Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Birding Fanel

Last Sunday I visited the Fanel area on Lake Neuchatel, near the town of Cudrefin. This is usually considered to be the best place in Switzerland to go birding, and hardly a day goes by without at least one rare sighting. Arctic Terns even attempted nesting here once. I decided to try my luck and I was very satisfied with the results.

From the La Sauge visitor center, I walked to the end of the long jetty that sticks out into the lake. On the way I was surprised to find a Black-winged Stilt on a small pond surrounded by reeds. I was hoping for Whiskered Tern, but there were no terns on the wooden posts, so I kept walking to the very end of the jetty. I accidentally flushed four Ruddy Turnstones from the jetty, though luckily they landed on an adjacent rock island. They showed little fear of me as I photographed them as they foraged on the rocks. I walked back to the wooden posts and saw that two Common Terns had landed. I took a closer look to make sure they were not Arctic Terns, and as I was looking a Whiskered Tern appeared, chasing a Common Tern off its perch. Another appeared shortly after and the difference between Whiskered and Common Terns was very clear, with Whiskered being far darker and more robust. On the way back I found a Whimbrel on the opposite side of the river, another rare bird for Switzerland, and a singing Great Reed Warbler, one of my favourite birds.

Black-winged Stilt
Ruddy Turnstone
Ruddy Turnstones
Ruddy Turnstones
Ruddy Turnstones
Ruddy Turnstones
Ruddy Turnstones
Whiskered Tern - Note short tail, dark belly and pale wings
Two Whiskered Terns and a Common Tern
Common Tern (left) and Whiskered Tern (right)
Great Reed Warbler

No comments:

Post a Comment