France - lower Doubs, late August 2007   -   birding trip report John van der Woude  -  www.jvanderw.nl

This was the 4th time we visited the wonderful area of the Lower Doubs in eastern France, SW of Dole. It is a mix of wet and dry habitats in a very rural setting, and the excellent Foret de Risoux in the nearby Jura is a bonus. We camped for the full nine days at the campsite of Petit-Noir, right at the river and with a wonderful view on the river bank vegetation. Although August seems a little late, we saw all the summer guests, ánd we witnessed the departure of some, an impressive experience. We saw far less waders than we had hoped for. The weather was pleasant most of the time.
We think this area merits more visiting birders and naturalists from Holland, UK, Germany etc. as it is so nearby, a really good wetland area, with some southern elements like Bee-eater.
Again, for more details about the area, see
http://tillier.club.fr/ornitho/doubs/Doubs_en/index_en.html and my older trip reports.


View of the river bank vegetation from our tent. Saw the last Bee-eaters here before their departure. River just visible left of centre.


Drier part of the river bank, a bit further West. Red-backed Shrike (Grauwe Klauwier), and lots of Pied Flycatcher (Bonte Vliegenvanger) on migration one day.


Old branch of Doubs river near Petit-Noir. Good for reed warblers, Purple Heron (Purperreiger), etc.


Another old Doubs branch near Petit-Noir. Little Bittern (Woudaap) here.


Map Butterfly (Landkaartje) and Peacock (Dagpauwoog) near the river.


Another flashy Peacock (Dagpauwoog).


Side trip to the Foret de Risoux in the Jura, on the ridge East of Bellefontaine. Good for forest birds like Black Woodpecker (Zwarte Specht).


Herb Paris (Paris aquifolia, Eenbes) in the Foret de Risoux.


Montrond mountain in the Jura. Golden Eagle (Steenarend) pair along slope in centre of photo. Once had Wallcreeper (Rotskruiper) here but no luck this time, requires more time. In summer this elevated area can be reached by cable car, what we did of course.


One night we had a torrential rain and the next morning the river level was very high for this time of year. No more gravel banks for the birds! 


Even the tracks next to the river had gotten some of the high water.


Best bird of the trip was on our last morning, a Black Stork (Zwarte Ooievaar), landing on the meadows next to the river. Bird at the background left is Black Kite (Zwarte Wouw) who apparently didn't like the stork.
Species list
(all along lower Doubs unless stated otherwise)
Soortenlijst
(alle langs beneden-Doubs tenzij anders vermeld)
Little Grebe
Great Crested Grebe
Cormorant
Little Bittern
Night Heron
Cattle Egret (group of 7 near river)
Little Egret
Great White Egret
Purple Heron
Black Stork
Mute Swan
Mallard
Black Kite
Red Kite (during drive from N France)
Marsh Harrier
Hen Harrier
Sparrowhawk
Buzzard
Golden Eagle (Montrond Jura)
Osprey
Kestrel
Hobby
Pheasant
Moorhen
Coot
Stone Curlew
Little Ringed Plover
Lapwing
Curlew
Greenshank
Green Sandpiper
Common Sandpiper
Mediterranean Gull
Stock dove
Wood Pigeon
Collared Dove
Turtle Dove (common along river)
Cuckoo
Barn Owl
Tawny Owl
Long-eared Owl
Swift (1 on migration in high Jura)
Kingfisher
Bee-eater
Hoopoe
Wryneck
Green Woodpecker
Black Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Middle Spotted Woodpecker
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
Sky Lark (1 only)
Sand Martin
Barn Swallow
House Martin (+ large group high Jura)
Tree Pipit
Water Pipit (Montrond Jura)
Yellow Wagtail
Grey Wagtail
White Wagtail
Dunnock (Jura)
Nightingale
Black Redstart
Redstart
Stonechat
Wheatear
Song Thrush
Reed Warbler
Lesser Whitethroat
Whitethroat
Garden Warbler
Blackcap
Pied Flycatcher
Long-tailed Tit
Marsh Tit
Willow Tit
Coal Tit (Jura)
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Nuthatch
Short-toed Treecreeper
Red-backed Shrike
Magpie
Rook
Carrion Crow
Raven (Jura)
Starling
House Sparrow
Tree Sparrow
Chaffinch
Serin
Greenfinch
Goldfinch
Linnet
Crossbill (Jura)
Bullfinch (Jura)
Yellowhammer
Reed Bunting
Dodaars
Fuut
Aalscholver
Woudaap
Kwak
Koereiger (groep van 7 nabij rivier)
Kleine Zilverreiger
Grote Zilverreiger
Purperreiger
Zwarte Ooievaar
Knobbelzwaan
Wilde Eend
Zwarte Wouw
Rode Wouw (onderweg in N-Frankrijk)
Bruine Kiekendief
Blauwe Kiekendief
Sperwer
Buizerd
Steenarend (Montrond Jura)
Visarend
Torenvalk
Boomvalk
Fazant
Waterhoen
Meerkoet
Griel
Kleine Plevier
Kievit
Wulp
Groenpootruiter
Witgat
Oeverloper
Geelpootmeeuw
Holenduif
Houtduif
Turkse tortel
Zomertortel (algemeen langs rivier)
Koekoek
Kerkuil
Bosuil
Ransuil
Gierzwaluw (1 op trek in hoge Jura)
IJsvogel
Bijeneter
Hop
Draaihals
Groene Specht
Zwarte Specht
Grote Bonte Specht
Middelste Bonte Specht
Kleine Bonte Specht
Veldleeuwerik (slechts 1)
Oeverzwaluw
Boerenzwaluw
Huiszwaluw (+ grote groep hoge Jura)
Boompieper
Waterpieper (Montrond Jura)
Gele Kwikstaart
Grote Gele Kwikstaart
Witte Kwikstaart
Heggemus (Jura)
Nachtegaal
Zwarte Roodstaart
Gekraagde Roodstaart
Roodborsttapuit
Tapuit
Zanglijster
Kleine Karekiet
Braamsluiper
Grasmus
Tuinfluiter
Zwartkop
Bonte Vliegenvanger
Staartmees
Glanskop
Matkop
Zwarte Mees (Jura)
Pimpelmees
Koolmees
Boomklever
Boomkruiper
Grauwe Klauwier
Ekster
Roek
Zwarte Kraai
Raaf (Jura)
Spreeuw
Huismus
Ringmus
Vink
Europese Kanarie
Groenling
Putter
Kneu
Kruisbek (Jura)
Goudvink (Jura)
Geelgors
Rietgors