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

EuroBirdwatch 2018

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.  

Read more

GONHS at BirdFair

GONHS at BirdFair

The Society was represented by our hard-working council member Jill Yeoman, at the Bird Fair held at Egleton Nature Reserve at Rutland Water, Oakham from the 17th - 19th August. 

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Rare Plants of Inglis Way

Rare Plants of Inglis Way

By this time of the year (June) many plant species on the Rock are already going to seed and everything seems to be drying up, but there are still some interesting plants which are fully in bloom. A number of these can be found along Inglis Way, and some only here and nowhere else in the Upper Rock.

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Sierra Crestellina Outing

Sierra Crestellina Outing

April's GONHS outing took place at the beautiful mountains of Sierra Crestellina, near the town of Casares, Spain.

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Brazo del Este Outing

Brazo del Este Outing

May's GONHS outing took place last weekend on a birding bonanza to Brazo del Este, Seville.  Those who attended were in for a treat!

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African Chaffinch recorded again in Gibraltar.

African Chaffinch recorded again in Gibraltar.

An African Chaffinch was present in the Nature Reserve at the end of last month.  The bird, an African subspecies of the nominate race of European Chaffinch, found in north Africa, has rarely been recorded in Europe.

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Gibraltar Swallow found in Angola

Gibraltar Swallow found in Angola

A Barn Swallow, ringed at the Field Centre at Jews' Gate, was found in Chibia, Angola.  The Swallow, ringed on the 16th October 2017, flew into the window of a house in the town of Chibia in Angola on the 20th March 2018.

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Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers

Spring is now well underway, and with it comes a spectacular display of flowering plants on the Rock.

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