After my previous post on my sighting of a Wallcreeper near Bonn, I guess I shouldn’t write a second post on the same bird. However, I visited the same site again to see the bird, and was surprised with two unexpected sightings. The Wallcreeper itself showed quite well again – tho not as well as last time – on the cliff face above the vineyards on the Drachenfels. The weather was not as sunny as last time but watching the bird through the scope was again very rewarding – I don’t think I would ever get bored of the erratic wing-flicking that appears as a sudden flash of red against the rocks!

However, for a long time I was even more impressed by two Peregrine Falcons. You might think that no birder worth his or her salt would prefer watching Peregrine Falcons when there is a Wallcreeper in view, but the two birds appeared to be courtship (the two falcons, that is, not the Wallcreeper and falcon…), as they circled above and perched on the cliffs, chased each other, and called. I have never had the chance to watch these birds so well and could admire their beautiful barred plumage and impressive bill and talons.

Peregrine Falcon
Peregrine Falcon

Another highlight was when another birder informed us of a Eurasian Eagle-Owl that roosted in a vine on the cliff. I was impressed how the bird was found it as it was incredibly well camoulaged. Probably a birder desperately searching for the Wallcreeper. The owl could be observed extremely well, and again I was very happy to get my best sighting of this species, which I’ve seen a few times before but usually at a distance or at dusk. This species breeds quite close by in a quarry in the Siebengebirge and I am planning to visit this site on an upcoming weekend as I expect them to have started occupying their nest.

Eurasian Eagle-Owl

I was very happy to be refreshed by excellent sightings of two species that can be expected in the area but which nevertheless provided very special views. I am looking forward to visiting this spot again, now mainly because I have still not been successful in locating the local population of Rock Buntings, which is estimated at 1-3 pairs. This species is way more reliable not very far south in vineyards along the Rhine, but it would be more rewarding to find the species here given that it is the northernmost edge of its range. Not for long though perhaps, as I could imagine that the range will stretch northwards as the region warms with climate change…

Written by Luca
Family holidays to nature reserves and the abundance of nature books including bird guides at home paved the way for Luca Feuerriegel to be a committed birder by the time he was in his early teens. Growing up in Namibia, South Africa, and Sri Lanka provided the perfect setting for this interest. Luca recently completed his BSc in the Netherlands and currently spends his time working (and birding!) before starting his MSc.