About Me

Paris, Ile de France, France
conservation biologist, father, WP lister, bird ringer, life enjoyer


A new House Finch near Paris

Yesterday, a male House Finch was observed at a bird feeder at Champingy-sur-Marne, close to Paris. The species is confirmed by the streaked undertail coverts, and the pointed tips of the tail feathers highly suggest it is a first-winter male.
We are in contact with the house holder to ssee if the bird is coming back and if we can try a capture to sample feathers and study isotopes.
Photo by Anneli Feret


Videos - all what I have now

Since I lost most of my pictures in a hard disk crash, those posted here and on my facebook pages are what I have left from my recent trips, as weel as these three videos taken with my cell phone.
A singing male Siberian Chiffchaff in central Paris (at Jardin Des Plantes, my workplace). Enjoy the sound!

A fishing Black Heron at Barragem de Poilao on Santiago, Cabo Verde

And the French Red-footed Booby, lake side


Trans-saharan warblers in Normandy

Just came back from a long week-end in Normandy, where I surveyed my four BBS squares. Incredibly high numbers of migrant warblers, with - for 20 point counts of 5mn each - 2 singing Marsh Wrablers (never recorded since 2007), 4 Melodious Warblers (had a max of one before), 6 Whitethroats (record), 1 singing male Bonelli's (never recorded before - even submitted to regional ratification!), while I also had two singing males Wood Warbler on the spot where I found one last year. Also a young lost badger, and a Lesser Spotted Woodpeck in my garden! Birding the hedge... One of the two singing Marsh W
A singing male Melodious - lovely
Great to get some very good pics as I lost my previous ones in a hard disk crash...
Young badger
Lesser Spot - declined by 80% in the last 20 years in France


Cabo Verde 2 - Raso Larks

So many pics to share after this trip. This post will be dedicated to Raso Lark, to display various jizz, actions, appearances of this rare lark endemic to the tiny island of Raso. Raso is made of rock and grass, dry at the end of February.
Lark in action - these two pics show how raso moves rocks to look for food.
Some larks are colour-ringed within the flocks foraging on the large flat plain. These ringed flocks seem quite shy compared to other birds seen elsewhere.
While most lark were wearing a fresh plumage, some displayed some marked moult contrasts, as this bird in the tertials.
Face on - remembering that birds are the last live dinos.


Cabo Verde: birding the WP edge

A long time since I posted any news on the blog. Have been very busy at work with three students finishing their PhD and the launch of a national garden birdwatch (see www.oiseauxdesjardins.fr) Whatever, I finally find time, during holidays in Normandy, to post some pics of a recent trip to Cabo Verde, when I managed to reach the mythic target of 700 species senn in WP! 700th was Cape Verde Shearwater, but short before 699 White-faced Storm Petrel, 698 Madeiran Storm Petrel and 697 Raso Lark... Sailing from Sao Nicolau to Raso (where we had to sample some petrels' odors for a scientific programme), we thereafter shifted to the rocky Branco where we beached close to the eastern flat peninsula. On Branco, the slope over 'the beach' is the place where to look for flying displaying Cape Verde Madeiran Storm Petrel Oceanodroma castro jabejabe
Madeiran Storm Petrel ssp jabejabe, this one photographed on Raso (tick 698)
On a small beach at the entrance of the flat peninsula on Branco, these holes are petrels' burrows - not crabs'.
At night, we spotted a single white-faced storm petrel on ground, coming to the colony, after a few hours spent in the wind with our lights on and off. tick 699
Raso Lark: that's birding the edge (tick 697). Amazing when they return rocks with their bills to search for seeds or insects.
Black Heron Egretta ardesiaca, two were present on Santiago, Barragem de Poilhao or something like that.
The only Intermediate Egret Egretta intermedia present on the barragem, difficult to spot.
The local Grey-headed Kingfisher - present everywhere on Santiago - my second tick on the islands, just after Iago Sparrow.
Red-billed Tropicbird - on Santiago and easily seen on Raso


How to get to the House Finch

Present since one week, the house finch was seen again today. It frequents feeders in garden of a small housing quarter in Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse, close to Paris, in Yvelines departement. You can reach the city by train (RER B4, many stations in the suburb network of Paris) then you have a 10mn walk. The train station is visible on the first street map on the top right.
Go to Av. Guy de Coubertin. The bird has been observed at feeders at three places:
- corner of Av. Guy de Coubertin and Rue de la Digue (n°1)
- poplars and gardens behind the 5-7 Rue Blanche (n°2)
- big apple tree inside a large garden of Av. Guy de Coubertin (n°3)
The best site is the apple tree and other trees nearby, where the bird stays, sings, during the day.
Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse is at 02°03'44E 48°41'57N
If you visit, please respect all properties and gardens which are private.


A House Finch near Paris

Merci beaucoup à Monique et Pascal Morin for access to their garden. Unfortunately, we did not manage to capture the bird as we hoped to sample some coverts to analyse their stable isotopes...

No ring, undammage tail and flight feathers