent WRYNECK (torcol) was in the Savanna early this afternoon and a LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde) sung briefly.
The 6 DUCKLINGS (cannetons) are doing well and seem to have grown a lot already. 2 HOBBIES (faucon hobereau) were seen high in the sky over the Bois de Vincennes.
Migrants evidently fell to Earth in droves through the mist and drizzle overnight, making for quite a memorable morning.
This TREE PIPIT (pipit des arbres) was one of many on site and WILLOW WARBLERS (fitis) seemed to be singing everywhere. At the Mare Perchée there was a silent, skulking SEDGE WARBLER (phragmite des joncs) and a LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde) was found singing nearby.
A super male GOLDEN ORIOLE (loriot) was singing on and off (mostly off) throughout the morning from the Parc Mabille although it was frustratingly elusive for most of the time. Also in this area was a singing (and very restless) WOOD WARBLER (pouillot siffleur).
There were a couple of WHITETHROATS (grisette) in the Savanna along with a male COMMON REDSTART (rougequeue a front-blanc) and a roaming female RING OUZEL (merle a plastron). A smart male PIED FLYCATCHER (gobemouche noir) was flicking around the Coffee Dome - rather terrible photos of it and the oriole appear below. And while all these passerines were seemingly stuck and grounded by the weather a steady stream of HIRUNDINES (SWIFTS, SWALLOWS and HOUSE MARTINS) was cutting quickly northwards through the white mist hanging overhead - marvellous stuff.
2 HAWFINCHES (gros bec) were on site this morning, looking very much a couple. The more brightly coloured bird gave the other a quick peck before both rushed off towards the Bois de Vincennes.
A WILLOW WARBLER (fitis) and 2 NIGHTINGALES (rossignol) were singing and the first REED WARBLER (effarvatte) of the year grunted briefly from the reedbed at the Mare Perchée.
There are still 6 DUCKLINGS (cannetons) with the female MALLARD.
Later in the day Pierre saw a MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) and found the first WHITETHROATS (grisette) of the year. He also confirmed successful breeding by the MOORHENS (poule d'eau), with at least 2 chicks (poussins) at the Mare Perchée.
More April showers. The weather seems to be holding back the birds this year and everything seems late - we still haven't had a sniff of any WHITETHROATS (grisette) or GARDEN WARBLERS (fauvette des jardins).
However at least this afternoon a few things were moving north between the showers, gusted along by a strong southwesterly: one or two SWIFTS (martinets), SWALLOWS (rustique) and HOUSE MARTINS (hirondelle de fenêtre), along with a controversial FALCON (faucon) and the first BLACK KITE (milan noir) of the year.
Horray for the RABBIT! (lapin!) which has miraculously reappeared, in pretty good shape, after the long hard winter. Hats off to it I say, although there are dark mumblings and rumours that it might have been taken away by someone and re-released.
In any case its sighting was the highlight today; almost nothing was seen during a long skywatch in spite of 7 people present at the Cascade, a record number. A couple of LINNETS were on site and Alban spotted 2 SWIFTS (martinet) racing north.
A NIGHTINGALE (rossignol) was singing this morning in the usual place on the Sentier des Vergers, just opposite 108 rue de Quatre Ruelles. Otherwise not much apart from heaps of BLACKCAPS (fauvette a tête noire) singing everywhere.
Good numbers of migrating MEADOW PIPITS (farlouse) this morning. The first HOUSE MARTINS (hirondelle de fenêtre) of the year flew north.
A GRASSHOPPER WARBLER (locustelle tachetée) was singing early this morning from a small patch of scrub (just a few yards from the Mare Perchée) and a RING OUZEL (merle a plastron) flew north, dropping in for a few minutes to have a good look around.
A grey and windy day. A WOODCOCK (bécasse des bois) flushed from the Coffee Dome early this morning and a WILLOW WARBLER (fitis) was singing along the entrance path. A couple of FIELDFARES (litorne) flew north and a pair of SERINS were jangling around at the tip.
Later in the afternoon this COMMON TERN (sterne pierregarin) was a surprise as it sliced slowly south against a gale force wind, just before the rains came.
A COMMON REDPOLL (sizerin) flew over early, and the COMMON REDSTART (rougequeue a front blanc) is still showing around the Compost.
The first YELLOW WAGTAILS (bergeronnette printanière) of the year flew overhead this morning and there was a superb male COMMON REDSTART (rougequeue a front blanc) at the Compost.
On a hat-trick for GREEN SANDPIPIER (culblanc) - another bird dropped in discreetly early this morning and bobbed on the edge of the Mare Perchee for a few seconds before careering off northwards like yesterday's bird. Otherwise there wasn't much going on, although similiar numbers of SONG THRUSHES (musicienne) were moving north and at least 2 MEADOW PIPITS (farlouse) were on site.
A good skywatch early this morning: at first light this male MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) flapped overhead and plenty of SONG THRUSHES (grive musicienne) were flying north.
Best bird though was a GREEN SANDPIPER (cul-blanc), the first in several years, which was heard and seen flying vigorously up and away from the Mare Perchée, eventually disappearing as a distant speck high to the northeast over Romainville.
Excellent weather for a skywatch this afternoon in the company of Corentin, Guilhem and Pierre. Unfortunately the birds didn't see it that way and there was surprisingly little to see, the highlights being a couple of BARN SWALLOWS (rustique) and a MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) heading northeast.
Pierre had a RING OUZEL (merle a plastron) this morning along with a few MEADOW PIPITS (farlouse) and 4 FIELDFARES (litorne).
Pierre heard the first singing WILLOW WARBLER (fitis) of the year today.
Lots of action going on with the MALLARDS (colvert) at the moment. A second female has appeared at the Mare Perchée and there seems to be 2 bonded pairs there. The males have been chasing off the females from the opposing pair, as well as having the odd scrap amongst themselves.
There were reasonable numbers of THRUSHES and FINCHES migrating overhead this morning including a HAWFINCH (grosbec). Interestingly GULLS and PIPITS are almost absent these days (in the early mornings at least).
Later in the day Pierre and Stéphane were skywatching and had a few good things moving north, notably 2 WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche), a MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) and a COMMON BUZZARD (buse).
Stéphane saw the first MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux) of the year this afternoon - 3 birds flying northeast. Otherwise very little during a long skywatch.
A couple of weeks ago the authorites turned the tap back on at the Cascade and water is flowing again into the Mare Perchée, so much so it looks like a small lake. Strangely this seems to have attracted various WATERBIRDS, at least very early in the morning before the dogwalkers arrive.
At first light today a small group of EURASIAN TEAL (sarcelle d'hiver) exploded up from the edge and flew around in a tight group, making several circuits over the Mare.
A few minutes later this RUDDY SHELDUCK (tadorne casarca) flew in (presumably from Vincennes) and proceeded to swim and walk about with the MALLARDS (colvert). Extraordinary stuff, and another brilliant 'double' for the Yearlist !
Excellent sunny weather later on with clear blues skies and only small amounts of mist. SONG THRUSHES (grive musicienne) were clearly on the move and constantly flying over eastwards, many of them dropping down to land. Other thrushes were going the same way - a few REDWINGS (mauvis), 2 FIELDFARES (litorne) and this MISTLE THRUSH (grive draine). Also moving through were the first BLACK REDSTARTS (rougequeue noir) of the year (including a fine male) and this smart, singing male STONECHAT (tarier pâtre).
Cold, grey and windy early this morning with thick fog. Surprisingly eventful at the Cascade though with numerous flocks of small passerines, mainly CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres), bursting into view through the mist and bounding silently low overhead.
This is one of several REED BUNTINGS (bruant des roseaux) which moved through, most of them landing briefly around the reedbed, and there were also a few MEADOW PIPITS (farlouse), WHITE WAGTAILS (bergeronnette grise) and a SISKIN (tarin).
There was also a brilliant 'double' for the Yearlist this morning: a WOODCOCK (bécasse des bois) beat low over the Compost before disappearing into the Savanna and a little later a SNIPE (bécassine des marais) carreered north over the Mare Perchée.
Unfortunately a well-meaning local is putting out grain every morning on the edge of the Mare Perchée which is only encouraging the FERAL PIGEONS (biset), CARRION CROWS (corneille) and RATS. There was an entertaining bout this morning between one of the crows and one of the rats, the latter doing surprisingly well against it's bigger rival and not budging much at all, in spite of numerous sharp pecks at the body - it even fought back at times.
Quite a few passerines migrating overhead today including a GREY WAGTAIL (bergeronnette des ruisseaux) and 3 HAWFINCHES (gros bec).
A small flock of migrating CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres) which descended to land briefly near the Cascade this afternoon contained an excellent BRAMBLING (pinson du nord), the first of the year. Another first today was a male SERIN which sang briefly at the Compost.
A group of 7 CANADA GEESE (bernache du Canada) flew over very early this morning and a flock of 20 REDWINGS (mauvis) moved north.
Unusually a STOCK DOVE (colombin) was display-flighting over the Bois de Bordure and eventually landed there. 2 SPARROWHAWKS (épervier) were also displaying over this area.
Much later in the day Pierre had a great view of a MEDITERRANEAN GULL (mouette melanocephale) flying north - an excellent Yeartick. Pierre also had a few SKYLARKS (alouette des champs) and a WHITE WAGTAIL (bergeronnette grise) migrating overhead.
Pierre and Stéphane saw a CRESTED TIT (mésange huppée) this afternoon. 23 migrating SKYLARKS (alouette des champs) and 34 CORMORANTS were seen during a short skywatch which was interrupted early by rain.
A chilly grey and misty day; not much about, although the first migrating WHITE WAGTAIL (bergeronnette grise) flew over the park early this morning, conveniently dropping out of the sky and landing for a few minutes at the rubbish tip. Interestingly we had exactly the same, wierd weather on (almost) exactly the same date last year, March 5th, when the first WHITE WAGTAIL of the spring dropped out of the mist.
This LONG-TAILED TIT (mésange a longe queue) is one of a pair currently building a nest at the Jean Moulin entrance. LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER (épeichette) also seen this morning, and in the afternoon Pierre had a NUTHATCH (sitelle).
A cracking skywatch this afternoon from the Cascade - the first 'serious' one of the year. The weather was promising - bright, clear and sunny but with a freezing cold northwesterly.
A small flock of SKYLARKS (alouette des champs), the first of the spring, flew northeast and a lone PEREGRINE wandered around high over Bagnolet, clutching something dead and dangling.
Nice images of 3 flocks of GREYLAGS (oie cendrée) flying north against darkening orange skies in the late afternoon, but the real highlight today was a drake GOOSANDER (harle bièvre) flying quickly east -a first for the park no less!
Pierre had more than 90 MAGPIES (pie bavarde) coming in to roost this evening and the first CANADA GEESE (bernache du Canada) of the year were seen flying low to the northeast. 10 REDWINGS (mauvis) still on site.
The cold weather continues. Nothing really out of the ordinary today apart from a COMMON GULL (goéland cendré) flying east. This BLUE TIT (mésange bleue) was one of 3 at the Cascade, and these 2 MOORHENS (poule d'eau) at the Mare Perchée seem delighted with Roland who has just helpfully bashed a great hole in the ice.
Pierre had the first FIELDFARE (litorne) of the year today, along with a GREY WAGTAIL (bergeronette des ruisseaux) and a MEADOW PIPIT (farlouse).
Freezing cold these last few days - the Mare Perchée has been reduced to a small, cracked patch of ice and thin snow fell overnight. The arctic weather seems to be puffing up the birds into feathery balls, like this ROBIN (rougegorge) and LONG-TAILED TIT (mésange a longue queue).
A short skywatch this afternoon produced a very distant flock of 11 WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche) which spiralled around high over the Hippodrome de Vincennes before shifting steadily on eastwards.
Interestingly 2 MEADOW PIPITS (farlouse) were on site this afternoon, which is actually a rarer event than storks flying over. They don't normally start appearing here until the end of February; I guess the snow has something to do with it.
Pierre had the first CORMORANTS of the year today (6 flying south), a ROOK (freux) and a GREY HERON which flew in and landed near the Mare Perchée.
This was one of 6 REDWINGS (mauvis) on site today. All 3 woodpeckers were seen and both GREAT SPOTTED (épeiche) and LESSER SPOTTED (épeichette) were drumming. Pierre went in the late afternoon and had a NUTHATCH (sitelle) - a vital year-tick.
Should mention that yesterday Pierre found a FIRECREST (triple bandeau) and a BLACKCAP (fauvette a tête noire) still on site.
This rather nice GOLDCREST (roitelet huppe) was found along the entrance path this morning but there was no sign of the 3 CHIFFCHAFFS (veloce), nor REDWINGS (mauvis), which have been about recently. The whole place seems devoid of birds at the moment - very different from this time last year...
Still it was excellent weather for once ( cold with bright, winter sun ) so can’t really complain. A short skywatch revealed a few flocks of BLACK-HEADED GULLS (rieuse) moving south.
Here we go again...Happy New Year to anyone reading. Not much around at the moment - 5 REDWINGS (mauvis) , a couple of FIRECRESTS (roitelet triple-bandeau) and a COMMON GULL (goéland cendré) flying south were the highlights this afternoon.