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Là Haut - Ramicourt, Aisne (02)
Watchpoint
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Site descriptions

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The environment and natural setting of the site

Ramicourt is located in Picardy, in the north of the department of the Aisne, 15 km north of Saint-Quentin. The village is in the middle of a large-scale agricultural area : main crops include wheat, beets, rapeseed, beans and maize. Only very few meadows remain and there are no more hedges. Trees and shrubs are found in the village centres, oases in an agricultural desert. Several wind turbines are installed in the vicinity of Ramicourt. There are no water courses within its boundaries. The watchpoint is located in a garden, rue de là Haut, not particularly attractive to migratory birds. During autumn migration, however, many raptors and songbirds can be seen; some will stop to refuel or to rest.

History of the survey

Over the years, it became clear that the site was suitable for bird migration. From 2006 onward, irregular counts of a few hours on only a few days are available. In 2010, counts became more regular with nearly daily observations. In general, there is a lack of information about bird migration over agricultural plains in France: the main interest of this site is to provide some information about migration over farmland, albeit in low numbers.  

Ornithological interest, birds of special importance

There is no regular migration survey in the department of the Aisne, in spite of some potentially interesting sites such as Mont d’Origny along the Oise valley. Ramicourt fills this information gap by chance. The most numerous species in 2010 and 2011 for both years combined include Woodpigeon (11695), Chaffinch (6108), Starling (4374), Lapwing (2828) and Skylark (1685). In 2010 important numbers of Blue Tits (1100) and Coal Tits (800) were noted in line with influxes noted elsewhere in France. In 2011, Woodlarks (119) were present in good numbers. Rare birds include Black-winged Kite (03/09/10), Pallid Harrier (26/08/11), Short-eared Owl (18/12/10), Tawny Pipit (26/09/09) and a Long-tailed Tit of the nominate subspecies (06/11/10). In 2010 and 2011, 19962 and 16307 birds were counted respectively. From 2006 to 2011, 95 species were recorded on autumn migration, including 16 raptor species and 8 waders.

Calendar

Since the autumn of 2010, migratory birds are counted several hours a day, without a particular observation protocol. The observation period lasts from August to December. During a spring survey in 2012, 3303 birds covering 52 species were recorded.

Visitors

The watchpoint is not accessible to visitors, as it is located in a private garden.  

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