Birding in Geneva - Report of the GOBG Excursion on 20.08.17

About 60 species in less than a full day! That is what happened during our last excursion organized by the GOBG and guided by Cédric, the man who never misses one bird :)
We explored 3 different spots in and around Yverdon-les-Bains and we had fantastic sightings.

Meeting in Geneva at 6:30am, we headed to Yverdon-les-Bains and stopped at the Promenade Robert Hainard. I really love this spot for the beauty of the landscape as well as the incredible diversity of bird groups you can see there.

grandson

Right when we arrived, about 200 Collared Sand Martins (Riparia riparia), along with a few Northern House Martins (Delichon urbicum), were hunting insects above us, flying with grace in a beautiful blue sky. On the lake, almost 100 Mute Swans (Cygnus olor) were nesting, along with Black-headed Gulls (Larus ridibundus), Yellow-legged Gulls (Larus michahellis), Great Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo), Greylag Geese (Anser anser), Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos), Great Crested Grebes (Podiceps cristatus), Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina), etc.. And in the trees on the lake shore, an incredible amount of passerine species. 

Not less than 52 bird species spotted in about 3 hours, staying at the same place! I have rarely experienced such a rich area in Switzerland.

We also spotted a red fox and 4 roe deers!

Then, we went to the hide of the Pro Natura Center Champ-Pittet. What a good idea it was. Right when we arrived, a juvenile Common Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus) was fishing only 5 meters from the hide! We were delighted to watch it catch 2 fish in less than 10 minutes. A moment later, a second one showed up!

 Common Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus) at the Pro Natura Center Champ-Pittet in Canton of Vaud, Switzerland. Not baited. Not called in.

Common Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus) at the Pro Natura Center Champ-Pittet in Canton of Vaud, Switzerland. Not baited. Not called in.

Finally, we headed to the Creux de Terre nature reserve in Chavornay. Tufted Ducks, Garganey, Green Teals, Common Coots, Great White Egrets, Grey Herons, Purple Herons, were all resting and preening by the ponds of the reserve. A female Marsh Harrier came to prospect the area, but it surprisingly did not really scare the other birds at all!

 Female Western Marsh-harrier (Circus aeruginosus) at Creux de Terre nature reserve in Canton of Vaud, Switzerland. Not baited. Not called in.

Female Western Marsh-harrier (Circus aeruginosus) at Creux de Terre nature reserve in Canton of Vaud, Switzerland. Not baited. Not called in.

After having spent some great time in 2 hides of the reserve, I walked back to the parking lot enjoying the sight of a beautiful Common Kestrel. It was a reallygreat day birding in Canton of Vaud.

Here is the list of all the species we seen and heard, by alphabetical order:
Black-crowned Night-heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)
Chiloe Wigeon (Mareca sibilatrix)
Collared Sand Martin (Riparia riparia)
Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)
Common Coot (Fulica atra)
Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
Common Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus)
Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Nightingale (Luscinia megarhynchos)
Common Reed-warbler (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)
Common Swift (Apus apus)
Common Teal (Anas crecca)
Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)
Common Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Eurasian Blackbird (Turdus merula)
Eurasian Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla)
Eurasian Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)
European Greenfinch (Chloris chloris)
European Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
Gadwall (Mareca strepera)
Garganey (Spatula querquedula)
Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)
Great Tit (Parus major)
Great White Egret (Ardea alba)
Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)
Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)
Greylag Goose (Anser anser)
Hawfinch (Coccothraustes coccothraustes)
Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Northern House Martin (Delichon urbicum)
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)
Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)
Red Kite (Milvus milvus)
Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)
Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea)
Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Spotted Crake (Porzana porzana)
Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Western Marsh-harrier (Circus aeruginosus)
Western Water Rail (Rallus aquaticus)
White Wagtail (Motacilla alba)
Willow Warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)
Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis)

?? Western Bonelli's Warbler (Phylloscopus bonelli) > to be confirmed.

Love Nature.
Jonathan