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Thursday, September 29th, 2022
avinews
Yellow-browed Warbler approaching?

Will there be sightings of the rare Yellow-browed Warbler again this year? Quite possibly... Compared to last year, the autumn migration of 2022 seems to have got off to a better start at the European level. Around the North Sea, a number of sightings have been recorded again - as shown by the EuroBirdPortal, which also includes your data. If you want to be prepared, you can practise the species characteristic call in our sound gallery or at xeno-canto.org. Most detections in Switzerland occur in the first days of October, as our statistics on the species show. We wish you good luck!

posted by Sämi Wechsler
 
Wednesday, September 28th, 2022
technews
Synchronization problems with App NaturaList solved

We had a problem with the synchronisation/exchange of data between the app NaturaList and the website ornitho.ch in the last few days. The cause was an update from Amazon on their servers. In the meantime, the developers of ornitho.ch (Biolovision) have been able to find and solve the problem. Affected data, which in individual cases are not yet visible on ornitho.ch, will be visible on your account until the middle of next week. Please do not re-enter them.


Thank you for your patience

Your ornitho.ch team

posted by Sämi Wechsler
 
Tuesday, September 20th, 2022
technews
Google maps no longer available with next update

We would like to inform you that from the next update on NaturaList the Google maps, which are poorly suited for our purposes anyway, would no longer be available (for cost reasons). In Switzerland we recommend the use of the excellent products of SWISSTOPO, abroad those of OpenStreetMap, which are linked in the app.

Your ornitho.ch team

posted by Hans Schmid
 
Wednesday, September 14th, 2022
tipnews
Birds
Which species should you count?

The autumn migration is already in full swing. Whether you are going to your favourite excursion area or keeping a lookout at an observation post, don't forget to fill in a complete observation list! But for which species do you need to fill in the most accurate figures possible? You can count all species if you want, but if it is too tedious, please count at least the species in category A (those with a red dot in front of their name). For analyses such as the calculation of the presence index, numbers are essential. If possible, always count species A, or give at least an estimate or a minimum number.

You have little experience with counting or estimating birds? SEO BirdLIfe has developed a playful app to practise this. You can find AVIZOR - SEO BirdLife on Google Store and in the App Store.

We wish you great migratory bird observations

posted by Bernard Volet
 
Thursday, September 1st, 2022
avinews
Birds
A White-tailed Eagle in Fanel

A young White-tailed Eagle has been seen in Fanel for a few days. This bird comes from a "reintroduction programme" approved by the French Ministry of the Environment and was released on 12 August 2022 together with three other individuals. It was born on 1 April 2022 in the centre "Les Aigles du Léman" on the French side of Lake Geneva, is called "Crédit Agricole" and wears a transmitter as well as an orange ring without inscription on the right leg and a black ring with the inscription WF01 on the left leg.

Photo: W. Daeppen

posted by Bernard Volet
 
Wednesday, August 31st, 2022
avinews
Birds
Waders stopover in Yverdon-les-Bains

Since the beginning of August, the controlled flooding project of the "Quatre-Vingts" field has started in Yverdon-les-Bains. This project, coordinated by the Association Escales Limicoles Agriculture, has been a great success for migratory shorebirds and about a hundred individuals of about ten species can currently be observed on the site.

This large number of birds motivates many people to come and observe the site. To clarify certain accesses, we ask observers to respect the following points:

  • At the request of the farmers, please do not position yourself at "Point X" to make your observations;
  • Please stay on the official paths, and under no circumstances enter the flooded field or adjacent crops;
  • The preferred observation site is located on the mound between the Thielle canal and the flooded field.

Respecting these different points will limit disturbances and allow the birds to take full advantage of this resting and feeding site. We thank you for your collaboration and wish you good observations!

A new website on this project has been created and can be consulted at this address: https://www.escales-limicoles-agriculture.ch/

Latest results: https://www.escales-limicoles-agriculture.ch/le-projet/resultats/

Access: https://www.escales-limicoles-agriculture.ch/acces/

posted by Bernard Volet
 
Wednesday, August 10th, 2022
technews
Birds
Adjustment of the rarity level of species

On ornitho.ch, each species is assigned a rarity level. Periodically, we make adjustments to reflect changes in the occurrence of a species. For example, from now on, the Griffon Vulture and the European Bee-eater will no longer be designated as "rare" species. Sanderling, Temminck's Sandpiper and Curlew Sandpiper have been upgraded from "uncommon" to "rare". Some species occur with varying frequency depending on the region. For example, we classify the Alpine Chough as "very common" in the Alps, but as "rare" in the Jura. For most species, however, we keep the classifications at the national level. We cannot take into account regional variations, such as the surprising rarity of the Tree Sparrow in the canton of Geneva.

posted by Bernard Volet
 
Monday, August 1st, 2022
technews
Birds
New: form for rare bird observations

Forms for the Swiss Rarities Committee (SRC) can now be submitted directly to ornitho.ch

We are pleased to announce that the first version of the form for documenting observations of rare birds and unusual sightings subject to approval has been put online. The observations concerned are marked with a yellow triangle on ornitho.ch. The documentation provided is examined by the Swiss Rarities Committee, a group of experts who examine whether the observation is sufficiently documented to be included in the scientific literature.

The online form appears automatically when a sighting needs to be documented. More concise than its paper predecessor, it revolves around the central piece of information, the "Description" field. If you are lucky enough to encounter a rare bird, take the time to document your observation. If possible, take photos, record the calls or songs with your smartphone (the video mode is usually sufficient for this). Even photos/videos of average quality are often sufficient to document the sighting. Photos showing the bird from different angles are very useful. Look at the bird in detail: the bill, its length, shape and colour, the pattern of the head, back, wings, underparts, tail, rump and undertail-coverts. Note also the length and colour of the legs.

Photos, videos and recordings are of course very useful evidence for documentation, but they are not mandatory. In the absence of these documents, or if they do not show the essential criteria, it is important to describe in detail what you have observed. Use the "Description" field to do this, noting first in a few words how you found the bird and what its behaviour was. If you are not the finder but know who it is, mention this. Then describe the bird, starting with its size in comparison with the species next to it or with common species. Then list any plumage details you have observed (see above, a sketch can also be very useful) and transcribe as much as possible of the calls or song. Also mention which identification criteria could not be seen. If the species is similar to one or more other species, make the differential diagnosis: note why it is the rare species and not the other similar species.

In the "Identification" section, mention in the "Experience with this species" box whether you have seen this rare bird before (if so, where and how many times?) or if it is the first time.

As a general rule, the responsibility for documenting an unusual sighting lies with the person who discovered the bird. If the bird is staying, it is also important to document the last date of observation. Similarly, it is necessary to document additional individuals if the number varies, as well as sightings of the bird at a new location.

Your observations to be documented will appear on your home page under the heading My records without rarity report. It is possible that already accepted records (yellow triangle with green V) will appear on the home page: you can simply ignore them by clicking on the X on the right to remove them from this section.

We hope that this new form will make it easier for you to document your unusual sightings and we wish you many pleasant surprises in the coming months.

posted by Bernard Volet
 
Friday, July 15th, 2022
technews
Birds
Important settings of the ornitho app NaturaList

The mobile input of observations directly from the field is increasing more and more. In the meantime, about half of the data is received via the ornitho app NaturaList. But there are a few things to keep in mind and it is important that the app is set up correctly. You can access the "Preferred settings" via the "Hamburger menu icon" and configure the app there. We would like to list some particularly important notes and settings below:

1. Report the position of the bird, not your own location!
When entering data, it is important to move the map so that the red pointer marks the location of the bird. Your own location (smiley) is irrelevant and only serves to facilitate orientation in the field within the app.

2. Select the correct species list!
The species list is a central element of the app, through which important options are controlled (e.g. map bases, projects, bird monitoring, additional information). It is therefore of great importance that the list from ornitho.ch is selected for bird observations in Switzerland. Please check in the settings of the app under "Species list" that the list of the internet portal ornitho.ch is selected.

3. Correct list of atlas codes!
Particularly important information can be obtained by assigning atlas codes. Even though the codes are internationally agreed, there are slight differences from country to country. To ensure that your observations can be correctly classified, it is important to select the 19-digit list in the app settings under "Choice of atlas codes". Basic information on assigning atlas codes can also be found here: Which sightings to record?

4. Use map bases optimally!
We recommend using the map “Swisstopo Map Live” as default. The default can be set in the app settings under "Map". Should it ever be necessary to use an aerial photograph for a particularly precise location, the map layers can be easily changed during data entry via the "layers" symbol at the top left of the map (e.g. " Swisstopo SWISSIMAGE Live"). Please do not choose any of the Google map layers, for two reasons: 1.) These cause costs for us, all others are free of charge (and often better)! This money can be put to much better use. 2.) There are plans to remove most of these from NaturaList soon.

Please take the time to check the above settings once and correct them if necessary. This will make the app easier to use, improve the quality of your data and help us to save costs. You can find many more tips on how to use NaturaList in our user guide "Reporting bird observations" (available in German, French or Italian).

Thank you very much!

posted by Bernard Volet
 
Friday, July 1st, 2022
tipnews
Birds
Atlas code in summer

Depending on the breeding bird species, the atlas code is no longer automatically requested by the system since July 1 or August 1. However, we would be grateful if you would continue to attach it in case of justified breeding indications (Atlas code 7 or more). This applies in particular to duck families with still dependent young.

Furthermore we would like to point out that it is very valuable for duck families if you indicate the number of young birds/families as well as the size of the young birds in eighths (relative to the mother) under the remarks field. See leaflet "Altersbestimmung bei Jungenten / Détermination de l'âge des canetons".

The more precise your sightings are documented, the easier it is to interpret them correctly. Many thanks for your help!

posted by Bernard Volet
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