Col de Bretolet
At our station we have many people working and helping on the site and by all the activitys! Young and old, birdringers and trainees! Some of the trainees work already several years at the birdringstation.. and start now to go abroad to see other/new places, see different birds, meet new people and learn other techniques!
The story of a trainee:
My name is Charel Klein. I am student for forestmanagement and environment (minor protection of nature) at the university Freiburg im Breisgau in Germany. I started 2011 with ornithology at the birdringingstation Schlammwiss.
I visited already some little birdringingstation in France and worked together with Christian Stange in Freiburg but I decided to visite my first 'big' birdringingstation this year. I found 'Col de Bretolet' in Switzerland and wrote a mail to join them! Unfortunaley I was a bit late so I haven't got a place... but in october I got a mail to join them!! On friday 17th I drove to Freiburg and later on to Barme from where I walked 2 hours (didn't find the correct way..) up to 1923m . This year Sarah Althaus and Marco Thoma were working for the whole season at the Col the Bretolet and have been supported by helping volunteers.
Information about Col de Bretolet:
Since 1958 the ornithological station Sempach makes studies about bird migration in autumn. They ring every year about 10 000 - 20 000 birds with more than 100 different species. By
every controll they take the date and time for exact studies about the migration. From other measurments , size, weight, fat and muscle they analyse the physical condition of the birds.
The nets are open 24to 24 hours. The nets are on the back of a mountain in a long line over a pass where all the birds try to fly over. You can hear and see many birds arriving in the valley and try to fly over the mountain. With usual mist nets and highnets (which can get change at night and dayposition) they catch the birds. A controle is made every hour. Everybody goes to the nets to take out the birds . They mark the netnumber, netpocket and time (wintertime). Later on they bring the birds to the second cabin where two motivated birdringers wait to ring them and take measurements.
Beside the data of birds they look also at the migration of moths and bats (which get caught in the net).
We had two cabins there. 3 bedrooms, a kitchen and a birdringingroom. The only heat place was the kitchen were we cooked all together. The shower was outside with cold water and the toilet too but you had an amazing view.... You don't need more!
When I arrived the weather was pretty good and hot! But it changed on wednesday.. It started with rain and fog and ended up with 40 cm snow... so i had everything :)
The first days we had many birds like: Erithacus rubecula, Fringilla coelebs, Fringilla montifringilla, Coccothraustes coccothraustes; later we had many tits, most of them were Cyanistes caeruleus, Periparus ater! We had a day with more than 1
000 birds and one with no birds
I took the chance to benefit from a lot of new species (for me) and to make a photo-collection for identification.
All in all:
It was an amazing place! with very nice and interesting people! I was really happy to have the chance to join them and a big THANKS to Sarah and Marco!
Maybe i see them back.. next year ;)
Autor: Charel Klein