Monday, March 26, 2012


Driving 2500 kilometers in 3 days and still have time to enjoy friends, a Pygmy Owl, The Office UK, White-backed Woodpecker, the Alps and Armenian Cognac. It is possible!

Birding started at Gurnigel but after a long drive we arrived rather late. A walk at the best spot for Three-toed Woodpecker and Pygmy Owl produced only a calling Nutcracker, and a distant Golden Eagle.

So we decided to have a try further along the road, and one of the first birds was a Pygmy Owl! The bird gave an excellent show but stayed high in the trees so digiscoping was the only option;

Searching Wallcreeper at Beatushohlen and a twitching a Little Crake on a very very small ditch were unsuccesfull.

The next day we had a try on White-backed Woodpecker. This species is very difficult to find in Switserland, mainly because it's preferred breeding habitat is inaccessable steep forests. We tried a location were some birds were observed in the previous years, and were rewarded with good views of both a male and a female!

In the afternoon we tried to see the long-staying summer plumage Great Northern Diver on Bodensee and although the surface of the lake was completely flat we could not find it. But several summer plumaged Arctic Divers and Red-necked Grebes were a nice bonus.

Late afternoon brought us near the Rhine where another Little Crake was seen early in the day. The Crake did not reappear but I never saw a Water Rail this close! It completely ignored us as it was feeding on worms, and it was funny to see how it cleaned the catch in the water before swallowing.

The last morning we did some local birding; Katzensee produced a nice flock of Penduline Tits;

And I reeaaally enjoyed the Red Kites!!!