Birding in Geneva - Report of the GOBG Excursion on 17.04.16

Again, the weather was not ideal for this day out with the GOBG. The initial plan was to go enjoy the spring migration at Hucel, above Evian. But the bad conditions changed the itinerary and we headed to Sciez in France.

Our first stop was by the shores of Lake Geneva, and we actually got pretty lucky with the weather for a while.

gobg-sciez-france

As soon as we arrived, our guide Alexis spotted the beautiful Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) that has been seen there for the last week. A lifer for me!

pied-avocet-lake-geneva-sciez-france

Right next to it, 5 Common Shelducks (Tadorna tadorna). This amazing species is actually not that common here. Looking on the other side of the bay, we spotted a few plovers : Little Ringed Plovers (Charadrius dubius), but also a rare Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)! They were too far to get any picture though. We enjoyed watching them on the telescope. Right next to them was a Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava). We enjoyed many great sightings.

common-coot-lake-geneva-sciez-france

Finally, much closer to us, I spotted a male Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe). I really love this species, I find this bird so elegant. They are usually seen in moutainous areas but during migration they are not uncommon on the plains around Geneva.

Back by the car, we heard a Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus). Then we headed to a very nice nature area by Domaine de Guidou. On the path, a Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius) flew by. 

observatory-domaine-du-guidou-sciez-france

Only 2 minutes after we arrived at the observatory we actually saw a Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)! Another lifer!

2 Grey Herons (Ardea cinerea), a male Gadwall (Anas strepera), a Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) couple, several Black Kites (Milvus migrans), a flock of Common Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris), a Common Stonechat (Saxicola torquatus), a male Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus), a Eurasian Buzzard (Buteo buteo)... were the other great sightings we had while picnicking in the hide.

domaine-du-guidou-sciez-france

Rain started to pour, our birding day was coming to an end.

Thanks to everyone's motivation and Alexis great birding skills, we had the chance to see and hear many species in just about 4 hours. 43 exactly. Here is the list in alphabetical order:

Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)
Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)
Black Kite (Milvus migrans)
Black Woodpecker (Dryocopus martius)
Carrion Crow (Corvus corone)
Common Blackbird (Turdus merula)
Common Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)
Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)
Common Coot (Fulica atra)
Common Cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)
Common Firecrest (Regulus ignicapilla)
Common Linnet (Carduelis cannabina)
Common Magpie (Pica pica)
Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Common Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Stonechat (Saxicola torquatus)
Common Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Buzzard (Buteo buteo)
Eurasian Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Jackdaw (Corvus monedula)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)
European Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca)
European Robin (Erithacus rubecula)
Gadwall (Mareca strepera)
Goosander (Mergus merganser)
Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)
Kentish Plover (Charadrius alexandrinus)
Little Ringed Plover (Charadrius dubius)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Mew Gull (Larus canus)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)
Northern Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)
Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra)
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus cachinnans)
Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava)

A fantastic morning indeed!

Love Nature.
Jonathan