Sunday, December 11, 2016

Birding Lake Constance

Lake Constance, shared between Germany, Switzerland and Austria, is a great place to go birding in winter. Many birds that are rare in the rest of Switzerland can be found here.

My birding trip started on the Untersee, a small water body connected to Lake Constance by the Rhine river. The Ermatinger Becken in the East of the Untersee is a well-known location for Bewick's (Tundra) Swans in winter. After scanning the lake we found two female Red-breasted Mergansers, a Spotted Redshank, and one Tundra Swan. The swan was a great distance away, on the other side of the lake in Germany, and was difficult to identify because its bill was hidden most of the time. At the train station we saw two Stock Doves, a lifer for me, in a group of Collared Doves.

Stock Dove - 11/12/2016

We continued on to the town of Altnau, a reliable place to see Arctic Loons and other open-water species. As soon as we arrived at the lake, a flock of 8 Velvet Scoters flew by, quite far out on the lake. This was another lifer, and an uncommon species in Switzerland. We then saw two Arctic Loons close to shore.

Velvet Scoters - 11/12/2016

Arctic Loon - 11/12/2016

Arctic Loons - 11/12/2017

After that we went to Arbon where we saw a Caspian Gull, and after scanning the Eared Grebe flock, we discovered two Horned Grebes. I only managed to get a few dreadful shots as they were far out.

Horned Grebe - 11/12/2016

Caspian Gull - 11/12/2017

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