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Luzern Area

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Old Friday 10th April 2015, 20:03   #1
Mark Jarrett
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Luzern Area

We lived in Zurich for six months in 2009-10 and I have done a fair bit of birding in that area but not too much around Luzern.

Can anyone recommend any high level birding areas for Alpine Chough, Nutcracker, Snowfinch etc within say half an hour of Luzern?

I have been to the top of Pilatus several times, so perhaps another cable car summit area with walking at the top.

Thanks in advance.

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Old Friday 10th April 2015, 23:10   #2
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Titlis would be an option for Snowfinch and Alpine Chough, Stanserhorn another one, however I'm not sure if you can see Snowfinch there. For Titlis take the train (or the car) to Engelberg and try to get on the first cable car up (before the Chinese and Indians arrive....)

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Old Saturday 11th April 2015, 08:22   #3
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Melchsee Frutt in Obwalden is also a good option. Snowfinch, Alpine Chough, Wallcreeper, Golden Eagle, Alpine Accentor and lots of Marmots in the area. Alpine Accentor and Snowfinch are easiest in winter when they visit the scattered buildings on the alp. The alp is around 2000m with easy access by cable car. Public transport via Sarnen and would take more than half an hour from Lucerne. There is an excellent walk from Melchsee to Engelberg via the Jochpass with the opportunity to cut some of the descent out using cable cars. Another route is from Melchsee to Engstlenalp and back. The second walk has Wallcreeper (regular on Spycherfluh and I've seen them anytime I've really looked though of course not guaranteed) and occasional reports of Rock Thrush though I've not seen them here.

All the best

ps the summit of Titlis is just over 3000m and you would be pretty much marooned up there unless you have experience of walking in snowy and icy conditions. It is usually crammed with tourists. Indian tour operators have it on their itinerary because it was used as a filming location for Bollywood movies.
Any of the intermediate stations on Titlis (eg Trübsee) are much quieter than the top.
Stanserhorn is a better option in terms of being able to walk away from the crowds on top.
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Old Saturday 11th April 2015, 10:04   #4
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Also in the Pilatus area there are several quiet spots on the Obwalden side of the mountain.

Lütholdsmatt (Alpnach). 1,200m. There's a nice walk in the direction of the summit of Pilatus, then left towards Schyalp and back to Lütholdsmatt. Have seen Goshawk, Alpine Chough, Snowfinch and Golden Eagle here. Also lots of Chamois. Wallcreeper present but tricky. Another option from Lütholdsmatt is to walk south towards Sarnen. Quiet place where you would only meet the very occasional walker or Älpler. Unfortunately you would need a car to get to Lütholdsmatt and the road is not open in winter if there's snow on the ground. Or at least you drive at your own risk. I drove up one February in relatively clear conditions and it's not to be recommended but in summer it's a breeze.

Langis/Glaubenberg (Sarnen) 1,400 to 1,700 metres. Possible to drive up here year round. Massive car park at Langis and a smaller one at Glaubenberg pass. Take any track south or north. Black Grouse, Ring Ouzel, woodpeckers in area. The track north from Langis is popular with walkers year round and if it's foggy in the lowlands and sunny on top, the car park will be packed. A weekday would be much better and the area south of the car park is much quieter. There's a bus from Sarnen train station.

ps there are 46 cable car/ chairlift routes in Nidwalden. Here's a link to some info in German. I haven't been on all of them yet. You could just pick one that goes up reasonably high and stroll around. They can be seasonal so it's worth checking out the opening times online.

Last edited by Brosnabirder : Saturday 11th April 2015 at 10:51. Reason: Addition
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Old Saturday 11th April 2015, 21:00   #5
Mark Jarrett
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Thanks very much for the info guys. There's loads for me to go at there!

I will be with Mrs J, so not out and out birding, more a nice high level walk with me having the bins with me.

We did go up Titlis when we were living in Zurich, in winter and with the windchill was minus 25!

Thanks again.
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Old Saturday 25th April 2015, 18:41   #6
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Alpine birds around Luzern


Emmetten is good for Apline Choughs and Nutcrackers

( Good for Black Grouse as well)

Melchsee frutt is great for snowfinches and alpine accentors but may be late

Look on Ornitho

Under last 2 days - either LU, NW or SO to see whats around

one of the best places as you can drive up to the top of the pass is Glaubenberg


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Old Tuesday 5th May 2015, 22:38   #7
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Dead easy to see Alpine Chough up Pilatus as my rubbish photo in the Gallery proves.
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Old Thursday 7th May 2015, 21:29   #8
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Mark, or anyone else, can you recommend good areas around Luzern that are accessible without a car? I will try Mt. Pilatus in July, but will have two more days to bird there before flying home. Thanks!
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