One of the best mornings I ever spent was because of a cheaper flight. Sometimes when flying home from Europe, at least $1000 can be saved by extended the trip an extra day (usually to fly on a Monday rather than a Sunday).
Since we had an extra day we did some birding and for most of us the goal was wallcreeper. This is a mytical European bird that I’ve been interested since the first time I cracked a field guide for this area. Think of an elegant silvery nuthatch with bright pink wings that creeps rocky walls gleaning insects. I’ve dipped on them in Austria and Israel but my friend Dale had a lead on a one overwintering on a castle in Bregenz near Lake Constance. What’s not to love about that sentence? So away we went to locate the bird with our thermoses full of coffee.
Our group had the nervous anticipation of flinching at any leaf movement as we combed the castle wall for the small bird. Eventually the bird was seen high up and worked its way down. We had lots of time with the bird and we were even able to send it to Facebook Live to grip our friends who were at work or on a flight home.
It’s a strange thing getting such a unique bird on a castle, especially one I’d missed several times. It’s all part of the magic of birding in Europe. The best part was that this was just the start of our birding adventure as Chris Wood from eBird came up with a mad plan to be the top eBirders in Lichtenstein.