We left New York on Friday night, August 19th. Because of the time difference, we arrived in Paris on Saturday at 2:30 or so, and began sight-seeing immediately. I saw a few birds on the way from the airport to the apartment we were staying at, but they were all ones I had seen before- House Sparrow, Rock Pigeon, Wood Pigeon, Starling. We were renting an apartment in the 6th , so we headed to Notre Dame first, because of its proximity. But first, as we crossed a bridge over the Seine, I stopped for my first life bird- a Black-headed Gull.
|Black-headed Gull along the Seine|
|Common Moorhen- Note the relatively small red shield on the forehead.|
|Common Gallinule in Orlando- Note the comparatively larger frontal shield.|
From top left: Venus de Milo, Winged Victory, The Astronomer, and a Black Redstart
An afternoon stroll in the Marais, where my sister and mom went shopping, had a consolation- a Blackbird in a small park across the street from the boutique in which they were poking and browsing.
|This, rather than any of the (unrelated) new world blackbirds, is the bird |
referred to in some nursery rhymes and the Beatles song.
|Were you a great novelist with no money, this could make a rather filling dinner!|
|The Palais de Luxembourg, in the Gardens|
|A small portion of the stained glass in Sainte-Chapelle|
Day 5 (8/24)- This was our Versailles day. We took the train out to the opulent chateau (I spotted a Eurasian Collared Dove, my first of the trip, along the way). At the building itself, I noticed many Common House Martins circling, and realized they had build their mud nests on the side of the building, wedged inside and between the many stone decorations.
|A House Martin nest in a carved helmet decoration|
|A decent likeness of a Eurasian Jay in Louis XIV's Bedroom|
|There is a reason they called Louis XIV the Sun King. Nice place, huh?|