Beaumonts’ Birds — Recent reports: 2013

, by THORNS David

December 4th
Pierre reports large numbers of TITS (BLUE, GREAT and a MARSH) on site, as well as 6 CHIFFCHAFFS (véloce).

November 30th
Great sighting of a LITTLE EGRET (aigrette garzette) today by Pierre - the bird flew north at 14h40.

November 25th
Pierre had 9 JACKDAWS (choucas) flying south, and 8 GREENFINCHES (verdier) and 7 FIELDFARES (litorne) on site.

November 24th
A splendid day for Pierre who had 3 GREAT CRESTED GREBES (grèbe huppé) flying north, low over the Cascade - only the second ever record for Beaumonts.

And to cap that a STONECHAT (tarier pâtre) was found roaming around - the first November record. 4 YELLOWHAMMERS (bruant jaune) and a couple of REED BUNTINGS (bruant des roseaux) were also on site.

October 30th
Small numbers of ROOKS (freux) moving southwest today and in the early afternoon Alban had a high-flying RING OUZEL (merle a plastron) from the Cascade.

Fewer CHIFFCHAFFS (véloce) on site today, and no sign of the late TREE PIPIT (pipit des arbres).

October 29th
The extraordinary late TREE PIPIT phenomenon at Beaumonts strikes again: just as in 2008 and 2010 a silent, solitary bird roams the Compost and Petite Prairie at the end of October. Pierre managed a couple of photos this morning, including this one here...

Several CHIFFCHAFFS (véloce) are on site but no sign today of the tristis-type which was observed by a few birders this time last week. A few MEADOW PIPITS (farlouse) and a couple BRAMBLINGS (pinson du nord) flew overhead early.

October 25th
Went to look for the DUSKY at dawn, but no sign of it (nor any twitchers) at the pond between 08h10-08h50.

Later in the day Alban couldn’t find it either, although during a skywatch from the Cascade he did have a GREAT EGRET (grande aigrette) flying over and a single CROSSBILL (bec-croisé).

October 24th
DUSKY still present at daybreak, and performing rather better under a foggy sky and no wind.

23rd October
DUSKY WARBLER (pouillot brun) still present this morning. But it was windy and difficult....seems generally to be getting less vocal and harder to see as the days go by.

October 22nd
DUSKY still there this morning at first light: brief, tantalising views as it chivvied about, low down in the small willows on the edge of the pond. However by late morning it was apparently much less vocal, making it almost impossible to see.

As far as I’m aware only 2 other birders have have managed to get a decent shot of the little fellow - this one here was taken by Thibault Chansac yesterday; nice one!

October 21st
Glad to report that the DUSKY WARBLER (pouillot brun) was still present at first light and that other people are now getting to see it, thank God. There’s even been a couple of really good photos doing the rounds. I only had about half an hour this morning and couldn’t see the blighter, although I did get this recording which is a bit better than yesterday’s.

October 20th
Nothing much today apart from a DUSKY WARBLER !!! (pouillot brun) which apparently is a first for Ile de France. This was truly exciting stuff: a dull, grey, drizzly morning in late October and an unfamiliar chick-chicking noise from trembling drenched tall weeds at the Compost. It sounded exactly like a DUSKY WARBLER (which actually wasn’t quite so unfamiliar, as I’d seen it almost every day on my recent Mongolia holiday). And when it did finally flush off and perch briefly in full view in a nearby bush, it did indeed look exactly like one!

But the bird disappeared almost immediately...what the hell should I do now? Surely nobody would ever believe such a story. Luckily, however, after a short and frantic search, the same chick-chick noises could be heard from the low willows on the edge of the Mare Perchée, and these absolutely terrible record-shots were taken as it flitted half-hidden behind the reeds. Later in the afternoon the other Beaumonters arrived and, although we could all hear it calling occasionally, nobody actually managed to see it very well. On the positive side, though, this recording of the call was taken:

Just hope it sticks around ….

October 13th
Nothing much on site, and only a few CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres) and a pair of late SWALLOWS (rustique) seemed bothered to migrate against such a strong southwesterly.

October 12th
Small numbers of ROOKS (freux) and SKYLARKS (alouette des champs) moving south this afternoon along with several flocks of CORMORANTS. A single FIELDFARE (litorne) was glimpsed occasionally flying around the Compost.

October 6th
A good skywatch this afternoon bagged 2 vital year-ticks : a pair of fly-over CROSSBILLS (bec-croisé) chipping north were followed a bit later by a very obliging MERLIN (émerillon) which turned and turned in circles high over the town centre before accelerating away to the south.

Extremely distant flocks of LAPWINGS (vanneau) rippled west and the first REDWING (grive mauvis) of the autumn dropped in. Also of note were 2 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux), 4 BUZZARDS (buse) and 6 WOODLARKS (lulu).

October 5th
This rather tatty OSPREY (balbu) moved southwest this afternoon.

Plenty of birds flying south and west through cloudy, grey skies including regular bunches of CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres), 16 WOODLARKS (lulu), a MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) and (most bizarrely) a NUTHATCH (sitelle).

September 29th
A HAWFINCH (gros bec) this morning, and lots of SONG THRUSHES (grive musicienne) and rather more ROBINS (rouge gorge) on site.

The white haze began breaking up in the early afternoon, opening the door for an exceptional passage of raptors between 14h20 and 17h45 when the rain arrived.

40 big raptors went over, a day-record. Most were BUZZARDS (buse): these here were part of a squadron of 18 birds which loomed over the antenna-building at 16h00.

Also noted was this OSPREY (balbu), 3 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux) and a HEN HARRIER (busard St Martin).

September 28th
Massive migration action at daybreak with heaps of MEADOW PIPITS (farlouse) and SONG THRUSHES (grive musicienne) flying high overhead through low dingy-grey clouds and spitting rain. A male MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) was also seen early on.

Dry in the afternoon with hazy white skies and a strengthening northwesterly (supposedly bringing in storms tonight). Best birds moving south were an OSPREY (balbu), a flock of 9 WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche) and 3 BUZZARDS (buse). Not many birds on site all of a sudden - not even many BLACKCAPS (fauvette a tête noire), although plenty of SONG THRUSHES (grive musicienne) are pitching down in the Savanna.

September 19th
A REED WARBLER (effarvatte) in the weeds at the Compost and the first SISKINS (tarin) appeared, flying north, high overhead.

September 17th
A SNIPE (bécassine des marais) flew north early this morning.

September 16th
Amazingly a LITTLE EGRET (aigrette garzette) flew south over the park towards Vincennes at 07h40!

September 15th
This WILLOW WARBLER (fitis)...

... and SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (gobemouche gris)...

... were in the Savanna this morning but there was no sign of yesterday’s WRYNECK. Small numbers of LESSER WHITETHROATS (babillarde) had apparently fallen overnight - at least 4 birds were on site.

Also about were 2 PIED FLYS (gobemouche noir), 2 REDSTARTS (rouge-queue à front blanc), a NIGHTINGALE (rossignol) and 2 WHITETHROATS (grisette).

Several migrating raptors went over during the afternoon including 3 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux), a couple of HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée) and this excellent juvenile HEN HARRIER (busard St-Martin).

A lone WHITE STORK (cigogne blanche) flew north, and migrating CORMORANTS are starting to appear in small flocks.

September 14th

Grey skies and fine drizzle all morning. This WRYNECK (torcol) was a nice surprise in the Savanna, and other birds roaming quietly around in the rain included 2 COMMON REDSTARTS (rouge gorge à front blanc), a PIED FLY (gobemouche noir), a WHITETHROAT (grisette) and lots of BLACKCAPS (fauvette à tete noire).

A LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde) was in the Petite Prairie.

September 8th

This OSPREY (balbu) glided southwest at 13h05, and a MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) and 5 HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée) followed suit later in the afternoon.

The standard September stuff on site: NIGHTINGALE (rossignol), REDSTART (rougequeue à front blanc), SPOTTED and PIED FLYCATCHERS (gobemouches gris et noir) and another WHINCHAT (tarier des près)

Great close views of this KESTREL (crécerelle)...

... and SPARROWHAWK (épervier) from the Cascade today...

September 7th
A SEDGE WARBLER (phragmite) and 2 SNIPE (bécassine des marais) were surprises at the Mare Perchée early doors and a SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (gobemouche gris), COMMON REDSTART (rougequeue a front blanc) and 2 FIRECRESTS (roitelet triple bandeau) were also on site.

Later in the day this MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) flew south, as did a couple of BUZZARDS (buse), 2 HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée) and a flock of 11 WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche) which sailed slowly into the southwestly wind.

September 4th
Pretty dead this morning – a lot of the recent birds have left, although a couple of WHITETHROATS (grisette) are still hanging around.

This female RED-VEINED DARTER (Sympetrum fonscolombii) was in the Petite Prairie.

September 1st
2 groups of WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche) totalling 17 birds moved southwest this afternoon. The second group wheeled around with a MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux). A WHINCHAT (tarier des prés) was on site.

August 31st
Good to see Mr HERON back after a long absence – here he is, back at his favourite watchpoint over the Mare Perchée.

Fewer migrants on site at the moment, although a nice NIGHTINGALE (rossignol) was in the Savanna this morning. The first MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) of the autumn flew south this afternoon.

August 25th
This WHINCHAT (tarier des prés) appeared after the rain in the Petite Prairie this afternoon.

NIGHTINGALE (rossignol), COMMON REDSTART (rougequeue a front-blanc) and a PIED FLY (gobemouche noir) in the Savanna.

August 24th
The first migrating HONEY BUZZARD (bondrée) of the autumn flapped quickly south this afternoon. A COMMON REDSTART (rougequeue à front-blanc) and 2 TREE PIPITS (pipit des arbres) still on site, and the first YELLOW WAGTAILS (printa) of the autumn breezed overhead.

August 21st
Lots of restless migrants in the evening sunshine including SPOTTED (gobemouche gris) and PIED FLYCATCHERS (gobemouche noir), a COMMON REDSTART (rougequeue à front-blanc) and a WILLOW WARBLER (fitis). Pierre found the first WHINCHAT (tarier des prés) of the year today.

August 20th
Pierre had a LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde) in the Petite Prairie this afternoon (but no SHRIKE).

August 19th
Brilliant views of a crouching, wing-shivering GRASSHOPPER WARBLER (locustelle tachetée) early this morning - just one of a small gang of warblers roaming around the bushes in the Petite Prairie.

The RED-BACKED SHRIKE (pie-grièche écorcheur) and the SEDGE WARBLER (phragmite des joncs) are both still present on site.

August 18th
Rain was forecasted (wrongly) to fall all day. A half-hearted stroll at midday turned up a couple of surprises: first up was a furtive SEDGE WARBLER (phragmite des joncs) in the reeds at the Mare Perchée, which exploded briefly into view after some lucky-dip pishing.

Just a few minutes later this super RED-BACKED SHRIKE (pie-grièche écorcheur) was found at the ditch in the Petite Prairie nearby. It spent the whole afternoon in this area but was a bit of a struggle to see, being invisible for long periods.

August 15th
The first autumn PIED FLYCATCHERS (gobemouche noir) at Beaumonts usually arrive on August 15th so it wasn’t a huge surprise to find one this morning in the crowns of the tall trees along the Sentier des Vergers. The first TREE PIPIT (pipit des arbres) of the autumn dropped into the Savanna and plenty of warblers on site included a MELODIOUS (polyglotte), 2 GARDEN (fauvette des jardins) and a smart WILLOW (fitis).

In the afternoon 2 ringtail HEN HARRIERS (busard St Martin) circled to the north of the park and disappeared away to the northeast.

August 11th
An interesting raptor-day. Several HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée) looked aimless and leisurely and moved over in various directions - not quite sure what they’re up to. One bird spent a very long time moving south, displaying frequently (the first time this behaviour’s been witnessed at Beaumonts) and jousting (playfully it seemed) with a stooping KESTREL (crécerelle).

However these two birds below were less happy about the attentions of a marauding juvenile PEREGRINE, which burst over at the same time as a couple of HOBBIES - it was all rather exciting stuff.

August 4th
Good skywatch with Pierre this afternoon - we almost missed this HONEY BUZZARD (bondrée) which sneaked quickly in from the south and wheeled briefly around, high against the sun.

The highlight though was a small flock of MEDITERRANEAN GULLS (mélano) which flew choppily westwards, seemingly led along by the one adult bird. Small numbers of SWIFTS (martinet) moving steadily through, and a HOBBY (hobereau) drifted around late on.

July 28th
Sorry for the long delay but I’ve been having a really nice long holiday from Beaumonts. However this afternoon I trudged back up there. Good job too, actually, because just as I was thinking how mad it was to be staring at the sky during a July heatwave, and how nothing would ever be seen, a BLACK STORK !(cigogne noire!) appeared high in the distance over Montreuil and circled slowly south.

Small numbers of SWIFTS (martinet) were migrating southwest and a REED WARBLER (effarvatte) half-heartedly sang from the reedbed which now looks thick, green and lush, and twice the size it was at the end of May.

May 22nd
2 singing REED WARBLERS (effarvatte) this morning - the usual one plus another in the trees and bushes near the Mare de Mileu.

May 18th
SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (gobemouche gris) at the Coffee Dome early and a HAWFINCH (gros bec) flew around over the Savanna. In the afternoon a BLACK KITE (milan noir) flew slowly south and circled over the Bois de Vincennes.

May 17th
Exciting but frustrating encounter with a GOLDEN ORIOLE (loriot) early this morning which sang from the treetops in the Parc Mabille and the nearby Bois de Bordure. As is often the way it managed to remain invisible and couldn’t be heard after 07h00, possibly having been ushered off by several very curious JAYS (geai des chênes).

A REED WARBLER (effarvatte) continues to sing from the Mare Perchée.

May 13th
SPOTTED FLYCATCHER (gobemouche gris) at the Coffee Dome (Butte Sud) early this morning.

May 12th
A TREE PIPIT (pipit des arbres) was on site this morning. A long skywatch in the afternoon with Alban, Pierre, Stéphane and Suzanne produced 4 migrating HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée) and a good view of a BLACK KITE (milan noir).

This HOBBY (hobereau) flew unusually low around the Cascade, as did this second year YELLOW-LEGGED GULL (leucophée) - there’s been a small number appearing these last couple of weeks...

May 11th
The first REED WARBLERS (effarvatte) of the year have arrived - one was singing from the reed bed early morning. A silent, furtive LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde) is in the Savanna, a good sign.

May 9th
The first MELODIOUS WARBLER (hypolais polyglotte) of the year appeared this morning, appearing rather agitated and singing from various points around the Mare Perchée. It was no doubt highly annoyed to find most of it’s habitat all cut down and now resembling a flat and open prairie, a recent initiative from the authorities in charge.

There were more raptors again this afternoon: 4 HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée) were clearly migrating, whereas a BLACK KITE (milan noir) and several BUZZARDS (buse) were more aimless wanderers.

May 8th
A migrating GOLDEN ORIOLE (loriot) flew northeast early this morning, just ahead of the rain. 3 HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée), 3 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux) and a surprise LAPWING (vanneau huppé) all passed high to the north during the afternoon.

May 7th
WILLOW WARBLER (fitis) singing early this morning and a MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) flew northeast. 2 migrating TURTLE DOVES (tourterelle des bois), the first of the year, dashed north.

May 4th
At least 2 GARDEN WARBLERS (fauvette des jardins) are singing on site; one appears here below, typically half-hidden by leaves.

Next door is one of 6 BUZZARDS (buse variable) which moved overhead during a perfect afternoon for skywatching with blue skies, scattered white clouds and just a light wind. There were 14 raptors in all including a HEN HARRIER (busard St Martin), 4 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux) and a close couple of HONEY BUZZARDS (bondrée).

Star bird though was a distant BLACK STORK (cigogne noire) which meandered slowly northwest at 15h15.

May 2nd
2 good skywatches today: in the afternoon Pierre had a BLACK KITE (milan noir), a MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) and the first HONEY BUZZARD (bondrée) of the spring. Later in the evening yours truly had 2 disant WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche) spiralling slowly northeast, along with a second MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux).

April 28th
The fresh north-easterly continues. Almost nothing migrating today across more of the same dull and cloudy skies, although Alban brilliantly spotted this CUCKOO flying high and purposefully to the northeast - a vital year-tick.

Less vital a year-tick was this BUNNY RABBIT (lapin). There were no hirundines today and just a small sprinkle of SWIFTS (martinet).

A FIRECREST (triple bandeau) was singing along the Sentier des Vergers and a super male REDSTART (rougequeue à front blanc) flew north past the Cascade, landing briefly nearby.

April 27th
An array of newly-arrived warblers warbling this morning: a WHITETHROAT (grisette), a WILLOW WARBLER (fitis), a LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillard) and the first GARDEN WARBLER (fauvette des jardins) of the year. Gaell found 2 PIED FLYCATCHERS (gobemouche noir), and a small flock of GOLDFINCHES (chardonneret) and a singing SERIN were also on site.

The afternoon was cold, windy and grey, threatening rain: at 15h05 a lone WHITE STORK (cigogne blanche) beat westwards high over the Bois de Vincennes towards Paris.

April 25th

This HOBBY (hobereau) meandered low over the site twice early this evening, seemingly uninterested in the large swarms of SWIFTS (martinet) which arrived in force yesterday.

April 21st
3 SNIPE (bécassine de marais) flushed from the Mare Perchée at first light and a YELLOW WAGTAIL (printa) squeezed overhead. In the afternoon there was a female BLACK REDSTART (rougequeue noir) at the Compost and 2 more BUZZARDS (buse) went high to the north.

Pierre found the first LESSER WHITETHROAT (babillarde) of the year, pictured here below, skulking around the Cascade.

Next to it a fine MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) winding slowly south-east.

April 20th
A strong, cold northerly blew all day which slowed down a couple of migrating BUZZARDS (buse) although it didn’t seem to bother a HOBBY (hobereau).

A few SWIFTS (martinet) and HOUSE MARTINS (hirondelle de fenêtre) went through and at 15h25 a group of 4 WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche) moved slowly west towards Paris.

April 14th
HAWFINCH (gros bec), TREE PIPIT (pipit des arbres) and NIGHTINGALE (rossignol) all on site this morning along with at least 5 roaming RING OUZELS (merle a plastron).

A BLACK KITE (milan noir) and this MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) were among the bigger raptors and the first HOBBIES (hobereau) of the year appeared. SWIFTS (martinet) are arriving in small numbers.

April 13th
GOLDFINCHES (chardoneret) were clearly migrating today and the first SWIFT (martinet noir) of the year raced north. A NIGHTINGALE (rossignol), a RING OUZEL (merle a plastron) and a REDSTART (rougequeue a front-blanc) were all on site whilst a WHITE STORK (cigogne blanche), 2 BUZZARDS (buse) and a HEN HARRIER (busard St Martin) were all seen flying over.

Only a couple of CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres) today but lots of MEADOW PIPITS (farlouse), a few landing on site.

April 11th
Classic spring RING OUZEL (merle a plastron) experience this morning, this restless bird chacking briefly around the Cascade before taking off and powering away high to the northeast.

Otherwise not a lot on site - all the recent ROBINS (rougegorge) seemed to have disappeared overnight.

April 9th
A male RING OUZEL (merle à plastron) at the goat enclosure early this morning - no sign of the BLUETHROAT (gorgebleue).

April 7th
A nice sunny day for once. Behold below the brilliant BLUETHROAT (gorgebleue) which is still here and faithful to the reed bed, singing occasionally.

A skywatch during the afternoon with Alban, Quentin and Pierre was productive with CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres) and MEADOW PIPITS (farlouse) migrating (unusually) throughout the afternoon. Others joining in included 3 SISKINS (tarin) and 2 HAWFINCHES (gros bec).

Raptors were also on the move today: 15 were seen although some were just too high or distant to identify, but they included 6 MARSH HARRIERS (busard des roseaux), a female HEN HARRIER (busard St Martin) and 3 BUZZARDS (buse).

Also pictured below is a lonely and slightly injured-looking WHITE STORK (cigogne blanche) which glided northwards overhead at 16h50.

April 6th
Even more excitement early doors with a second BLUETHROAT (gorgebleue), a corking male, singing from the reeds at the Mare Perchée. No contest as to which of the 2 was the better looker - yesterday’s bird (which wasn’t seen today).

April 5th

Exciting discovery at first light of a BLUETHROAT (gorgebleue) which popped up from the ditch at the Petite Prairie in pouring rain. It was difficult to see well although it did eventually come out in the open for a bit, feeding boldly alongside the ROBINS (rougegorge) and SONG THRUSHES (musicienne) on the short grassy slope at the Compost.

April 2nd
The first WILLOW WARBLERS (fitis) found at dawn this morning in the reed bed. One of them flew up and away, disappearing high to the north.
April 1st

Few birds today although this SNIPE (bécassine des marais) was flushed from the long grass in the Savanna early this morning - a vital year-tick.

Being a sunny bank-holiday the park was swarming with people all afternoon. Absolutely nothing of interest seen migrating during another long skywatch, apart from a single SWALLOW (rustique).

March 31st
A long skywatch today in the freezing cold, accompanied by the 2 Pierres, Marie-Christine, Suzanne and Quentin. A RING OUZEL (merle a plastron) and a MEDITERRANEAN GULL (mélano) were the key birds, the latter in amongst a small flock of BLACK-HEADED GULLS (rieuse). 2 BUZZARDS (buse) and reasonable numbers of CORMORANTS went northeast whilst 3 small distant flocks of GOLDEN PLOVER (pluvier doré) hurried high in the opposite direction.

March 30th
The cold weather continues - white, misty skies. 3 FIRECRESTS (roitelet triple bandeau) today and a COAL TIT (mésange noire).

This LONG-TAILED TIT (mésange a longue queue) was found nest building along the Sentier des Vergers. The photo comes from Pierre’s relatively new and cheap Panasonic FZ200 which seems to have been an excellent purchase - it certainly well thrashed the Nikon on this occasion...

March 27th
A GREEN SANDPIPIER (cul-blanc) flew north early this morning, dropping down to land briefly at the Mare Perchée. Very low numbers of migrants flying over included 3 LINNETS (linotte) and a HAWFINCH (gros bec).

March 25th
The first TREE PIPITS (pipit des arbres) of the year were on site at dawn in the Petite Prairie.

March 24th
Cold and foggy. Star bird was this excellent ROSY-FACED LOVEBIRD (Inséparable rosegorge) found this morning by the goat-enclosure. It spent all day roaming around the site but was sadly last seen on the ground by the entrance path, oblivious to passers-by and tugging on bits of coloured string - can’t see it lasting very much longer...

Lots of CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres) and BRAMBLINGS (pinson du nord) bounded over early and a WOODCOCK (bécasse) flushed from the Savanna.

March 23rd
Here’s one of least 6 BLACK REDSTARTS (rougequeue noir) which appeared as a loose group this morning, flitting urgently all around the lawns in the northern section of the park.

Best bird today though was a distant BLACK STORK (cigogne noire) which glided east north-east at 13h10. The first BARN SWALLOW (hirondelle rustique) of the year went northeast, as did another 2 WOODLARKS (lulu).

Another first for the year was a scruffy-looking MARSH HARRIER (busard des roseaux) flying very high to the north, accompanied closely by a couple of BUZZARDS (buse).

March 22nd
Good skywatching early morning with large numbers of SONG THRUSHES (grive musicienne) and CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbes) flying overhead. A male HEN HARRIER (busard St Martin) flapped steadily eastwards into the cold wind at 09h25. Also on the move were BRAMBLINGS (pinson du nord), small numbers of WHITE WAGTAILS (bergeronnette grise) and SKYLARKS (alouette des champs). One of the BRAMBLINGS is pictured here bombing over the Cascade, next to one of 3 WOODLARKS (alouette lulu) seen this morning (an uncommon migrant in spring).


Alouette lulu

Pierre was birding later in the day and had a fine flock of 61 GREYLAG GEESE (oie cendrée) moving north.

March 18th
Pierre’s good run continues with an excellent RED KITE (milan royal) moving northeast at 11h15, and the first BLACKCAPS (fauvette à tête noire) of the year.

March 17th
Pierre had a single GOLDEN PLOVER (pluvier doré) flying north this afternoon. A pair of SERINS on site.

March 15th
A good skywatch for Pierre this afternoon - an array of migrants including a WHITE STORK (cigogne blanche) and the first OSPREY (balbuzard pêcheur) of the year flying north.

March 14th

Pierre found a flock of 10 SISKINS (tarin) on site today and the first BLACK REDSTART (rougequeue noir) of the year (a fine male). During a skywatch Pierre had a WATER PIPIT (spioncelle) and a COMMON GULL (goéland cendré).

March 13th
Bright and sunny clear skies early morning, but freezing cold with snow and ice covering the park. Weather conditions are more extreme further north and FIELDFARES (litorne) were migrating back southwest instead of north. Also massing southwards were STARLINGS (étourneau) - one huge strung-out flock contained about 1500 birds!

March 10th
Cold and misty weather brought migrating flocks of CHAFFINCHES (pinson des arbres) and SKYLARKS (alouette des champs) much lower down than yesterday.

2 HAWFINCHES (gros bec) on site, and this distant flock of GOLDEN PLOVERS (pluvier doré) raced southwest.

March 9th
Small numbers of BLUE TITS (mésange bleue), BRAMBLINGS (pinson du nord) and BUZZARDS (buse) moving through today. There were high-flying flocks of LAPWINGS (vanneau huppé) and JACKDAWS (choucas), and in the early afternoon a solitary WHITE STORK (cigogne blanche) glided northeast.

March 6th
Another flock of JACKDAWS (choucas) clipped across grey and cloudy skies early this morning and a pair of HAWFINCHES (gros bec) raced north. Also moving north was an excellent male YELLOWHAMMER (bruant jaune), a rarity at Beaumonts, which dropped down to land briefly in the reeds at the Mare Perchée.

Later in the day Pierre had a few ROOKS (freux), the first singing CHIFFCHAFF (veloce) of the year and a distant flock of 21 COMMON CRANES.

March 5th
More migration action early this morning, most things moving a little more east than north (and into the wind). Much more diversity than yesterday with the first migrating GREY WAGTAIL (bergeronnette des ruisseaux) and MEADOW PIPIT (farlouse), small groups of STARLINGS (étourneau), a flock of 27 JACKDAWS (choucas) and a couple of ROOKS (freux).

A nice surprise was this pair of COMMON CRANES (grue cendrée) flapping slowly southeast.

March 4th
A smattering of early migrants flying over early morning: WHITE WAGTAILS (bergeronnette grise), SKYLARKS (alouette des champs) and THRUSHES (grives).

Star bird though was a smart STONECHAT (tarier patre), which perched up in the tall willows at the Mare Perchée, only to be chased off by an angry GREAT TIT (mésange charbonniere).

March 3rd
An excellent sunny and cloudless day, although thick mist kept dissolving the birds and made skywatching difficult - even a distant WHITE STORK (cigogne blanche), brilliantly spotted by Alban, was hard to keep track of as it circled high over Fontenay before gliding straight northeast, followed closely and attentively by what was probably a big female Sparrowhawk.

Not a great deal else apart from BLACK-HEADED GULLS (rieuse) and a WHITE WAGTAIL (bergeronnette grise) moving north, along with a couple of BUZZARDS (buse). One of the buzzards is pictured here in the haze next to a drake MALLARD (colvert), one of 2 currently on site (with a female) at the Mare Perchée.

February 22nd
Pierre and Roland had this MIDDLE-SPOTTED WOODPECKER (pic mar) in the Parc Mabille this afternoon.

There were as well 2 NUTHATCHES (sitelle) and a male LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER (épeichette) there as well.

A small flock of around 8 REDWINGS (mauvis) continues to rummage in the leaf-litter on the edge of the Ave des Maronniers.

February 17th
Alas, no CRANES. However in the late afternoon a group of 15 WHITE STORKS (cigogne blanche) moved slowly low and northwards over Bagnolet, dangling legs as if looking to land for the night.

February 16th
Nice-looking weather for migration today and a skywatch was quite good, although no CRANES (grues) were seen unfortunately - we are holding out hope for tomorrow, apparently conditions are favourable. A few bits and pieces migrating north-east, notably a lonely-looking WOODLARK (lulu) which flew right over the Cascade, the first WHITE WAGTAIL (bergeronnette grise) of the year, around 130 LAPWINGS, a BUZZARD (buse), and small flocks of CORMORANTS and GREYLAGS (oie cendrée).

A couple of HAWFINCHES (grosbec) and 2 REED BUNTINGS (bruant des roseaux) were on site, although only the one SISKIN (tarin) today- no sign of last weekend’s flock.

The first SERIN of the year was singing at the Tip, and a distant PEREGRINE spent several minutes circling high over the Bois de Vincennes.

February 11th
Pierre had a HEN HARRIER (Busard St Martin) this afternoon, but not much else during a skywatch. The HERON is back, and DUNNOCKS (accentors) are singing.

February 10th
Cold. The first BUZZARD (buse) of the year was harried east by a couple of crows before the snow arrived. GREY WAGTAIL (bergeronnette des ruisseaux) on site.

February 9th
The best place for bird-spotting at the moment appears to be along the entrance path which winds up behind Jean Moulin College. Here the group of around 20 SISKINS (tarin des aulnes) is still present, chattering and nibbling away amongst the alders: one of them is pictured below.

Next to them, a SHORT-TOED TREECREEPER (grimperau des jardins) taking off.

At least 2 HAWFINCHES (grosbec) also in this area this morning.

February 8th
Pierre had a small flock of 14 SISKINS (tarin), a CHIFFCHAFF (véloce) and a group of 8 REED BUNTINGS (bruant des roseaux) on site today. André was also in the park and found the buntings, along with a NUTHATCH (sitelle).

February 3rd
GREYLAG GEESE (oie cendrée) are already on their way north - 4 separate groups (about 400 birds) were seen early this afternoon snaking high overhead in long lines; great stuff...

February 2nd
A FOX (renard) was glimpsed in the Savanna.

A HAWFINCH (gros bec) and at least 2 REED BUNTINGS (bruant des roseaux) were on site this afternoon. One of the buntings has a silver ring on its left leg.

January 23rd
A good report from Pierre of at least 22 FIELDFARES (litorne) on site today (one of them here), feeding in various parts of the park.

Also noted were a COAL TIT (mésange noire) and a REED BUNTING (bruant des roseaux). No sign of the CIRL BUNTINGS (bruant zizi)...

January 21st
The MIDDLE SPOTTED WOODPECKER (pic mar) was seen again today by Pierre in the Parc Mabille - a fine grip-back indeed. Pierre also had a NUTHATCH (sitelle) and a LESSER-SPOT (pic épeichette). Roland found 2 FIELDFARES (litorne) on site.

January 19th
Local folk were out in force today to enjoy the snow, some with cameras but most carrying toboggans and makeshift sledges to slide down the slopes.

The birding was good as well, with the pair of CIRL BUNTINGS (bruant zizi) still in the same place and giving some corking views. There was a fine brace of woodpeckers on the edge of the Parc Mabille - a LESSER-SPOTTED (pic épeichette) and a MIDDLE SPOTTED WOODPECKER (pic mar), which is rare at Beaumonts and only the second I’ve seen here. The moment is captured with this ’’for the record’’ shot below.

A MARSH TIT (mésange nonnette) was seen again today.

January 17th
Roland found a cracking pair of CIRL BUNTINGS (bruant zizi) at the Compost this afternoon, and both he and Pierre got some good views and a few photos. It’s unfortunately a rarity these days - none was seen in 2012.

Pierre also had 2 COAL TITS (mésange noire) in the ’’Northern Triangle’’ today.

January 14th
The year-ticks trickle in: Pierre had CHIFFCHAFF (véloce) and LINNET (linotte) this afternoon, along with a COMMON GULL (goéland cendre) flying east.

January 13th
An excellent HAWFINCH (gros bec) in the Savanna this afternoon. 3 MALLARDS (colvert) flew in to inspect the Mare Perchée.

January 12th
Grey and dreary weather. A COAL TIT (mésange noire) was in the conifers this morning and a MARSH TIT (mésange nonnette) was at the Coffee Dome. The flock of GOLDFINCHES (chardonneret) is still on site and a NUTHATCH (sitelle) was found along the Avenue des Marronniers.

January 6th
Not much around - the only item of slight interest is the presence of 2 REED BUNTINGS (bruant des roseaux) on site, moving around between the re-cycling plant and the Petite Prairie.

January 1st
Pierre had 140 LAPWINGS (vanneau huppé) flying high and southwards late this afternoon.