Posted by: atowhee | April 16, 2019


Birds of Notre Dame: Common Kestrel nesting on rose window facing the river…Pied Wagtail…House Sparrow, gulls and cormorant passing along the Seine nearby…do any birding in Paris?

I have a pretty good Paris list, inc. Serin, Black Redstart (Montparnasse Cemetery), Song Thrush in Parc Montsouris and the Common Swifts that course the narrow streets in summer.   Wagtails like the lawn beneath the Eiffel Tower.

My favorite France birding adventure (besides the Griffon Vultures in Provence, another magnitude of coolness altogether):  December 26th we took our daughter by train to see the cathedral at Chartres.  Cold. Snow on ground and much of the cathedral roof and buttresses.  In view of the church we lunched in a small bistro.  As I watched I saw something moving around high on the stone walls in the sun: bincos told me the story–a Black Redstart, presumably finding granite mites or spider eggs or Gothic caterpillars…some bit of French avian cuisine.  Binocs–never leave home without ’em.

Below two antique photos I shot on film more than a decade ago.  First, looking at Notre Dame from the end of the bridge that goes east from there onto Ile St. Louis.  This is the bridge where street musicians play all night in the summer.  Here you can hear anything from Roy Orbison to Bach.

Below that the House Sparrow colony that populates the Place west of Notre Dame, on the side of the main entrance.  Often there are one or more sparrow-maniacs feeding them in the daytime, the sparrows clustered on shoulders, hat (to avoid poopy hair-dos), arms and any nose long enough to provide a perch…here I jest jest a-leetle.

nd from eastND-HOSPARROWSHere, one of the bird people of Notre Dame Place, not far from the Charlemagne statue–sparrows and Rock Pigeons congregate:nd-bird man

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