10 Birding Hotspots in Canton of Geneva, Switzerland.
If you are interested in birds and want to know where to watch birds in Geneva, Switzerland, here is the list of my 10 favorite birding hotspots in the Canton of Geneva. Hope you enjoy!
1 / Lake Geneva
It is fantastic to go birding by the shores of Lake Geneva any time of the year! The area is famous for welcoming thousands of wintering ducks, including the rare Ferruginous Duck, but I enjoy it every time I go. My best advice is to go early, arriving for sunrise or even before. From Genève Plage to Jardin Botanique on the other bank, crossing the Rhône on Pont des Bergues, the entire zone is fantastic. I highly recommend it.
2 / Marais de Sionnet & Rouelbeau
Ok this is my favorite place to go birding in Geneva area, along with the lake. I absolutely LOVE it. Marais de Sionnet is very well-known among ornithologists.
It is very enjoyable during both migrations, but also during the breeding season.
All year long there is a chance to see for example the Common Kestrel, Little Owl, Grey Heron.. and then, depending on the season, sightings include the Bluethroat, Spotted Crake, Garganeys, Common Teal, Great White Egret, Common Stonechat, Western Marsh-harrier, Common Reed-warbler, Northern Lapwing, Peregrine Falcon and many more!
I recommend going on a weekday as it can get pretty busy with walkers, joggers, even horses during the weekend.
3 / Pointe-à-la-Bise
Really great nature reserve on the shore of Lake Geneva. Birding there will give you fantastic sightings of ducks, gulls and more. The observation point from the top of the tower is really nice, except for taking pictures at eye level.
4 / The Rhône
The entire stretch between Jonction in Geneva and the dam of Verbois can potentially bring great sightings, especially for Black Kites and Common Terns.
5 / Teppes de Verbois & Moulin-de-Vert
2 beautiful reserves on each side of the Rhône. Both have several hides and viewing points. If you stay long enough at Teppes de Verbois, chances to spot the Common Kingfisher are really high. It is also a great place for the Common Snipe.
6 / Champagne
Eurasian Skylark, Little Owl, Common Cuckoo, Barn Owl, European Turtle-dove, Cirl Bunting. Here are just a few of the many species breeding in the area called "Champagne Genevoise". It is very enjoyable to explore the area by bike or by car. Walking is the best of course but you have to know where to go because it is a pretty large area.
7 / Vallon de la Laire
Not far the Champagne is the Vallon de la Laire, another stunning area where many birds species can be seen in a few hours.
8 / Versoix
Walking around the harbor at Port Choiseul and along the lake in Versoix will give you great birding opportunities. Winter is really great there, with hundreds, if not thousands of ducks. Several beautiful species spend winter in the area, such as Tufted Ducks, Common Pochards, or Red-crested Pochards. I also love the atmosphere of the area in spring and summer, when Barn Swallows, Black Kites, and Great-crested Grebes chicks are all around.
9 / The Arve
From Vessy to Veyrier, the path along the arve is stunning and many great species can be seen depending on the time of the year. Common Kingfisher, Black-headed Gull, Mandarin Duck, Mallard, Grey Heron, Great Cormorant, Eurasian Wigeon... even Middle-spotted Woodpecker and White-throated Dipper!
10 / Veyrier
Walking around the ponds in Veyrier have given me many many great birding moments. The best was probably seeing the Eurasian Bittern twice, but I find some interesting species almost every single time. Great White Egret, White-throated Dipper, Long-tailed Tit, Eurasian Siskin, Common Pheasant, Common Kingfisher..