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Klingnauer Stausee

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Photo by WintibirdThe Klingnauer Stausee. View from the watchtower.
Photo by Wintibird
The Klingnauer Stausee. View from the watchtower.


[edit] Overview

The Klingnauer Stausee is an artificial lake in the north of Switzerland. It's an important migration spot and a wintering site for waterfowl.

[edit] Birds

[edit] Notable Species

Wintering waterfowl including Great Bittern, Ruddy Shelduck (feral population), Gadwall, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Common Teal, Red-crested Pochard, Tufted Duck, Common Pochard, Goldeneye and Goosander. Sometimes rare species like Ferruginous Pochard or Long-tailed Duck.

Migrating waders in spring and autumn, including Common Ringed Plover and Little Ringed Plover, Northern Lapwing, Dunlin, Ruff, Eurasian Curlew, Common Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Common Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper and Common Snipe.

The woods are very good for woodpeckers. You can find Black Woodpecker , Grey-headed Woodpecker, Eurasian Green Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker! In May Eurasian Golden Oriole starts to sing in the trees.

Good views of Spotted Crake and Little Crake are possible from late July to September along the reedbeds. Terns (mostly Common Tern, Caspian Tern and Black Tern) and Gulls are worth for checking carefully. Peregrine Falcon hunts regulary over the lake. If you're out on the weekend you will surely find some local birders who can inform you about rare species.

Photo by WintibirdGiritz, riverine forest at the River Aare.
Photo by Wintibird
Giritz, riverine forest at the River Aare.

[edit] Rarities

Over 310 species of birds have been recorded at this site in the last 25 years. The rarest was perhaps a Slender-billed Curlew in 1973, the only Swiss record.

The best months for rarities are April, May and September.

[edit] Check-list

Birds you can see here include:

Red-throated Diver, Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Great Cormorant, Great Bittern, Little Bittern, Black-crowned Night Heron, Little Egret, Great White Egret, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Black Stork, White Stork, Eurasian Spoonbill (rare), Mute Swan, Common Shelduck, Ruddy Shelduck (category C), Eurasian Wigeon, Mallard, Gadwall, Northern Pintail, Northern Shoveler, Common Teal, Garganey, Red-crested Pochard, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Common Goldeneye, Goosander, Black Kite, Red Kite, Hen Harrier, Western Marsh Harrier, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Northern Goshawk, European Honey Buzzard, Common Buzzard, Osprey, Eurasian Hobby, Common Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Little Crake (rare), Spotted Crake, Water Rail, Common Moorhen, Common Coot, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Northern Lapwing, Sanderling, Red Knot, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Little Stint, Temminck's Stint, Ruff, Eurasian Curlew, Whimbrel, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Common Greenshank, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Common Snipe, Mediterranean Gull, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Common Tern, Caspian Tern, Black Tern, Common Woodpigeon, Stock Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Cuckoo, Alpine Swift, Common Swift, Common Kingfisher, Black Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Middle Spotted Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Eurasian Skylark, Woodlark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Northern House Martin, Water Pipit, Meadow Pipit, Red-throated Pipit, White Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, White-throated Dipper, Eurasian Wren, Dunnock, European Robin, Common Nightingale, Bluethroat, Common Redstart, Black Redstart, Whinchat, European Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Eurasian Blackbird, Fieldfare, Redwing, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Savi's Warbler, Common Grasshopper Warbler, Great Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Eurasian Reed Warbler, Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Blackcap, Wood Warbler, Willow Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Firecrest, European Pied Flycatcher, Spotted Flycatcher, Penduline Tit, Marsh Tit, Willow Tit (rare), Crested Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Wood Nuthatch, Short-toed Treecreeper, Red-backed Shrike, Common Starling, Eurasian Golden Oriole, Common Jay, Common Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Eurasian Tree Sparrow, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Brambling (winter), Hawfinch, European Serin, Eurasian Siskin, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Eurasian Bullfinch, Eurasian Linnet, Common Crossbill, Ortolan Bunting, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting

[edit] Other Wildlife

Photo by Wintibird.European Beaver at Klingnauer Stausee.
Photo by Wintibird.
European Beaver at Klingnauer Stausee.

European Beaver (Castor fiber) lives in the lake, but they are hard to see and can be confused with the Muskrat (Ondata zibethicus). In the woods Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris), Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) and Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) occur.

If you are lucky you can see some Wild Boar (Sus scrofa). They sometimes roam the island under the weir and can be seen from the right side of the Aare.

[edit] Site Information

[edit] History and Use

The weir, forming the artifical lake, was completed in 1935 and destroyed a big floodplain, famous for its plants and birdlife. Soon the lake evolved to an important wintering site for waterfowl. Very soon the lake got very shallow, filled with sediments from the Aare and got ideal for waders.

Today the lake itself and the riverine forests under the weir are protected areas and form one of the best areas in Switzerland for birdwatching. The weir is still in use for the production of electricity.

The lake is very popular among locals and especially on sunny weekends there are many people walking, cycling or skating which can be quite bothersome.

Photo by WintibirdThe weir, built in 1935
Photo by Wintibird
The weir, built in 1935

[edit] Areas of Interest

The left side (west) is the best for birdwatching as you have the sun in your back (except for early mornings). The southern part with reed and islands is called "Sektor A" among birdwatchers. To overlook "Sektor A" you can use the new watchtower.

Further downstream you will find a nice place to sit under a birch, called "Birkenbänkli". This is a good lookout for waders and rails.

The forests under the weir are very productive for woodpeckers (especially in March and April). The forest on the left side (west) is called "Gippinger Grien", the one on the right side (east) "Giritz".

[edit] Access and Facilities

The lake can be reached by train in 40 minutes from Zürich. Take a fast train to Baden and change there to a local train in direction to Zurzach. Leave the train in Döttingen. Walk down to the river, cross it and follow the shore to the right. Soon you're in the reserve. There is a new watchtower, but the best place is further down.

Just before the river Aare joins the Rhine there are on both sides nice old riverine forests. You can cross the river over the weir or over the old train bridge. The next train station is Koblenz.

There is a new watchtower (always open) and further down the lake an old World War II bunker has been fitted as watchtower as well. Near the new watchtower is also a restaurant and in Döttingen and Klingnau you will find more restaurants and shops.

There is usually no need to stay at the Lake and it can be reached in short time from ZĂĽrich and other cities. If you like to stay you will find plentifull of accomodation in nearby Zurzach, famous for its hot springs.

The lake is interesting all year round, but it can be quite unpredictable. March and April are good for Woodpeckers, April and May for Waders and other passage migrants, August and September for Rails and Waders and December to March for wintering waterfowl.

[edit] External Links


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