Roerdal - Paarlo

Limburg  >  Netherlands

A nice area, especially during and direct after the breeding season for many species of songbird and groups of European Bee-eater.

Added by Bas Engels


The "Roerdal" area is a valley in which the river "Roer" flows towards the larger river "Maas" in the west. This specific part of the "Roer" is surrounded by pastures, agricultural fields with scattered trees and bushes and (mostly) deciduous forests. The river itself is a good place for species like Grey Wagtail, Common Kingfisher and Common Sandpiper. If you're lucky, a beaver might show itself! Just next to the river, a steep sand wall is present in which a fair amount of Sand Martin breed. They can be seen foraging above the meadows in the area and flying in and out of their nesting holes.

The surrounding forests are home to a variety of songbirds, like Common Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher and sometimes Pied Flycatcher. Woodpeckers also make use of the area and sometimes a Middle Spotted Woodpecker can be heard and seen. Golden Oriole can be heard from within the forests as well. Standing near the river gives a good overview of the meadow on the other side. Here, Sparrowhawk and Northern Goshawk can often be seen hunting.

Surrounding the agricultural fields and pastures, scattered trees, bushes and fences are present. These are always worth a check for species like European Stonechat, Whinchat and, if you're lucky, Red-backed Shrike. Skylark breeds in the area. The fields themselves are good for Grey Partridge and in winter large flocks of finches mixed with buntings, like Yellowhammer, can be seen.

The main reason this area is visited by birders, is the presence of a large group of European Bee-eater in late spring and summer since 2015. Somewhere in the area, not specifically this part of the river, European Bee-eater breed in steep sand walls and tend to hang out in the area just after fledging of the young. A large flock of sometimes 40 indiviuals can be seen, flying above the area in search for food. Often, the group tends to mix with large flocks of swallows and martins, like Barn Swallow and Sand Martin.



The area is accessable on foot by walking down a path towards the river "Roer". You can park your car at the P on the map.

Terrain and Habitat

Forest, Scattered trees and bushes, Grassland, River, Agriculture



Circular trail


Is a telescope useful?

Can be useful

Good birding season

Spring, Summer

Best time to visit

Spring, Summer


Unpaved road

Difficulty walking trail


Accessible by


Birdwatching hide / platform


View birdingplaces in the area that are published on Birdingplaces.eu


Top 5 birds

Other birds you can see here