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Brassoir - Morienval, Oise (60)
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Surroudings of the watchpoint

Brassoir is a hamlet of Morienval. The municipality is located on the right bank of the Automne valley, south of the forest of Compiègne, in the Oise department, in Picardy. Brassoir lies in an opening between the forests of Compiègne and Retz. When the weather conditions are suitable, with a mild southern or southwesterly wind, flocks of migratory birds can be seen here.  

History of the counts

The first counts on migraction.net date back to 1995. After its discovery by Jean-Philippe Bonnel, chairman of the GEOR 60 (groupe d’études ornithologiques de l’Oise), Marc Sengez contributed in a significant way to the success of the watchpoint. There is no coordination of the migratory bird survey since the dissolution of the GEOR 60 – included in Picardie Nature Section Oise – and the untimely death of Marc Sengez.   

Ornithological importance, key species

The migration watchpoint is particularly interesting for Skylarks (23,403 inds. in about 70 hours in 1996). In decreasing numbers, this species is followed by Woodpigeon, Lapwing and Starling. The watchpoint has several counts of regional importance, e.g. 21,950 Woodpigeons in a single morning (31/10/1999). The watchpoint is also good for Meadow Pipit, Linnet (autumn total of 4,068 in 1996), Chaffinch, Rook, White Wagtail (maximum of 1,144 in 1996), Cormorant and Jackdaw. From 1995 to 2010 some 90 species were seen on active migration at Brassoir. In 1996, Brassoir was the best site on migraction.net for Skylark, Lapwing and Rook.

Over the adjacent agricultural plain, Marsh and Hen Harriers frequently hunt. Montagu’s Harrier is rare (4 inds. on 22/08/1999). Merlin is regularly seen. Goshawk has been seen on several occasions and Honey Buzzard and Red Kite also occur.    

For an inland migration watchpoint, Brassoir has a quite impressive list of regional rarities: Wallcreeper (1/11/2005), Red-throated Pipit (20/10/1998), Great Grey Shrike (20/10/1998 et 23/10/2004), Snow Bunting (16/11/1996), Ruddy Shelduck (11/10/2004), Ring Ouzel (26/10/2008), 4 Black Storks (22/7/2012) and a flock of 131 White Storks (22/8/2000) !

Calendar

Brassoir is an autumn migration watchpoint. The presence of observers depends on the availability of volunteers between the 2nd decade of August and the last decade of November.  

Visitors

The site is only irregularly surveyed. There is no visitor centre.  

How to get there

The best watchpoint is at Morienval, east of the hamlet of Brassoir. Brassoir lies between Compiègne and Villers-Cotterêts, north of Crépy-en-Valois. From the «  Autoroute du Nord » (A1) : take exit 8 (Senlis). Follow the D1324 to the east for 19 km to Crépy-en-Valois. Turn left (rue Charles de Gaulle) and drive on for  331 m. Turn left once more (Place Michel Dupuy) and continue for 698 m. Turn right next (route de Pierrefonds) and follow for 9,4 km. Cross Morienval. Turn right (D163) and follow for 2,2 km. You reached the hamlet of Brassoir. Take the road to the east in the centre of the hamlet and continue about 1200 m.   The watchpoint is on the left of the road, near a wood. It offers a good view over the plain. The watchpoint can either be reached on foot from Brassoir or by car. You can park the car near the gate at the entrance of forêt de Retz.     

Where to stay and where to eat

Ferme de Valeuse in Brassoir has a two guest rooms. This farm is recommended if you would like to visit the forest of Compiègne or the nearby castle of Pierrefonds. Family Deshayes, Ferme de Valeuse (Hameau de Brassoir), 60127 Morienval. Reservations: 03 44 87 8172.  E-mail : mailto:vadrouille60@wanadoo.fr ; website : http://www.fermedevaleuse.com.

In Morienval there is a restaurant that offers regional dishes (only open during weekends) : Auberge de la vallée, 1, place Saint-Clément. Phone: 03 44 88 64 87 (about 20 € for a menu, menus for children available).

Contact

If you want to participate in the migration survey at Brassoir and share your observations on migraction.net, you can contact Gunter De Smet mailto:gunter.desmet@lpo.fr. He speaks English and will provide a password.  

Observations can be sent to :

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