Neeracherried - noisy nature reserve near Zürich

The weather is right now very nice here in Switzerland and it is a pity to spend it indoors during the week. Street cafes are full of people and bikers have conquered the roads.

When I was living in the Netherlands biking around everywhere was completely normal thing to do. Here in Switzerland biking is not so easy. There are several reasons. First, the bike routes network would need some improvement and extension. There are areas where the bike roads are very well done and then the bike path just suddenly stops. Bike paths in the Netherlands are very smooth and built without bumps. Not the case in Switzerland. Even new bike paths have often unnecessary bumps when crossing the car roads.  But the biggest challenge is that the terrain here in Switzerland is not flat. You need to be in pretty good shape to bike around with normal bike.

We live about 200m higher than our neighboring villages. So it's quite an elevation gain to do with your bike. It's not something you want to do with hot summer weather. So recently we bought e-bikes. I love it! As a result we are now biking to work and on the weekends exploring our surroundings within 30 km radius. Neeracherried is actually much closer to where we live but I hadn't been there before.

Neeracherried is a protected small area next to the village Neerach. It's quite close to Zürich and very close to Zürich Airport. It's a wetland and people go there mainly to see the birds. Compared to the other visitors I was quite unprepared - no binoculars and no huge camera lenses. At the visitors center you need to pay an entrance fee and then you can go to the paths built into the reed. In the visitor center there's an exhibition about the area but it's all in German only.

Once you're on the path it takes you past a small pond with dragonflies and very loud frogs (probably not all year around).

Then the path divides into 2 and in both ends there is a observation hut. The first one has views to the lake and you can really see a lot of birds. If you are into bird watching you could probably spend several hours there.

View from the bird watching hut
The second observation  hut enables you to observe the big hairy Scottish cattle. They have been brought there to maintain the wetland. I had very good timing because one of those guys had decided to have lunch just couple of meters away from the hut.

What are my overall impressions and why do I call it a noisy nature reserve? It is quite noisy there. First, there are lot of birds who sing loud but this is how it is supposed to be at the nature reserve. What I would not expect to hear at the nature reserve are the airplanes constantly landing and taking off. There is also quite a lot of car traffic that you can hear all the time. So you are in the nature but at the same time you still hear the "civilization" around you. It was a weird experience in that sense. Still, if you like to watch birds, it's a nice place to go to. Be aware that it's really small. I think in total I spent there a bit less than an hour.