Most of the people visit Paris to see its wonderful landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Museum, and many other touristic destinations. It is true that absolutely no one comes to the City Of Lights to see birds. However, you would really be surprised by the bird varieties you could find in this awesome city.
Many of the European travel itineraries revolve around this beautiful city, and if the tourists take their binoculars with them, they would be well served. So after you have gone through the collections of paintings in the Louvre and have tried the sweet and savory delights from the Parisian pastry shops, take some time to visit Bois de Boulogne for some exciting bird watching experience too.
Bird Species in Bois de Boulogne
If you spend a morning at Bois de Boulogne, this awesome place would beyond doubt take you through some incredible European specialties. The place is located at the west of Paris and lies just outside the circular peripheral highway, which outlines the spectacular city. This place has a size that is about 2½ times the size of Central Park in New York.
Bois de Boulogne features an unmanaged habitat that is full of bushes, snags, and mature trees. This eco-friendly environment offers a delightful change from the well-groomed gardens found inside the city.
There is a spot called Parcours Sportif here, which is 3 kilometer from the southeast corner of the park. This area is home to a wide range of flora and fauna, with a canopy of deciduous trees around. You can easily find Green Woodpeckers here, while you might have to search deeper for the Middle-Spotted and Lesser-Spotted woodpeckers in the park. The best time to look for woodpeckers is the spring season as that is when many males flock to the park drumming on leafless trees.
While you are in search of woodpeckers, also keep an eye out for the Common Chiffchaff, Short-toed Treecreepers, and Eurasian Nuthatches. In fact, you would be able to find many different flocks of birds in this park, which include Eurasian Blue as well as marsh and long-tailed bird species. In the Avenue de Saint-Cloud, you would be able to find Crested Tits in the conifer trees, and also a number of Goldcrests.
The Numerous Bird Species
There are many bird species in the rich brushwood, which includes Song Thrush, Eurasian Blackbird, Willow Warbler, Blackcap, European Robin, Eurasian Wren, and Common Chiffchaff. The possibility of finding Firecrest increases by the migration time and you could find Redwing too if you check the blackbird flocks during winter. Just check the treetops in order for spotting Mistle Thrushes in the park; look for Fieldfare if you are visiting during the winter season.
You could also check the sky so as to spot the passing raptors which include Eurasian Kestrel and Eurasian Sparrowhawk. However, there are more chances of finding passing silhouettes instead, which belongs to Common Wood-Pigeon. There are a number of exercise stations too in this region, where you could stop by to warm up and enjoy the bird watching sessions at the same time.
If you travel along the north to Lac Inferior and Lac Superior from Parcours Sportif, you could easily find the Eurasian Coot, Mute Swan, Eurasian Moorhen, and Mallard on the waters. During the summer and spring seasons, you could also look around for Common House-Martin and Barn Swallow on the open waters.
Note that Bois de Boulogne has numerous trails that lead to the chiefly forested habitat. You can choose any of these paths to increase your chances of spotting the birds discussed above along with other bird species during the time of migration.
Réserve Ornithologique, which is located at the intersection of Route de la Grande Cascade and Allée de Longchamp, shows you an intriguing habitat. Nevertheless, remember to get there early because if you visit the place during the late mornings, you would not be able to get much out of the trip.
Exploring the Park
The best way to get the most out of the labyrinth of trails here is to be prepared in advance. If you have a smartphone with GPS, it would be awesome because the Paris Pratiqué street map has a page that is exclusively devoted to Bois de Boulogne. Nonetheless, if you would like to have a detailed view of the route map, you could take a photo of the large map placed at the entrance of the park.
The picture of the map would really be handy when you come across the various crisscross passages in the park. All the passages are well marked in the map; it even has a compass marked on it, which could help to eliminate the directional confusions. It is always good to visit this place during the daytime to get the best experience.