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Birding around Versailles, France (1 Viewer)


New member
Hello from Tokyo,

I will be staying near Versailles and Etang de Saint Quentin for a week on business starting October 13. I would like to know what birds I can observe in this area at this time of the year and if you have any recommendations for places to go. Or, if you know of any places I should make time to visit, I would love to hear about them as well.

I will be bringing my 70-200mm F/2.8 lens (and x2 teleconverter) to shoot indoor track cycling competitions, and smaller 21, 35, and 50mm manual focus lenses for landscapes. I will also bring 8x32 binoculars for viewing exotic nature. Since I intend to squeeze all my luggage into one backpack to avoid lost baggage. A tripod may be difficult.


Richard Prior

Halfway up an Alp
Hello Oyama and welcome to Birdforum. The Where to Watch Birds in France book (Pelagic Publishing) has several sites suggested around Paris, it might be worth getting a copy for your visit.


Well-known member
Etang de Saint Quentin has quite an impressive eBird list, although a lot of the species are going to be familiar to you there are records of species such as Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Short-toed Treecreeper and Cetti's warbler which may be of more interest if you haven't visited France / W Europe much before. Rose-ringed parakeet is also common in outer Paris as an introduced species.
I've never been to that site, but French parks often have quite extensive areas of mature woodland which can be good for woodpeckers - this includes both Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes, just outside of central Paris, and even the smaller Parc de Sceaux near Antony - to the south of Paris is good, although it looks very formal on a map. All get very busy with joggers and dog walkers though, and some awareness of personal safety may be important in Bois de Boulogne.
If you have time to get a little further afield, La Roche Guyon is a really nice village in the Seine valley downstream of Paris, where I've seen displaying Goshawk in the woods above the village - this isn't easy to get to without a car though. A little further down the valley is Giverny with its Monet museum - this is easier to get to by train to Vernon, then hire a bike or walk along the disused rail path - more of a culture and landscape trip than a birding hotspot though.
I don't think any of the habitats you're going to get to near Paris demand the use of a telescope and tripod.

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