Thursday, 12 February 2009

Radio silence

I must apologise for my lack of communication over the last few days. It was largely due to not having internet access whilst I was being buffeted by the wind and rain in Paris.

I travelled down by Eurostar at the ungodly hour of 5.25am on Monday morning, totally knackered from the night before. I arrived in Paris 3 hours later, traveled via the Metro to meet up with Parisian birder, Maxime Zucca who answered my last minute plea for guidance through the Paris metropolis.

I found this male Blackbird with an incredibly deep yellow-orange bill.

Max certainly knew his stuff and after inviting me into his apartment to meet his girlfriend (who was also a birder) and to feed, water and make plans for me, we hit the streets in search of birds.

I've written a full account of my adventure for a future issue of Bird Watching magazine, but to cut a long story short, despite the lashing wind and rain, I still managed to see Short-toed Treecreepers, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Hawfinch, Yellow-legged Gull and most surprisingly, a Kingfisher flying over the Seine in the shadow of Notre Dame.

Max and I
Max and I split in the afternoon for me to scurry off to find a hotel to stay in. I was wet and most worryingly, my rucksack containing my laptop was seriously wet. I found a dump near the centre for 50 Euros that looked bedbug ridden. The guy on the door wrote down the password for the hotel's WiFi on the back of an A4 piece of paper, but in my room I discovered that the net was non-existent. Furthermore, when I turned over the piece of paper that he gave me, I was surprised to see that it was a photocopy of adverts for the local brothels. What kind of hotel was I staying in?

The next day I was out and about on my own and in the wind and rain I managed to see some Tree Sparrows in Bois de Vincennes, Serins in Parc des Beamont and rarest of all, a pair of Marsh Tits in the Pere Lachaise Cimiterie.

In short, Paris is well worth a second look.

Thanks to all my blogging mates that helped me with this trip.

1 comment:

Hackneybirder said...

RE: Ballona

Yes, it's a little gem isn't it.
Thanks for your excellent site by the way. Mark Pearson recommended it to me. I often find myself in various cities around the world with a day off to spare so your site is a godsend. Hopefully Central Park in mid-May next time!!
I wasn't able to access the freshwater pool because they were carrying out a lot of work on the roadside verges around there and there was nowhere to pull off the road that wasn't a tow-away zone. Better luck next time!It looked really 'birdy'. If you're in that area again in the near future I'd love to know how you get on. Good luck with the Scrubs. atb, Paul