Wintering Seabirds Outing

Our first outing of the year took place on Saturday 19th January at Harding's Observation Post, Europa Point.

Despite the forecast, the rain held off for the most part but the dark clouds and offshore breeze were not conducive to a great afternoon's birding.

The outing was poorly attended, with a handful of observers making the best of it. The sewage outlet below the lighthouse had attracted nearly 200 Black-headed Gulls (Chroicocephalus ridibundus), with many resting on the cliff above, among the clumps of Gibraltar Sea Lavender. 

 

 

Black-headed Gull in winter plumage.                                                         Photo:  R. Risso.

 

Great Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) were seen fishing right in the muck, with the gulls pattering the surface, searching for food. In the clearer water further away from shore, Northern Gannets (Morus bassanus) dived for fish. Most were adults but several immature and juvenile birds reproduced the field guide's range of age plumages for us.

Adult Gannet.                                                                                                           Photo:  R. Risso.

Further offshore we were able to spot three small flocks of endangered Balearic Shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus), flying towards the West. 

Balearic Shearwater.                                                                                                Photo:  T. Finlayson. 

 

An unusual but most welcome sighting were 10 Common House Martins (Delichon urbicum) arriving from having crossed the Strait, the first migrants of this year's northward passage.

An adult and first-winter Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus) were also seen. It also a delight to see several passes by local Mediterranean Shags (Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmarestii), two of which were immature birds. It was reassuring to witness evidence of recent, successful breeding of this marine species.

 

Our next outing will be further afield, to La Janda in Cadiz, Spain on the 16th February.

 

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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