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Recent Records
 

 

Birds

 

2017

January  February  March  April  May June  July  August  September  October  November  December

 

                                                                                                                      * pending rarities committee decision

 

 

Soaring birds Table 2017

 

 

May

 

22 May: Clear skies with a moderate easterly wind. Chaffinches were present at both Bruce's Farm and Governor's Lookout, where the species was heard singing and calling. Also plenty of Greenfinches were heard in the area, and possibly breeding as well.

 

21 May: Cloudy with some sunny spells later in the afternoon. Winds moderate easterly. A Common Chiffchaff  was heard singing in the Botanic Gardens. This species has been encountered in the late spring at the gardens in previous years but is not known to breed in the surrounding area. Also present in the gardens are two pairs of Spotted Flycatchers, one around the Theatre and the other in the vicinity of the Eliott's Monument. Ther is the possibility of a third pair at the northern end of the gardesn that has also been seen in the Trafalgar Cemetery.

 

20 May: Heavy levanter cloud over the Rock, and overcast skies in the area. Winds fresh easterly. A Chaffinch was heard singing around Bruce's Farm.

 

19 May: Clear skies in the morning becoming cloudy and overcast with a strong levanter. Winds light in the morning but a fresh and humid levanter with low cloud in the afternoon. Single Robin and Nightingale were heard calling and a Melodious Warbler was singing at Jacob's ladder. At least three pairs of Greenfinches were present at this site, possibly nesting.

 

18 May: Clear skies with a light to moderate south-westerly wind. Around midday and the early afternoon aproximately 15 Griffon Vultures were seen together with 25 Black Kites, 2 Booted Eagles and a few Honey Buzzards. No systematic counts were made. The Botanic Gardens Spotted Flycatchers have arrived and are setting up territory and looking for nesting sites.

a nest site.

 

14 May: Clear skies with high cloud from the west in the afternoon. Winds light to moderate westerly becoming light and variable in the afternoon. Some flocks of Honey Buzzards passed during the morning. A Robin and a Spotted Flycatcher were present at Commonwealth Park.

 

13 May:  Clear skies with some westerly cloud. Winds light westerly freshening late morning, but becoming light in the ly afternoon, and then picking up again in the evening. There was a good passage of Honey Buzzards in the morning passing uop the Bay but as soon as winds freshened they flew along the east side of the Rock.  From 11am till 1pm 1200 Honey Buzzards were counted with only 3 Black Kites and 2 Booted Eagles with them. Passage continued in the afternoon, but no counts were made.

 

12 May: Cloudy with showers in the morning, becoming clearer and warm with sunny spells after midday. Winds light to moderate south-westerly. No systematic count of raptors was made, but at least 15 Griffon Vultures 2 Short-toed Eagles, and several flocks of Honey Buzzards, Black Kites and a Black Stork were recorded. A Robin was again present in the Botanic Gardens.

 

10 May: Mainly clear skies with a moderate westerly wind.  Single Robin, Melodious Warbler and a Spotted Flycatcher were observed in the Botanic Gardens, and another Robin was heard calling from Commonwealth Park.

 

09 May: Mainly clear skies with some westerly cloud. Winds light to moderate westerly. No systematic counts of raptors were made, but some Honey Buzzards, at least 5 Griffon Vultures, a Short-toed Eagle and a Black Stork were seen during the afternoon

 

A Raven was seen heading south over the Rock.

 

08 May: Clear skies with a moderate easterly. There were 2 Melodious Warblers, and single Spotted Flycatcher and Corn Bunting at Jacobs ladder.

 

06 May: Clear skies with some high cloud. Winds light easterly early in the morning, becoming light variable to light westerly by mid-morning, but returning to a light variable in the afternoon. Passage started as soon as winds freshened mid morning, but by early afternoon the wind returned to a light variable and passage drifted to the western end of the Strait, out of sight of the Observatory. In this time there were 2693 Honey Buzzards 5 Black Kites, and a Sparrowhawk. Also seen were 6 Swallows, 5 House Martins and a Cattle Egret.

 

05 May: Mainly clear skies with a moderate westerly wind. A total of 996 Honey Buzzards, 125 Black Kites, a Griffon Vulture, 2 Short-toed Eagles, a Marsh Harrier, 16 Booted Eagles, 2 Sparrowhawks and 2 Hobbies were counted heading north.

 

A  party of 3 Black-winged Stilts took a break on one of the pools at Eastern Beach in the afternoon.

 

 

An unusual sighting; 3 Black-winged Stints on Eastern Beach.                            Photo: A. Yome.©

 

There were single Robin, Melodious Warbler, Willow Warbler and Bonelli's Warbler at Commonwealth Park.

 

04 May: Cloudy and overcast with levanter cloud over the Rock, town and harbour. Winds fresh easterly.  Even with easterly winds some raptors passed north over the Rock with 418 Honey Buzzards and a Booted Eagle.

 

03 May: Clear skies with a moderate easterly wind.  Few migrants about with clear skies, but 17 new birds were ringed at the Observatory and included single Robin, Blackbird, Sparrowhawk, Sardinian Warbler, Garden Warbler, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Greenfinch, another Icterine Warbler*, 2 Pied Flycatchers, 3 Bonelli's Warblers and 3 Melodious Warblers. Only 10 Swallows were seen heading north.

 

One of two Icterine trapped and ringed at the Observatory.           Photo: W. James.©

 

At the Botanic Gardens single Woodchat Shrike, Common Redstart, Spotted Flycatcher and 2 Willow Warblers were present.

 

02 May:  Cloudy skies with levanter cloud over the town and harbour. Winds moderate easterly. A total of 38 new birds were ringed at the Observatory and included a Red-necked Nightjar, a Common Redstart, a Tree Pipit, a Blackbird, Whitethroat, 3 Garden Warblers, 4 Melodious Warblers, an Orphean Warbler, a Subalpine Warbler, 6 Bonelli's Warblers, 7 Willow Warblers, a Chiffchaff, a Woodchat Shrike, Blue Tit, 2 House Sparrows and a Greenfinch.

 

A late wintering Cormorant was still at the western end of the runway.

 

01 May:  Clear skies with a moderate northerly wind in the morning and a light south-westerly wind in the Strait, becoming light in the afternoon. Only 36 new birds of 19 species were ringed at the Observatory, and included a Scops Owl, a Common Nightjar, 2 Tree Pipits, 2 Nightingales, a Robin, a Common Redstart, 2 Whitethroats, 2 Blackcaps, 3 Garden Warblers, 2 Orphean Warblers, a Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Melodious Warblers, an Icterine Warbler*, 4 Willow Warblers, 2 Subalpine Warbler, a Spotted Flycatcher, 4 Pied Flycatchers, 2 Serins and 2 House Sparrows.

 

Slow raptor passage in moderate to light winds and a total of 500 Honey Buzzards, 94 Black Kites, 15 Griffon Vultures, a Black Vulture, a Short-toed Eagle, 4 Marsh Harriers, 15 Booted Eagles and 7 Sparrowhawks recorded. Also seen were single Black Stork, 5 Swallows, a House Martins, 3 Bee-eaters, single Goldfinch and Linnet, and hundreds of Common Swifts.

 

A visit to the North Front Cemetery in the morning produced a scattering of migrants that included 14 Bee-eaters, a Robin, 3 Common Redstarts, 5 Woodchat Shrikes, 4 Willow Warblers, 2 Whitethroats, 2 Goldfinches, and single Nightingale, Grasshopper Warbler, Serin, Ortolan Bunting and Turtle Dove.

 

Single Pied Flycatcher and a Woodchat Shrike were observed at Jacob's Ladder.

 

 

April

 

30 Apr:  Mainly clear skies with some cloud skies with sunny spells during the morning, clearing in the afternoon. Winds west to north-west but fresh south westerly in the Strait.  With mainly clear skies overnight, most of the migrants had left, but there were still some about and a total of 38 new birds were ringed in the morning before the northerly winds and the sun, affected the catching rate.  Species included the 5 Red-necked Nightjars that were caught at night, 2 Tree Pipits, 2 Swallows, 3 Robins, 2 Common Redstarts, a Reed Warbler, a Melodious Warbler, 3 Orphean Warblers, a Whitethroat, 5 Garden Warblers, a Blackcap, a Bonelli's Warbler, a Wood Warbler, 6 Willow Warblers, and 4 Pied Flycatchers. The northerlies and the sun again affected the netting site.

 

An entertaining day of diurnal migration with 1000s of Common Swifts moving north, a single Alpine Swift was seen among them, also a steady passage of hirundines in the morning with 185 Swallows, 6 Red-rumped Swallows, 57 House Martins, and 13 Bee-eaters counted. Other Bee-eater flocks were heard heading north. Raptors started early in the morning and continued through the afternoon, with 274 Honey Buzzards, 211 Black Kites, 139 Griffon Vultures, an Egyptian Vulture, a Short-toed Eagle, 6 Marsh Harriers, 2 Montagu's Harriers, 55 Booted Eagles, 11 Sparrowhawks, an Osprey and a Hobby. Also seen were 22 Black Storks, 2 Spoonbills, 185 Swallows, 6 Red-rumped Swallows, 57 House Martins, a Yellow Wagtail, 6 Serins, 3 Goldfinches, a Hoopoe and a Golden Oriole.

 

29 Apr: Overcast skies with some rain in the morning specially over town, but mainly dry at the Observatory. Winds moderate easterly becoming light and calm in the late afternoon. Well it certainly was a good and spectacular fall of migrants with 187 new birds ringed and included 29 Garden Warblers, 75 Willow Warblers, 6 Common Redstarts, 9 Bonelli's Warblers, 13 Pied Flycatchers, a Nightingale, 6 Spotted Flycatchers, 3 Orphean Warblers, 4 Tree Pipits, 9 Melodious Warblers, 7 Whitethroats, 2 Reed Warblers, 2 Chiffchaffs, a House Sparrow, 3 Woodchat Shrikes, 4 Wood Warblers, 2 Turtle Doves, a Golden Oriole, a Greenfinch, a Sedge Warbler, an Ortolan Bunting, a Robin, a Whinchat, a Northern Wheatear, and 3 Common Nightjars.

 

A visit to the North Front Cemetery turned up several Woodchat Shrikes, Northern Wheatear and Black-eared Wheatear and Rufous-Bush Robin, but a systematic count was not made.

 

An afternoon visit to Windmill Hill saw the site full of migrants, with birds everywhere! In total there were 40 Tree Pipits, 15 Tawny Pipits, 55 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Short-toed Larks, 20 Whinchats, a Grasshopper Warbler in full song, 30 Whitethroats, a Spectacled Warbler, a Subalpine Warbler, 5 Orphean Warblers, 20 Garden Warblers, 70 Willow Warblers, 25 Melodious Warblers, a Golden Oriole, 2 Blackcaps, 2 Blue Tits, 11 Blackbirds, 5 Sardinian Warblers, 25 Pied Flycatchers, 5 Spotted Flycatchers, 18 Woodchat Shrikes, 15 Turtle Doves, 2 Rufous-tailed Rock Thrushes, 2 Blue Rock Thrushes, 40 Common Redstarts, 3 Robins, 70 Northern Wheatears, 20 Nightingales, 15 Swallows feeding low over the site in the company of a House Martin, 2 Sand Martins and over 50 Common Swifts, a Corn Bunting, 3 Ortolan Buntings, a Red-necked Nightjar, a Sparrowhawk resting in a bush, a Quail, 9 House Sparrows, 15 Spotless Starlings and 4 Barbary Partridges!.

 

At Camp Bay a Spotted Flycatcher was present, and a Willow Warbler was at Europa Point. A Red-necked Nightjar was seen around South Barracks at 21:00hrs. A Rufous-Bush Robin, a Common Redstart and a Woodchat Shrike were observed at the Botanic Gardens

 

A visit to the Nature Reserve roads  produced a total of 10 Red-necked Nightjars, and a Scops Owl, of which 5 of the former were trapped using dazzling method and a butterfly net.

 

28 Apr: Cloudy and overcast with torrential and heavy rain all day reaching a spectacular 146mm. Winds fresh easterly. A total wash-out today with heavy rains during the day, but a Green Sandpiper was seen on the main walk of the Botanic Gardens. Only the second recent record!

 

The ringers were disappointed but were told this could lead to a good fall of migrants.

 

27 Apr:  Cloudy with a  moderate westerly wind. A trickle of raptors during the day for a total of 43 Honey Buzzards, 178 Black Kites, a Griffon Vulture, 5 Short-toed Eagles, 4 Marsh Harriers, a Montagu's Harrier, 9 Booted Eagles, 9 Sparrowhawks and 2 Hobbies. Also seen were a Cormorant, 10 Swallows, a Red-rumped Swallow, 3 House Martins, a Hoopoe and several Bee-eater flocks that were heard.

 

Only 18 new birds ringed at the Observatory and included a Blackbird, a Nightingale, a Whitethroat, a Sardinian Warbler, 2 Blackcaps, 2 Garden Warblers, 3 Willow Warblers, 2 Bonelli's Warblers, 4 Pied Flycatchers and a Greenfinch.

 

26 Apr: Cloudy skies with sunny spells becoming overcast in the late afternoon. Winds fresh westerly becoming moderate in the afternoon.  Only seven new birds were ringed at the Observatory and included single Blackbird, Subalpine Warbler, Orphean Warbler, Chiffchaff, Wood Warbler and 2 Willow Warblers.

 

Small number of raptors headed north and totalled 45 Honey Buzzards, 190 Black Kites, 2 Griffon Vultures, 3 Egyptian Vultures, 8 Short-toed Eagles, a Montagu's Harrier, 38 Booted Eagles and 16 Sparrowhawks. Also seen were 5 Black Storks, 10 Swallows and 2 Serins.

 

25 Apr: Cloudy skies with some sunny spells in the morning becoming clear. Winds light variable to a light westerly, turning to a moderate to fresh south-westerly in the afternoon. By mid- morning there was a steady passage of raptors over the Rock, that continued till the evening. In total there were 69 Honey Buzzards, 1572 Black Kites, 19 Griffon Vultures, 2 Egyptian Vultures, 10 Short-toed Eagles, 6 Marsh Harriers, 21 Booted Eagles, 46 Sparrowhawks, 2 Kestrels and 5 Hobbies. Also seen were 12 Swallows, 14 Red-rumped Swallows, 3 Serins and a Cormorant.

 

A total of 16 new birds were ringed at the Observatory and included a Blackbird, a Sardinian Warbler, 3 Whitethroats, 3 Garden Warblers, a Grasshopper Warbler, 2 Pied Flycatchers, a Bonelli's Warbler and 4 Willow Warblers.

 

24 Apr: Overcast skies with a moderate easterly becoming lighter in the afternoon. Normally raptors are not recorded from the Rock, during spells of easterly winds. But after several days of gale force easterlies, the number of raptors accumulating on the African side of the Strait, unable to cross in these strong winds, must have been incredible. Around midday Black Kites were seen approaching Gibraltar and heading along the east side of the Rock, in a steady stream. In total 1850 Black Kites, 28 Egyptian Vultures, 4 Sparrowhawks and a single Montagu's Harrier were recorded in a short space of time. Also seen were a single Swallow and 2 House Martins.

 

The clear skies overnight resulted in few birds trapped at the Observatory, with 2 Blackbirds, and single Robin Whitethroat, a House Sparrow and 3 Willow Warblers ringed.

 

Some migrant passerines were present at the Botanic Gardens and included single Common Redstart, Whitethroat, Melodious Warbler, Pied Flycatcher and Woodchat Shrike.

 

23 Apr: Overcast during the morning, with some sunny spells in the afternoon. Levanter cloud persisting ovrt the town and harbour. Winds strong easterly. Thirty birds were ringed in the morning and included a Whinchat, 2 Whitethroats, a Subalpine Warbler, 2 Blackcaps, 2 Grasshopper Warblers, a Pied Flycatcher, 2 Melodious Warblers, a Wood Warbler, a Bonelli's Warbler, an Iberian Chiffchaff and 16 Willow Warblers.

 

Overhead 8 White Storks and 28 Black Kites crossed the Strait as winds became lighter.

 

22 Apr: Overcast with the strong gale persisting throughout the day with very strong gusts in excess of 90km/hr in the Strait.  Another 38 birds were ringed at the Observatory, with only the top net rides in operation, due to a feral cat taking the birds in the lower net rides. Totals would have been impressive; nevertheless the total included a Blackbird 3 Nightingales, 4 Whitethroats, 3 Melodious Warblers, a Pied Flycatcher, 5 Bonelli's Warblers, a Wood Warbler, 19 Willow Warblers and a Greenfinch.

 

A Whitethroat was found dead on a window sill in town, and a Robin was heard in vegetation around Scud Hill

 

21 Apr:  Overcast with a strong gale force easterly with winds in excess of 90km/hr. There was a small fall of migrants in Commonwealth Park, with 2 Whinchats, and single Common Redstart, Subalpine Warbler, Robin and a Willow Warbler.  The Observatory trapped 38 new birds that included 2 Nightingales, 2 Common Redstarts, 2 Melodious Warblers, 2 Whitethroats, a Subalpine Warbler, 3 Bonelli's Warblers, a Wood Warbler, 21 Willow Warblers and a Greenfinch. Unfortunatly a feral cat took a Common Redstart and an Olivaceous Warbler.

 

20 Apr:  Heavy levanter cloud with a strong gale easterly wind. A good total of 35 birds were ringed at the Observatory. These included a Black-eared Wheatear, a Blackbird, a Nightingale, 2 Common Redstarts, a Melodious Warbler, 5 Bonelli's Warblers, an Iberian Chiffchaff, 21 Willow Warblers and a Goldfinch.

 

19 Apr: Levanter cloud over the town and harbour, with winds fresh easterly becoming gusty.  A total of 19 birds were ringed at the Observatory and included 2 Common Redstarts, a Whitethroat, a Garden Warbler, a Melodious Warbler, 3 Bonelli's Warblers and 10 Willow Warblers.

 

A Bonelli's Warbler was heard singing in the Botanic Gardens, and a tired Storm Petrel was picked up in the town area.

 

18 Apr: Cloudy skies with a levanter cloud over the town and harbour. Winds moderate to fresh easterly. Finally bpasserine migrants seem to be migrating through the site with 45 birds ringed only using the top six nets, as the bottom site has had to be abandoned for the time being as a feral cat has been taking birds. The list includes 2 Common Redstarts, 6 Pied Flycatchers, a Garden Warbler, 4 Whitethroats, an Iberian Chiffchaff, a Bonelli's Warbler, 29 Willow Warblers and a Corn Bunting. A male Common Redstart was present at the Botanic Gardens.

 

17 Apr: Low levanter cloud over the Rock dispersing and clearing after midday to give a bright, warm and clear day. Winds moderate easterly, becoming light in the evening.  A morning visit to the North Front Cemetery produced a Tawny Pipit and a male Common Redstart. At Windmill Hill, few migrants were also present with 2 Woodchat Shrikes, a Nightingale, a Willow Warbler and a Spectacled Warbler present.

 

Despite optimal cloudy conditions, only 8 birds were ringed, and included a Nightingale, a Whitethroat, a Garden Warbler, 4 Willow Warblers and a Wood Warbler.

 

16 Apr:  Heavy levanter cloud over the Rock with low cloud and overcast skies throughout the day. Winds fresh to strong easterly, becoming moderate to light in the afternoon. Only a single Sparrowhawk and 6 Bee-eaters were recorded.

 

Ringing at the Observatory resumed after several days of strong winds which prevented the operation. Only four birds were ringed and included a Robin, a Pied Flycatcher, a Blackcap and a Greenfinch.

 

A Robin was present at Commonwealth park.

 

15 Apr: Clear skies with a moderate south-westerly wind. raptors continued to cross with the south-westerly winds, although visibility was poor. In total 733 Black Kites 3 Egyptian Vultures, 35 Short-toed Eagles, 3 Marsh Harriers, 4 Montagu's Harriers, 2 Common Buzzards, 32 Sparrowhawks, 70 Booted Eagles, an Osprey, 4 Kestrels, a Lesser Kestrel and 5 Hobbies were recorded. Also seen were a Black Stork, 57 Bee-eaters, 12 Swallows, 2 Red-rumped Swallows, a House Martin, a Tawny Pipit 200 Common Swifts, 75 Goldfinches and 10 Greenfinches.

 

14 Apr: Clear skies with a moderate north westerly, and a fresh south-westerly in the Strait. House Martins were present at the Four Corners site, with at least one artifical nest occupied.  A good raptor day with steady movement of migrants across the Strait for a total of 1358 Black Kites,  2 Griffon Vultures, anEgyptian Vulture, 117 Short-toed Eagles, 3 Marsh Harriers, 3 Montagu's Harriers, 206 Booted Eagles, 14 Sparrowhawks, a Hobby and a Lesser Kestrel. Also seen were 6 Black Storks, 4 Swallows, a House Martin and a Meadow Pipit.

 

13 Apr: Clear skies with a light to moderate south-west wind.  Visibility very poor with haevy mist obscuring the African side of the Strait.  A trickle of raptors throughout the day with a total of 184 Black Kites, the first Honey Buzzard of the season, 32 Short-toed Eagles, an Egyptian Vulture, a Griffon Vulture, 3 Marsh Harriers, a Montagu's Harrier, 8 Sparrowhawks, 88 Booted Eagles, an Osprey and a Hobby. Also seen were 8 Black Storks, 2 Swallows and 2 House Martins.

 

Another poor day at the Observatory with only 8 birds ringed that included 2 Blackcaps, a Common Redstart, a Bonelli's Warbler, and 4 Willow Warblers.

 

12 Apr: Fog to the east of the Rock, and a misty morning to start with, becoming clear and very warm, with a light easterly to light variable wind. A Tree Pipit, a Tawny Pipit  and 2 Serins were seen at Europa Point. At the Botanic Gardens, 2 Willow Warblers, an Iberian Chiffchaff and a Turtle Dove were recorded there.

 

Thirteen birds were ringed at the Observatory, and included 2 Blackbirds, a Nightingale, a Robin, a Sardinian Warbler, 2 Blackcaps, 5 Willow Warblers and a Wood Warbler.

 

11 Apr: Levanter cloud in the morning dissipating as winds became finally lighter. Clear skies and rather warm in the afternoon with a moderate to light easterly wind.  A flock of 190 Black Kites drifted towards the Rock, as winds became light, with most heading past the east side. A Raven was seen over Windmill Hill, and during the morning flocks of Bee-eaters continiously headed north.

 

At the Observatory, only a few birds were trapped and ringed, and included a Blackbird, 2 Nightingales, a Robin, a Sardinian Warbler, a Whitethroat, 4 Blackcaps and 5 Willow Warblers.

 

A Bonelli's Warbler and a Robin were present in the Botanic Gardens. There were single Bonelli's Warbler and Willow Warbler at the top of the Rock around the top Cable Car Station.

 

10 Apr: Levanter cloud over the Rock and the harbour. Winds fresh easterly. No diurnal passage. Sixteen new birds were ringed at the Observatory and included 2 Nightingales, a Common Wheatear, a Sardinian Warbler, 2 Blackcaps, and Orphean Warbler, 6 Willow Warblers, a Bonelli's Warbler, a Chiffchaff and a Wood Warbler.

 

09 Apr: Heavy levanter cloud with overcast skies in the Strait. Winds fresh easterly with strong gusts. Another thirteen birds were trapped and ringed at the Observatory, and included a Sparrowhawk, a Nightingale, 2 Subalpine Warblers, an Orphean Warbler, 2 Blackcaps, 4 Willow Warblers, a Bonelli's Warbler, and a Greenfinch. Only 6 Bee-eaters were recorded heading north.

 

A flock of 26 Flamingoes were seen heading north along the Bay.

 

08 Apr: Levanter cloud over the town and harbour. Winds fresh easterly. Only 20 Bee-eaters and 4 Swallows, recorded heading north. Thirteen birds were ringed and included a Robin, a Nightingale, a Woodchat Shrike, 4 Blackcaps, 2 Subalpine Warblers, 2 Sardinian Warblers, a Bonelli's Warbler, a Greenfinch and a Serin.

 

A Robin and a Woodchat Shrike were observed along Signal Station Road.

 

07 Apr: Cloudy throughout most of the day with some sunny spells in the late afternoon. Winds fresh easterly with some strong gusts in the Strait. Only 50 Bee-eaters and 5 Swallows, recorded heading north. Twelve birds were ringed and included a Kestrel, a Song Thrush, a Blackbird, a Nightingale, 4 Blackcaps, 2 Willow Warblers, an Iberian Chiffchaff and a Greenfinch.

 

06 Apr: Levanter cloud over the town and harbour. Winds fresh easterly.  Very few birds flying in from the Strait, with only 83 Bee-eaters, a Yellow Wagtail, a Meadow Pipit 10 Swallows and 5 Serins.  A marked improvement in the catching rate at the Observatory, due to cloudy conditions, with 24 new birds ringed. These included a Yellow-legged Gull, a Tree Pipit, 4 Common Redstarts, 2 Nightingales, a Pied Flycatcher, 2 Blackcaps, 2 Sardinian Warblers, 6 Willow Warblers, 3 Bonelli's Warblers, a Subalpine Warbler and a Greenfinch.

 

05 Apr: Clear skies with a moderate easterly wind. No raptors seen from the Observatory due to unfavourable winds,, but some diurnal passage was recorded and consisted of a Grey Heron, 190 Bee-eaters five flocks, 2 Meadow Pipits, a White Wagtail, 9 Swallows, 26 Red-rumped Swallows, 2 House Martins, a Serin, and 6 Goldfinches.  Only two birds ringed at the Observatory; a Willow Warbler and a Greenfinch.

 

A Long-eared Owl was heard calling at midnight from Bruce's Farm.

 

04 Apr: Clear skies with a moderate to fresh easterly wind.  Diurnal passage from the Observatory was very quiet with only a single raptor; a Marsh Harrier seen.    Heading north were a Cormorant, 4 Bee-eaters, 25 Swallows, 9 Red-rumped Swallows, a Yellow Wagtail, 3 Serins, 3 Goldfinches and a Linnet.

 

The ringing operation was again very slow due to clear weather. Only 15 birds were ringed and included 5 Robins, 2 Subalpine Warblers, a Sardinian Warbler, 3 Willow Warblers, a Chiffchaff, 2 Bonelli's Warblers and an Iberian Chiffchaff. A Hoopoe was killed by a cat in the Botanic Gardens.

 

03 Apr: Cloudy skies with a levanter cloud over the town and harbour, partly clearing to give some sunny spells in the afternoon. Winds fresh easterly. Twenty-one new birds were ringed in the morning and included a Robin, a Woodchat Shrike, a Nightingale, a Black Redstart, a Pied Flycatcher, 2 Blackcaps, 2 Willow Warblers, 4 Chiffchaffs, and Iberian Chiffchaff and 7 Bonelli's Warblers. Overhead 26 Bee-eaters in four flocks, 25 Swallows, 4 Red-rumped Swallows, 11 House Martins, 2 Greenfinches, 4 Goldfinches a Hoopoe and a single Sparrowhawk were recorded.

 

02 Apr: Clear skies with a light variable to light easterly wind.   A calm, sunny and warm day but not good for birds with only single Black Kite and a female Marsh Harrier, 2 Swallows, 6 Bee-eaters a Greenfinch, 2 Goldfinches and 15 Linnets seen. Ringing not much better with single Robin and Subalpine Warbler ringed.

 

Mid morning a flock of 4 Cormorants flew north over town. There were another two feeding at Europa Point, and one resting on rocks at Little Bay.

 

 

01 Apr: Clear skies with some high cloud. Winds north-westerly, becoming west in the afternoon.   Steady though slow passage of raptors throughout the day, but numbers picked up in the afternoon for a total of 1460 Black Kites, 3 Egyptian Vultures, 2 Griffon Vultures, 19 Short-toed Eagles, 25 Marsh Harriers, 4 Montagu's Harriers, 70 Sparrowhawks, 206 Booted Eagles, a Lesser Spotted Eagle, 6 Ospreys 3 Kestrels and 2 Lesser Kestrels. Also seen were 22 Black Storks, 12 Purple Herons, 30 Cormorants, 2 Ravens, 10 Swallows, 50 Red-rumped Swallows, 10 House Martins, 2 Sand Martins, 65 Bee-eaters, 3 Alpine Swifts, 3 Yellow Wagtails, 14 Meadow Pipits, 2 Chaffinches, 6 Serins, 15 Greenfinches, 66 Goldfinches and 40 Linnets.

 

Conditions again poor for ringing with only three birds ringed; a Robin, a Sardinian Warbler and a Willow Warbler.

 

A flock of 20 Flamingoes flew north along the east side of the Rock. A Woodchat Shrike was seen at Commonwealth Park and a Hoopoe flew into a tree at the Calpe Rowing Club.

 

 

 

 

March

 

31 Mar: Clear skies with a light easterly wind, becoming light variable, becoming moderate south-westely in the afternoon.    At 14:00 raptors begun to approach the Rock from the Strait, with a steady passage of birds till the late evening, when most of the Marsh Harriers made an appearence. In total there were 590 Black Kites, 3 Short-toed Eagles, 30 Marsh Harriers, 4 Montagu's Harriers, 26 Sparrowhawks, 69 Booted Eagles and 6 Ospreys. Also seen were 24 Black Storks, 40 Bee-eaters, 6 Swallows and 20 Goldfinches.

 

The ringing operation was again slow, due mainly to clear skies, but 14 birds were ringed that included a Song Thrush, 5 Robins, single Woodchat Shrike, Blackcap, Sardinian Warbler, and Bonelli's Warbler, and 5 Chiffchaffs.

 

There were 2 Bonelli's Warblers, a Whitethroat and a Woodchat Shrike in the Botanic Gardens.

 

 

At dawn two Scops Owl and a Red-necked Nightjar were heard calling, in the vicinity of Parson's Lodge Battery.

 

30 Mar: Clear skies with a moderate to fresh easterly.  The first Bee-eaters, a flock of 18, were seen heading north. Also recorded were 36 Linnets and 4 Serins.

 

Fourteen birds were ringed at the Observatory and included 2 Robins, single Blue Tit, Woodchat Shrike, Nightingale, Blackcap, Bonelli's Warblers, Chiffchaff, Subalpine Warbler, 3 Linnets and 2 Greenfinches.

 

29 Mar: Cloudy with levanter cloud over the town and harbour, clearing by mid afternoon to give some sunny spells. with a moderate easterly wind. Only three raptors were seen in unfavourable wind conditions. These were single Booted Eagle and Sparrowhawk, and 2 Marsh Harriers. Also seen were 94 Swallows, 1 Red-rumped Swallow, 27 Linnets and an Alpine Swift.

 

Ringing at the Observatory improved, with levanter conditions, and 20 new birds were ringed.    included a very early Red-necked Nightjar, a Blackbird, 3 Robins, a Nightingale, 4 Blackcaps, 3 Bonelli's Warblers, 2 Willow Warblers, an Iberian Chiffchaff, a Sardinian Warbler, a Subalpine Warbler, a Goldfinch and a Linnet.

 

28 Mar: Clear skies with a light easterly wind.  Sixteen birds were ringed at the Observatory, and improvement since the last weeks tally. These included a Blackbird, 2 Robins, the first Nightingale of the season, 3 Blackcaps, 4 Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, 2 Iberian Chiffchaffs and 2 Bonelli's Warblers.

 

Two Woodchat Shrikes were present at North Front Cemetery.

 

27 Mar:  Clear skies with a light southerly to south west turning to light variable.    raptors migrated up the centre of the Strait, with only a trickle over the Rock that included 9 Black Kites, a Short-toed Eagle, 9 Booted Eagles, 4 Marsh Harriers, 2 Ospreys, a Kestrel, and the first Hobby of the season. Also seen were 2 Swallows, 4 Chaffinches and a Meadow Pipit.

 

Another Scops Owl was found dead at New Harbours, having presumably hit a reflective glass window. This follows from another one found dead at the same location on the 7th March.

 

Seven birds were ringed at the Observatory and included a Robin, a Blackcap, 2 Willow Warblers, 2 Chiffchaffs and a Collared Dove.  A control Blackcap ringed in Holland was also recorded.

 

26 Mar: Clear skies with a light variable wind turning to light to moderate easterly in the afternoon, but changing to westerly in the evening and becoming overcast with constant rain.

 

At the Observatory only two birds ringed; a Robin and a Chiffchaff. Still very poor.

 

A Cormorant was resting on the rocks at Little Bay, and offshore at Europa Point, 2 Gannets, 3 Black-headed Gulls, 5 Sandwich Terns and a Razorbill.

 

25 Mar: Clear skies with a fresh south wind, becoming light and turning to light south easterly. During the outing to the Europa foreshore, very few birds were seen. Among these were a Chiffchaff, a Meadow Pipit and a Hoopoe at the foreshore, 4 Gannets and several Sandwich Terns offshore, and 10 Black-headed Gulls, and a first-winter Mediterranean Gull below the Point. Later a flock of 8 Mediterranean Gulls flew west.

 

Finially one bird ringed; a Chiffchaff.

 

Four Grey Herons were seen flying south past Westview park at dusk, Two together and then singles.

 

24 Mar: Mainly clear skies with some rain showers approaching during the afternoon. Winds a cold moderate northerly. Only 2 Black Kites and an Osprey were seen all day.

 

Nets open for 5 hours and not a single bird. This spring is turning out to be the worst on record!

 

23 Mar: Cloudy with sunny intervals and some rain showers in the area. Winds, a cold and fresh north-westerly. A flock of 30 Flamingoes were observed flying west past Europa Point.

 

Only three birds ringed; a Blackcap, a Willow Warbler and a Greenfinch.

 

At the Observatory, a steady passage of raptors throughout the day produced 500 Black Kites, 7 Short-toed Eagles, 14 Marsh Harriers, 58 Booted Eagles, 25 Sparrowhawks, and 3 Kestrels. Also seen were 21 Black Storks, 22 Swallows, 27 Red-rumped Swallows, and 5 Common Swifts; the first of the year.

 

Three Woodchat Shrikes were present at the North Front Cemetery, and a Common Redstart was observed in the Nature Reserve.

 

22 Mar: Mainly clear skies with some cloud from the west in the afternoon. Winds moderate westerly becoming north-westerly.  Slow raptor migration due to the northerly air flow resulting in birds having difficulty flying into a headwind. Even so the total for the day was 109 Black Kites, 23 Short-toed Eagles, 2 Marsh Harriers, 11 Booted Eagles and 29 Sparrowhawks. Also seen were 90 White Storks, 8 Black Storks, 30 Swallows, 5 Red-rumped Swallows, a Tawny Pipit, 66 Serins, 6 Goldfinches and a Linnet.

 

No ringing; too windy.

 

21 Mar:  Clear skies with a fresh north-westerly wind. Very windy at the Observatory so no ringing was carried out. Raptor passage was steady throughout the day with 310 Black Kites, 29 Short-toed Eagles, 11 Marsh Harriers, 8 Montagu's Harriers, 60 Booted Eagles, 56 Sparrowhawks, 3 Ospreys, a female Merlin, 3 Kestrels, 5 Lesser Kestrels and 5 Kestrel sp. Also seen were 2 Swallows, 14 Pallid Swifts, 55 Serins and 33 Goldfinches.

 

A Grey Heron was seen over town.

 

20 Mar:   Clear skies with a moderate south-westerly wind. Windy at the netting site and only five birds were ringed that included 2 Blackcaps, and single Sardinian Warbler, Willow Warbler and Goldfinch.

 

A good raptor day with birds constantly crossing the Strait from early morning till sundown. Totals were 1012 Black Kites, 2 Egyptian Vultures, 61 Short-toed Eagles, 10 Marsh Harriers, 3 Montagu's Harriers, 117 Booted Eagles, a Common Buzzard, a Long-legged Buzzard, 47 Sparrowhawks, 5 Ospreys and 3 Kestrels. Also seen were 2 Black Storks, 11 Red-rumped Swallows and 8 Goldfinches.

 

The Hooded Crow was present at Commonwealth Park in the afternoon.

 

19 Mar: Moderate to light easterly winds. Clear skies. Only 2 Swallows, 4 Red-rumped Swallows and 2 Serins were observed at the Observatory.

 

Eleven birds were ringed and included 5 Robins, 4 Blackcaps and single Black Redstart and an Iberian Chiffchaff.

 

18 Mar: A single Osprey, 2 Sparrowhawks and 9 Swallows were the only birds observed heading north from the Observatory.

 

Eleven new birds were ringed in the morning and included a Song Thrush, a Robin, 3 Blackcaps, 3 Willow Warblers, a Chiffchaff and 2 Iberian Chiffchaffs.

 

17 Mar: Some raptors crossed in adverse weather conditions and included 25 Black Kites, 4 Egyptian Vultures, and 4 Marsh Harriers. Also seen were 4 Pallid Swifts, 3 Swallows and a White Wagtail.

 

The Observatory was busy in the morning with 36 new birds ringed. These included a Robin, 2 Song Thrushes, a Blackbird, 2 Common Redstarts, 3 Black Redstarts, a Tree Pipit, 6 Blackcaps, 4 Subalpine Warblers, 6 Chiffchaffs, an Iberian Chiffchaff, 6 Willow Warblers, 2 Chaffinches and a Goldfinch.

 

16 Mar: Levanter cloud over the Rock and the Strait area. Winds strong easterly. Fifteen Cormorants were seen entering the Bay.

 

At the Observatory, there was a slight improvement with 16 birds ringed which included 4 Subalpine Warblers, 4 Chiffchaffs, 3 Iberian Chiffchaffs, and single Robin, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler and Bonelli's Warbler.

 

A Subalpine Warbler was observed at Commonwealth Park.

 

15 Mar: Very windy with easterly gales. Only 2 Blackcaps and a Blue Rock Thrush were trapped and ringed in the morning.

 

A Common Redstart and a Hoopoe were seen in the Botanic Gardens.

 

14 Mar: Rain and easterly gales. Nothing to report.

 

13 Mar: Winds dying down so fewer raptors. Totals were 97 Black Kites, 6 Marsh Harriers, 10Sparrowhawks and an Osprey. Also seen were 22 Swallows, 7 Red-rumped Swallow, 3 Pallid Swifts, 2 Serins and 24 Goldfinches.

 

12 Mar: Fresh westerly winds concentrated raptor passage over the Rock, with 1232 Black Kites, 4 Egyptian Vultures, 111 Short-toed Eagles, 3 Marsh Harriers, a Long-legged Buzzard, 37 Sparrowhawks, 3 Ospreys, a Kestrel, 2 Lesser Kestrel, and a Kestrel sp. Also seen were a single Black Stork, 28 Swallows, a Red-rumped Swallow, 20 House Martins, 2 Pallid Swifts, 8 Greenfinches and 4 Goldfinches.

 

Only six birds were ringed and included 3 Blackcaps, and single Robin, Chiffchaff and Iberian Chiffchaff.

 

11 Mar: A good raptor day with 1092 Black Kites, 2 Egyptian Vultures, 429 Short-toed Eagles, one with a radio tag!, 8 Marsh Harriers, 6 Booted Eagles, 34 Sparrowhawks, a Kestrel, 5 Lesser Kestrels. Also seen were 3 Black Storks, 6 Swallows, 4 Red-rumped Swallows, 5 Pallid Swifts, a Chaffinch, 9 Serins, 20 Greenfinches and 4 Goldfinches. Only three birds were ringed; a Greenfinch and 2 Chaffinches.

 

10 Mar:  Clear skies with a light easterly wind.  Only six birds ringed and included 2 Robins, 2 Chiffchaffs, an Iberian Chiffchaff and a Greenfinch. AnIberian Chiffchaff was also heard calling outside the Observatory.

 

09 Mar: Clear skies with a fresh easterly wind. rather warm for the time of the year, with temperatures reaching 22C.   Only 8 birds were trapped and ringed at the Observatory with 4 Robins, and single Crag Martin, Black Redstart, Chiffchaff and a Subalpine Warbler.

 

A late afternoon visit to Europa Point produced 14 Gannets heading west, 16 Black-headed Gulls and 2 Mediterranean Gulls below the Point, together with 2 Cormorants, and an Audouin's Gull heading east. Around the Point 3 Black Redstarts and a Meadow Pipit were present.

 

08 Mar:  Clear skies first thing in the morning, but by mid morning a heavy levanter set in with fog over the airfield. This cleared by midday to give clear skies and a very warm day. Winds moderate easterly.  A female Subalpine Warbler was photographed at the Botanic Gardens.

 

Female Subalpine Warbler at the Botanic Gardens.                             Photo: Franz-Josef Odinius.©

 

A total of 9 Birds were ringed in the morning, and included 3 Black Redstarts, and single Robin, Blackbird, Blackcap, Blue Tit, Sardinian Warbler and a Dartford Warbler.

 

07 Mar: Clear skies with a light south-westerly breeze.  Most raptor passage took place to the west of the Strait, with only one Short-toed Eagle seen from the Observatory in the afternoon. 

 

A Scops Owl was picked up from St. Bernard's School, and another was found dead at New Harbours.

 

Only six birds ringed at the Observatory this morning and included 2 Blackcaps, 2 Sardinian Warblers, and single Chaffinch and Robin. The Scops Owl was ringed and released in the evening.

 

In the evening at least 50 Pallid Swifts were over the town area.

 

06 Mar: Clear skies with a moderate north-westerly wind, with a south-westerly freshening in the Strait. Only 5 birds were ringed in a gusty morning, and included 3 Robins, and single Crag Martin and a Chiffchaff.

 

Good passage of raptors as the southerly winds picked up, but Black Kite numbers were low. Totals for the day included 94 Black Kites, 3 Egyptian Vultures, 370 Short-toed Eagles, 4 Marsh Harriers, 10 Sparrowhawks, 3 Booted Eagles, a Peregrine, a male Merlin and possibly yesterdays first-year Lanner that flew north over the Observatory and headed down into the urban area.

 

Also seen were 3 White Storks, 23 Swallows, 5 Red-rumped Swallows, 3 Pallid Swifts and 6 Serins.

 

 

A Hoopoe was seen in the Botanic Gardens.

 

05 Mar:  Cloudy skies with afew sunny spells in the morning. Winds fresh northerly, becoming westerly by midday, and turning to south-westerly in the afternoon. A few Black Kites came through at first light, but no other raptors were seen until mid morning when some begun to approach the Rock, as winds changed direction. The just after 13:00hrs a spectacular passage of raptors came across the Strait on a broad front, and involved several species. Black Kites stopped passing in the late afternoon, but Short-toed Eagles continued to cross into the evening. Many raptors were missed as they headed along the east side of the Rock, and the volume of birds made the count difficult.

 

The total number of birds included 3560 Black Kites, 937 Short-toed Eagles, 3 Griffon Vultures, 16 Egyptian Vultures, 8 Marsh Harriers, 13 Sparrowhawks, a Buzzard, a Booted Eagle, an Osprey, 5 Common Kestrels, 3 Lesser Kestrel and a first year Lanner. Also seen were 130 White Storks, 217 Black Storks, 18 Swallows, 15 Red-rumped Swallows, 43 House Martins and 2 Yellow Wagtails.

 

 

 

Two of the 900+ Short-toed Eagles on migration today                   Photo: T. Finlayson.©

 

 

Two Hoopoes were present in the Botanic Gardens, and a Subalpine Warbler was picked up inside a building at the frontier customs post, and later flew away.

 

At Europa Point 80 Black-headed Gulls were present below the Point, a small passage of Gannets heading out of the Mediterranean, an Audouins Gull and a Lesser Black-backed Gull heading west, 8 Sandwich Terns, and 2 Cormorants feeding.

 

04 Mar:  Overcast skies with some sunny spells early in the morning, closing in as a frontal system came through the Strait giving constant rain since 11am.  Gale force south-westerly wind throughout the day, dropping by evening.  A spectacular passage of Black Kites started at first light with many flocks crossing before the weather closed in. It was surprising to see the raptors cross in gale conditions, but they were determined to get across. Totals for the day up to 11am when the rains stopped passage, was 3251 Black Kites 4 Marsh Harriers and an Osprey.

 

A Hoopoe was seen at Signal Station Road. Two Pallid Swifts were seen over town.

 

At Europa Point only 40 Black-headed Gulls were present, with two Mediterranean Gulls, an Audouins Gull, a Great Skua, and a Lesser Black-backed Gull.

 

03 Mar: Cloudy skies with some sunny spells. Winds moderate north-westerly to westerly.  There was some raptor passage throughout the day with a total of 338 Black Kites, 16 Short-toed Eagles, an Egyptian Vulture, a Lesser Kestrel and 2 Kestrel sp. Also seen were 21 White Storks, 23 Black Storks, 3 Swallows, 8 House Martins, 2 Pallid Swifts, 3 Greenfinches, a Goldfinch and 2 Linnets.

 

Only single Blackcap, Black Redstart and Chaffinch were ringed.

 

02 Mar:   Cloudy skies with a light to moderate easterly wind clearing after midday and winds becoming light later. A Hoopoe was seen near Rosia, and seven were on Windmill Hill. A Grey Heron was present in the harbour.  A slight improvement to the ringing total this morning 0f 17 birds that included 2 Crag Martins, 4 Robins, 3 Black Redstarts, 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 Sardinian Warblers, and single Blackcap, Iberian Chiffchaff and a male Stonechat.

 

A total of 96 Scopoli's Shearwater, in three flocks, were seen entering the Mediterranean in the morning.

 

01 Mar: Mainly clear skies with a light variable to light westerly wind. Only 2 Swallows were seen today, with a Hoopoe seen near the car park.  Ringing remains poor with only 9 birds ringed that included 3 Crag Martins, 4 Robins, and single Collared Dove and a Song Thrush.

 

 

 

February

 

 

28 Feb: Mainly clear skies with a moderate north-westerly wind. The Saharan dust seems to have cleared, and visibility has improved.  Another poor day of ringing with only seven birds ringed and included 2 Robins, 4 Crag Martins and a House Martin.

 

It was very quiet with hardly any raptors during the day with only 2 Black Kites and a Sparrowhawk until the late afternoon, when suddenly large numbers of raptors decided to make a crossing until late evening. In total 783 Black Kites, 21 Short-toed Eagles, 4 Sparrowhawks, 2 Lesser Kestrels and a Booted Eagle were counted. Also seen were 2 Black Storks, 90 Swallows, 24 Red-rumped Swallows, 193 House Martins,2 Sand Martins, 18 Serins and 2 Woodlarks were observed heading north.

 

 

 

The data from the Black-headed Gull Z17T seen on the 26th February, has now been received.

 

 

27 Feb: Cloudy skies with some sunny spells. Winds moderate north-westerly.   At the Observatory, a small passage of raptors were seen and included 62 Black Kites, 9 Short-toed Eagles and an adult Egyptian Vulture. Also seen was a good flock of 310 White Storks, 53 Swallows, 12 Red-rumped Swallows, 11 House Martins, 2 Meadow Pipits, 27 Serins and a Goldfinch.

 

Northerly airflow seems to be stalling passerine migration, and only 2 Crag Martins and a male Black Redstart were ringed at the Observatory.

 

A Hoopoe was seen at Europa Point, and 2 Cormorants were present at this site.

 

26 Feb: Mainly clear skies with a light variable to  light south-westerly wind. Very misty again. A single Sparrowhawk and a Black Kite were seen heading north in the morning. Also seen were 5 Red-rumped Swallows, 2 Swallows, 4 Serins, and single Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Linnet.

 

Again another quiet day at the ringing station with only 6 Crag Martins and an Iberian Chiffchaff ringed. Another two Iberian Chiffchaffs were heard at the ringing site.

 

An Eagle Owl was seen and photographed on the airfield runway last night.

 

A surprising visitor to the airfield runway; an Eagle Owl.                                     Photo: B. Slater.©

 

 

At Europa Point 180 Black-headed Gulls were resting on the cliffs with some feeding below the Point. Also present there were 14 Mediterranean Gulls, with single adult Lesser Black-backed Gull, Sandwich Tern and 2 Audouin's Gulls heading west. Among the Mediterranean Gulls present on the cliff was 32A9, that was previously recorded from this site on the 28th January (See 31st Jan for more details of this bird). Also present were two Black-headed Gulls with white colour rings.    T39J was again present, last seen on 28th January, and a new colour ringed bird, Z17T.

 

The Black-headed Gull T39J again resting at Europa Point.                              Photo: J. Sanchez.©

 

Black-headed Gull Z71T new to Europa Point.                                                          Photo: C. Perez©

 

The Mediterranean Gull 32A9 back again at Europa Point.                                      Photo: C. Perez.©

 

25 Feb: Mainly clear skies, but very misty in the Strait, as Africa was not visible. Winds light north-westerly becoming light to moderate westerly, and dropping in the afternoon.  Very quiet at the ringing site with very few birds apparent. Only single Robin, Blackcap and Serin ringed.

 

Raptor passage started early in the morning and continued until mid afternoon when passage stopped due to lighter winds. The total of raptors counted included 546 Black Kites, an adult Egyptian Vulture, 62 Short-toed Eagles, a male Marsh Harrier and 2 Booted Eagles. Also seen from the Observatory were 4 Swallows, 8 Red-rumped Swallows, 17 House Martins, a Sand Martin, 3 Meadow Pipits, a Woodlark, a Chaffinch, 92 Serins, 3 Greenfinches, 2 Linnets and an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull.

 

24 Feb: Cloudy with sunny periods throughout the day Winds north westerly becoming westerly.  A White Wagtail and several Chiffchaffs were present in oak trees at Commonwealth Park.

 

At the Observatory a total of 8 new birds were ringed and included 3 Crag Martins, 2 Blackcaps, and single Song Thrush, Chiffchaff and Iberian Chiffchaff.

 

Some raptors headed north in the morning but passage stopped in the afternoon.   A total of 66 Black Kites, 2 Egyptian Vultures, 63 Short-toed Eagles and a Sparrowhawk were recorded. Also seen were 18 Swallows, 3 Serins and 5 Greenfinches.

 

A visit to North front Cemetery produced 5 Black Redstarts, a Hoopoe, a Song Thrush, 2 Stonechats, 3 Chiffchaffs, a Blackcap, 5 Goldfinch and a Cattle Egret.

 

23 Feb: Some rain showers early in the morning, clearing to give a bright sunny day. Winds moderate westerly, becoming light in the afternoon. Some diurnal passage of birds were seen from the Observatory in the morning and included a total of 184 Black Kites, 18 Swallows, 15 Red-rumped Swallows, 3 House Martins, 6 Greenfinches, and 9 Serins.  Very quiet at the ringing site where 6 Crag Martins, and single Blackbird and Robin were ringed. A Hoopoe was observed in the vicinity of the Observatory and single Hoopoes were also present at the Botanic Gardens and at Commonwealth Park.

 

At Europa Point, in calm conditions in the afternoon, few birds were about, with only 15 Black-headed Gulls feeding below the Point, including a ringed bird that was presumably the Polish bird with the white ring, and a first-winter Mediterranean Gull that flew west. Also seen were single Cormorant and Shag west, and offshore among a pod of feeding Dolphins, were 30 Scopoli's Shearwaters, 4 adult Mediterranean Gulls 4 Sandwich Terns, 20 Gannets, two Razorbills flying west and single Audouin's Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull heading east.

 

22 Feb:  Overcast with a strong easterly wind. A quiet day at the Observatory with only a handful of nets opened that produced 2 Robin, Blackbird and 7 Crag Martins. A Hoopoe was seen on the Upper Rock Nature Reserve.

 

A Cirl Bunting was seen at Princess Caroline's Battery, and the earliest recorded Bonelli's Warbler was observed at the top Cable Car Station.

 

Six Scopoli's Shearwaters were offshore at Europa Point.

 

21 Feb: Cloudy but dry with a gale force easterly wind. Nine birds were trapped at the Observatory and consisted of single Blackbird, Blue Tit, a Chiffchaff and 3 Crag Martins. Also trapped were a Wryneck that was ringed in the autumn of 2014, and a Blue Rock Thrush that was ringed in 2015.

 

20 Feb: Overcast with some light showers. Winds strong to gale force easterly.  Only a few nets were up today at the Observatory. It accounted for single Black Redstart and a nice Grey Wagtail at the pond.  In the evening, the pond net surprisingly caught 5 Crag Martins, on their way to the roost.  Three Swallows flew north after midday.

 

19 Feb: Overcast with heavy rain showers throughout the day. Winds fresh easterly.  At least 21 Swallows flew north past the Observatory in the early morning.

 

18 Feb: Overcast skies in the morning becoming bright and sunny in the afternoon with some high cloud. Winds light easterly becoming light southerly in the afternoon and evening.  A Hoopoe was observed in the Botanic Gardens in the morning.

 

A Hoopoe at the Botanic Gardens.                                               Photo: Franz-Josef Odinius.©

 

An afternoon watch at Europa Point produced 80 Scopoli's Shearwaters in two flocks, heading into the Mediterranean. Also seen were 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, an adult Audouin's Gull, and 5 Gannets heading east. A Great Skua flew west and put up the 40 Black-headed Gulls that were feeding below the Point.

 

A total of 14 new birds were ringed at the Observatory and included 5 Robins, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Greenfinches, and single Sardinian Warbler, Blackbird, Swallow, Goldfinch and Serin.

 

At least 6 Swallows and 3 Serins flew north past the Observatory.

 

17 Feb: 14 Feb:  Overcast with a moderate easterly wind. During a brief period in the morning 2 Black Kites, an adult Egyptian Vulture, 5 Swallows and 6 Sand Martins flew north.A Cattle Egret was present at North front Cemetery, where it was seen hunting lizards.

 

The ringing programme at the Observatory got underway today, with the top nets rides erected and only two in the lower net rides, as vegetation management was required to clear some of the areas.  A total of 12 birds were ringed in the morning with 4 Robins, 4 Crag Martins, and single Blackbird, Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap and a Chiffchaff.

 

13 Feb: Overcast with heavy rain showers most of the morning, with some breaks and showers in the afternoon, and some sunny spells towards the evening. Winds light westerly, becoming west-north-west. In the late afternoon 2 Marsh Harriers flew north over the Observatory.

 

12 Feb: Overcast with heavy rain overnight, but ceased during the morning, and resuming in the afternoon and evening. Winds Light southerly becoming light to moderate easterly. A quick visit to Europa Point in the morning produced 25 Black-headed Gulls feeding below the Point with an adult Mediterranean Gull, and 2 Cormorants. An adult Audouin's Gull flew east .

 

11 Feb:  Overcast with heavy rain early in the early morning, ceasing by mid morning and brightening a little. With some showers throughout the afternoon and evening.  Winds light westerly.  A late morning watch from Europa Point produced 9 Balearic Shearwaters west, small movment of Gannets out of the Mediterranean, 40 Black-headed Gulls and 2 Cormorants feeding below the Point, 12 Mediterranean Gulls east, with 8 first-winter and 4 adults, a Lesser-Black Backed Gull and 2 adult Audouin's Gulls east, and a Great Skua west.

 

09 Feb:  Mainly high cloud with hazy sunshine. Winds moderate easterly. The Hoopoe remained in the Botanic Gardens, and another was seen on Windmill Hill. Another 2 Hoopoes were observed at Middle Hill.

 

08 Feb: Clear skies with a light westerly wind becoming light variable in the evening. The Hoopoe remained in the Botanic Gardens.

 

07 Feb: Clear skies with a moderate westerly wind. The Hoopoe was again seen at the Botanic Gardens.

 

06 Feb: Clear skies with a light westerly wind. The first Hoopoe of the year was seen in the Botanic Gardens.

 

Six Swallows flew north in the afternoon over the Observatory.

 

04 Feb:  Cloudy with some sunny spells in the morning, and the occasional light drizzle. Winds fresh west turning to south-west in the afternoon.  A steady migration of Gannets out of the Mediterranean was observed from Europa Point , with over 180 birds in an hour, in the late morning. Also seen were 190 Black-headed Gulls, 4 adult Mediterranean Gulls resting on the sea offshore, 3 Great Skuas west, 3 Shags heading east, 2 Cormorants in the area, 4 adult Lesser-black-backed Gulls and 2 third-winter and a second- winter Audouin's Gull heading west, a Sandwich Tern, three Serins arriving across the Strait with a Swallow, and a Greenfinch.

 

03 Feb: Mainly overcast with some rain showers and drizzle during the day, clearing in the late afternoon. Winds westerly.

 

An 3rd year Mediterranean Gull with a green colour ring on the left leg, and a metal ring above the tarsus of the right leg, was photographed on the cliff at Europa Point. The ring is not in the right orientation to determine the code, but it is believed to come from the French ringing scheme.

 

A 3rd year Mediterranean Gull at Europa Point cliffs with a french colour ring.      Photo: C. Horrocks.©

 

 

02 Feb:   Cloudy skies as a frontal system sweeps across the Iberian Peninsular, bringing some light drizzle in the late morning and afternoon. Winds fresh west to south-west.   There has been a significant decline in the number of Robins wintering in the Botanic Gardens in the last few days. As weather conditions improved, after the cold snap of last week, there seems to have been a exodus of this species.

 

Single Grey and White Wagtail were present at Commonwealth Park, and the Hooded Crow was back there this morning.

 

01 Feb: Mainly clear skies with a light easterly wind. The Hooded Crow was back at Europa Point.

 

January

 

 

31 Jan:  Cloudy skies with a moderate easterly wind with sunny spells in the late afternoon.

 

Details of the Mediterranean Gull 32A9 have been obtained and it is interesting to note that the bird spent late last year in Gijon, Asturias in Spain and then moved down to the Straits.

 

 


Colour Code of ring Leg Ringing scheme Metal ring Age of bird Ringing date Ringing location Ringer
White 32A9 left Arnhem 3693795 pullus 24/06/2010 De Kreupel Island, Ijsselmeer, Noord-Holland, NL 52,48N 5,14E Majoor, Frank


Sightings for individual: 31111


White 32A9 p 26/02/2013 Playa Benitez, Ceuta, Cádiz, SPAIN 35,53N 5,18W Guirado Moya, Andrea
White 32A9 p 17/12/2014 Playa Benitez, Ceuta, Cádiz, SPAIN 35,53N 5,18W Guirado Moya, Andrea
White 32A9 p 20/12/2014 Punta Bermeja, Ceuta, SPAIN 35,54N 5,21W Rodriguez, Joaquin
White 32A9 p 17/01/2015 Playa Benitez, Ceuta, Cádiz, SPAIN 35,53N 5,18W Rodriguez, Joaquin
White 32A9 v 29/06/2015 Chaumont-sur-Loire, Loir et Cher, France 47,28N 1,1E Rayer, Fabrice
White 32A9 p 07/11/2016 Playa San Lorenzo, Gijón, Asturias, SPAIN 43,32N 5,39W Fernandez Gonzalez, César
White 32A9 p 07/11/2016 Playa San Lorenzo, Gijón, Asturias, SPAIN 43,32N 5,39W Julián Rufino Gómez
White 32A9 p 08/11/2016 Playa de El Rinconin, Gijón, Asturias, SPAIN 43,32N 5,38W Fernandez Gonzalez, César
White 32A9 p 08/11/2016 Playa de El Rinconin, Gijón, Asturias, SPAIN 43,32N 5,38W Julián Rufino Gómez
White 32A9 p 18/11/2016 Playa San Lorenzo, Gijón, Asturias, SPAIN 43,32N 5,39W Fernandez Gonzalez, César
White 32A9 v 22/11/2016 Playa San Lorenzo, Gijón, Asturias, SPAIN 43,32N 5,39W Fernandez Gonzalez, César
White 32A9 p 25/11/2016 Playa San Lorenzo, Gijón, Asturias, SPAIN 43,32N 5,39W Fernandez Gonzalez, César
White 32A9 P 26/11/2016 Playa San Lorenzo, Gijón, Asturias, SPAIN 43,32N 5,39W Diaz Pallares, Ivan
White 32A9 P 26/11/2016 Playa San Lorenzo, Gijón, Asturias, SPAIN 43,32N 5,39W Fernandez Gonzalez, César
White 32A9 p 04/12/2016 Playa San Lorenzo, Gijón, Asturias, SPAIN 43,32N 5,39W Fernandez Gonzalez, César
White 32A9 v 05/12/2016 Bay of Gijón, Asturias, Oviedo, SPAIN 43,32N 5,38W Barrueso Franco, José
White 32A9 p 06/12/2016 Playa San Lorenzo, Gijón, Asturias, SPAIN 43,32N 5,39W Fernandez Gonzalez, César
White 32A9 v 09/12/2016 Playa San Lorenzo, Gijón, Asturias, SPAIN 43,32N 5,39W Fernandez Gonzalez, César
White 32A9 v 09/12/2016 Playa San Lorenzo, Gijón, Asturias, SPAIN 43,32N 5,39W Julián Rufino Gómez
White 32A9 p 12/12/2016 Playa San Lorenzo, Gijón, Asturias, SPAIN 43,32N 5,39W Fernandez Gonzalez, César
White 32A9 p 23/01/2017 Gibraltar, Europa point, GIBRALTAR 36,07N 5,21W Colorado, Alex
White 32A9 v 28/01/2017 Gibraltar, Europa point, GIBRALTAR 36,07N 5,21W Perez, Charles


Total number of sightings : 22

 

30 Jan:  Mainly sunny throughout with some wisps of levanter cloud in the morning over the Rock and town, but soon disappearing in the afternoon. Winds light easterly.  At Europa Point, a Dartford Warbler was present in scrub vegetation, whilst on the foreshore 7 Turnstones were present.

 

29 Jan: Clear skies with a moderate westerly wind. A Griffon Vulture flew south over the Rock, but later returned north and flew into Spain. A Razorbill was present in the Harbour waters.

 

28 Jan:  Clear skies with a moderate north-westerly wind. At Europa Point at least 145 Black-headed Gulls were resting and feeding at the Point, and included the ringed Black-headed Gull T39J, and the ringed adult Mediterranean Gull 32A9. In the afternoon, a few Gannets were feeding offshore, but no Black-headed Gulls were present.   o present at Europa Point and Europa foreshore were single White Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Common Kestrel and the Hooded Crow.

 

A Common Sandpiper was seen feeding at Western Beach.

 

An Alpine Accentor was seen at the Apes Den.

 

A Barbary Partridge with four chicks was photographed by Richard Harman, on the road leading up from Lathbury towards Jews' Gate. This extraordinary record of such early breeding is unprecedented. The chicks, which appear to be at least four weeks old, must have hatched in late December, and the clutch laid well before that in late November or early December.

 

An extraordinary record of Barbary Partridge with four chicks in winter.      Photo: R. Harman.©

 

 

27 Jan: Cloudy skies with occasional rain showers in the morning clearing by late afternoon and evening. The were single Cormorant, Hooded Crow and a White Wagtail at Commonwealth Park.

 

A Black Kite flew north in the early afternoon as the weather improved.

 

24 Jan: Clear skies with a moderate to fresh west to north-west wind. A Firecrest was observed at the Botanic Gardens, and a Cattle Egret was present at the North Front Cemetery.

 

Cattle Egret at the North Front Cemetery.                     Photo: L. Torres.©

 

 

23 Jan:  Clear skies with a moderate west to north-west wind. There were 150 Black-headed Gulls at Europa Point together with an adult and a first-winter Mediterranean Gull. The former was sporting a white colour ring with the letters 32A9 on the left leg and a metal ring on the right leg.

 

Adult Mediterranean Gull with a white colour ring 32A9 on the left leg and a metal ring on the right.     Photos:A. Colorado.©

 

 

22 Jan: Clear skies with a moderate to fresh westerly wind turning to north-westerly in the afternoon. The first Black Kite of the season was seen heading north.

 

At least 2 possibly 3 Alpine Accentors were were relocated at St. Michael's Road in the afternoon.

 

Two possibly three Alpine Accentors at St. Michael's at Road.                 Photos: D. Sciacaluga.©

 

The Cormorant was back at the pond in Commonwealth Park feeding on the smaller Koi Carp.

 

The Cormorant, back again at Commonwealth Park, feeding on the Koi Carp.            Photos: J. Sanchez.©

 

20 Jan: Clear skies with a moderate north-westerly wind. A Griffon Vulture was seen heading north over Rock Gun at midday.

 

17 Jan: Clear skies with a light easterly becoming northerly in the afternoon. Two Griffon Vultures flew north over Rock Gun at midday.

 

16 Jan: Clear skies with a moderate and cold easterly wind.  The Hooded Crow was again present at Commonwealth Park, and a Grey Heron and Cormorant were seen over the Harbour.

 

A flock of 8 Greater Flamingoes were seen off Eastern beach at midday heading north-west.

 

A flock of 9 Glossy Ibises flew north over Euopa Point in the afternoon.

 

 

Part of the flock of 9 Glossy Ibises and a crop of the photo.                            Photos: C. Finlayson.©

 

15 Jan: Clear skies with a light easterly.  Only 2 Alpine Accentors remained at the site, where three had been seen the previous day.  Photographers took the opportunity to snap a few pictures, although the birds stayed in the shade by the Charles V Wall.

 

 

One of the three Alpine Accentors seen at the Ape's Den firebreak