There are some great places to go to see birds around Geneva at Lake Geneva. Point de la Bise is one of our favourites. There Pro Natura runs a nature reserve with a two-storey bird hide (including child gates) and a great education centre. Round the other side, Versoix has some great spots, especially where the river meets the lake. If you’re willing to further afield, you can take the train to Prangins and spot birds from the marina. Or take the train to Nyon and then take the boat to Yvoire, on the other side of the lake, in France.
Sometimes all you need to do is go down to the lake at Eaux-Vives. This afternoon, it took a long while to settle Mtoto down for his afternoon nap, but as soon as he was asleep I went for a saunter by the lake. All the usual birds were there, including some Mute Swans, Mallard Ducks, Black-headed Gulls and Coots. And just now there’s a great number of Tufted Ducks and Goosander there too as well as the occasional Ferruginous Duck.
Having thought I had spotted one earlier in the week, but not being sure enough to note it down, today I saw about a dozen Little Grebes. I only saw these because I walked along one of the pontoons in the marina, so if you fancy seeing something different, I wholly recommend walking among the boats. There are a couple of places like this that you can go to get a different view to the usual tourist view of the Jet D’eau or the Cathedral or perhaps both together, so it is well worth taking the extra few minutes walk if you have time.
Finally, there was one bird that I didn’t recognise and haven’t been able to identify from my bird book. It looks like a bit of several things, but not definitely something. If you know what it is, please do say! Edit: (21/01/2015) I have learned from a birdwatcher (merci!) that the unknown bird is likely to be a White-cheeked Pintail. It is a rare or scarcely seen bird in Switzerland, though already this year over 100 sightings have been recorded in Geneva canton.
Today, we went for a 4 hours + hike from Tours Lignon to Aire de la Ville with Edward. There’s a lovely hide on the rive gauche just west of Passerelle de Chevres. It isn’t wholly accessible – Mtoto couldn’t get in on his own and needed to be carried or have someone hold his hand.
50. Little Grebe