Switzerland: Leuk and then the Shores of Thunersee Again

 Leuk, Switzerland

It was forecast to rain all day in the Lauterbrunnen area where I was staying so I jumped on the train and headed to the Rhone Valley (Valais) where it was supposed to be partly sunny. This is an easy trip from Interlaken. You just need to change trains in Spiez and head to Visp, where you can grab a local train that takes you down the valley. My destination was Nature Park Pfyn-Finges.

Western Bonelli's Warbler, Pfyn-Finges, Leuk

Pfyn-Finges, Leuk

The train literally takes you through the Alps. At least twenty minutes of the ride was through a tunnel. You emerge in what seems a different world. This side of the very same mountains I'd walked the day before have a very different climate. It's dryer and its prime wine producing country.

Pfyn-Finges, Leuk

Pfyn-Finges, Leuk

Pfyn-Finges is a protected forest and a great place to bird if you aren't me. The gods of birding were not with me this day. I was hoping to see a common cuckoo or a hoopoe. I saw neither. In fact, I didn't see much bird life at all. But I did hear a cuckoo as I walked the forest. It did sound just like a cuckoo clock.

The amazing colors of the mountain flowers in Valais.

Moss campion

Upon my return to Interlaken I immediately found myself in the middle of a parade. This happens to me quite often. I come across parades, festivals, marches, and triathlons by accident. This time it was the international firefighters parade.

Parade, Interlaken

The next morning was my last before returning to the United States. Before breakfast I wandered the garden of the pension I was staying at in Lauterbrunnen and took pictures of snails.

 Baby Roman Snail

 Banded Snail. Notice the slime trail behind it.

 Banded Snail

Roman Snail on rock wall.

Black Redstart, female

It started out overcast but turned sunny. I had time to kill in Interlaken so I boarded the boat to Thun but got off at Neuhaus and walked backed to Interlaken through the Weissenau conservation area...again. Apparently, I was determined to do everything twice this trip. Don't ask me why. All I know is the birds came out this day instead of the day before when I really was looking for them.

Mute Swan

While in Weissnau I saw an amazing sight. I started three gray herons and a golden eagle. All four birds lifting into the air at the same time was amazing. Unfortunately, the display also startled me and I wasn't ready with my camera and thus no photograph.

Thunersee looking moody

A marsh or reed warbler. If you know, let me know.

 Female Chaffinch with breakfast

White Wagtail

The Coots and Mallards were all gobbling these Mayflies up.

Great Crested Grebe

 Eurasian Goldfinch

 Great Tit

 I don't know what kind of beetle this is but they were all over the place this morning.

 Weissenau Castle ruins, Interlaken. I wandered this ruin twenty years ago. It was more inaccessible then.

 Goodbye Switzerland...for now.

Birds seen:
Blackbird, Black redstart, pochard, Golden eagle, common swift, Mute Swan, Mallard, Gray Wagtail, White Wagtail, Marsh tit, Chaffinch, Carrion Crow, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Great tit, Blue tit,  Gray Heron, Magpie, European Goldfinch, Graylag Goose, Barn Swallow, Marsh or Reed Warbler, Eurasion Coot, Western Bonelli's Warbler, Common Cuckoo (heard).
Other: Roman snails, Banded snails