EuroBirdwatch 2018

GONHS celebrated the 25th EuroBirdwatch last weekend, a Europe-wide event organised by BirdLife International to highlight bird migration and conservation.  The event has been celebrated in Gibraltar every year since 1993, when it began.  

The events started off at sunrise with a bird walk up to Jew's Gate led by Keith Bensusan, who highlighted migratory birds that were present along the way including Blackcaps and Robins. Participants were then able to see the ringing that takes place at our field station, which at this time of the year is headed by Ray Marsh.  Members of the public were shown the process involved in measuring and ringing a bird, including how the birds are extracted from the mist nets. Some of the children present were even able to release the birds after they had been ringed and processed.

A small group of Barbary Partridges were also present around the field station, which afforded some really close up views of these stunning birds.  Some ringing highlights included a large migratory movement of Blackcaps, including a Blackcap that had been ringed in Belgium earlier in the year, highlighting effectively how migratory birds travel between countries and do not know borders.  It was stressed to those attending that, unlike throughout most of the Mediterranean, all hunting of birds is illegal in Gibraltar and no illegal hunting or trapping takes place on the Rock.

A Robinson moth trap was also run at Jews' Gate where we recorded around 50 species of moths, including two Death's-head Hawkmoths Acherontia atrops. This feature of the event, which we hold every year, proved to be very popular with the children.

The event continued in the afternoon at Europa Point with a seabird watch. Some 400 Cory’s Shearwaters that vied for flying fish with Common Dolphins and Bluefin Tuna could be seen off Europa Point.  This impressive spectacle has become an annual event during EuroBirdwatch, but this year the feeding frenzy was further from the shore than usual.

 

The day's events were attended by some fifty people in total, with 837 birds recorded. The same events are planned for 2019, with the addition of a bird of prey display at Commonwealth Park, where the hazards of migration for raptors will be highlighted.

 

Jews' Gate Field Station ready to welcome members of the public

Jews' Gate Field Station ready to welcome members of the public

Bird ringing station at Jews' Gate

Bird ringing station at Jews' Gate

European Nightjar

European Nightjar

European Nightjar

European Nightjar

Releasing a Robin

Releasing a Robin

Blackcap perched on one of the ringers!

Blackcap perched on one of the ringers!

Barbary Partridge at Jews' Gate

Barbary Partridge at Jews' Gate

Male Blackcap in the hand

Male Blackcap in the hand

Wren in the hand

Wren in the hand

Moth trapping at Jews' Gate

Moth trapping at Jews' Gate

Death's-head Hawkmoth

Death's-head Hawkmoth

Selection of GONHS material

Selection of GONHS material

Seabird watch at Europa Point

Seabird watch at Europa Point

Kestrel Flies Again

Kestrel Flies Again

The Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society (GONHS)
 
Press Release
4 December 2019

On the 25 October 2019 a female Common Kestrel was brought ashore at the Port of Gibraltar from the visiting cruise ship P&O Arcadia. It had been seeking refuge on one of the ship’s decks after the vessel had sailed through bad weather in the Strait of Gibraltar.
 
The bird was found by one of the passengers on board and was seen to be suffering from starvation and in an extremely weak condition.
 
It was originally handed in to staff at the Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park, which in turn handed it over to the GONHS Raptor Unit, which continued with its care and rehabilitation.
 
The Kestrel spent a month at the rehabilitation centre and was released on the 25th November after recovering fully from its ordeal.

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Bryophytes & Lichens Outing

Bryophytes & Lichens Outing

The Bryophytes and lichens outing took place on Saturday 16th November, with a cold 9˚C start to the morning.  This however did not stop the eager few who attended.

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GONHS visits Notre Dame First School

GONHS visits Notre Dame First School

In the latest in a series of visits to local schools, GONHS Raptor Unit’s section head, Vincent Robba, visited Notre Dame First School.

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Gibraltar Bird Report 2018  online

Gibraltar Bird Report 2018 online

Welcome to the 2018 issue of the Gibraltar Bird Report.

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Eurobirdwatch 2019 a success

Eurobirdwatch 2019 a success

Over 500 participants attended a successful Eurobirdwatch 2019.  With groups at Jews' Gate, Commonwealth Park and at Europa Point in the afternoon.

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GONHS Election Wish List

GONHS Election Wish List

GONHS has released their wish list for the upcoming general election on 17th October.

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Invertebrate Safari Outing

Invertebrate Safari Outing

Our September outing, which took place on the 14th, was an Invertebrate Safari around the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens, led by Invertebrates Section head Dr Rhian Guillem.

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International Bat Night 2019

International Bat Night 2019

The 12th International Bat Night was held on the 28th August at the John Mackintosh Hall, which proved to be a great sucess.

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