Raptor Rescue

The 25th May was specially hectic for the number of raptors that fell into the sea.  Most of these are young non-breeding and inexperienced birds that fall foul of windy conditions in the Strait.

The day started with fresh westerly winds in the Strait providing ideal conditions for migrating raptors.  Early in the morning numbers of Honey Buzzards made their way north, arriving at Europa Point at a good altitude, and then soaring over Windmill Hill and gaining height on the up-draughts soaring over the Rock and heading north.  By mid morning, conditions for large soaring birds, mainly Griffon Vultures and Short-toed Eagles, were optimal.  The first flock of vultures of about five birds, managed the gauntlet of Yellow-legged Gulls and the Peregrines and quickly passed low over the Observatory.  Several Short-toed eagles followed, and these were harried by the Peregrine, but most managed to avoid the falcon.  Then by 11:00hrs a large flock of Griffon Vultures numbering over fifty birds, approached Europa Point, with many flying low over the sea and most making land, whereupon they soared against the backdrop of Jebel Musa, and quickly headed north.

Griffon Vulture

Griffon Vulture

Griffon Vulture

Griffon Vulture

 

Of these, a couple of birds floundered into the sea within striking distance of land, and our able GONHS member, Robert Perez, saw this happening and alerted the authorities, with the Police fast launch to the rescue.  Two other Griffons were also rescued, one inside the harbour by the EPRU (Environmental Protection & Research Unit), as were two Booted Eagles and a Short-toed Eagle around our coastline.  The Raptor Rehabilitation Unit was informed, and our stalwart, Vincent Robba, together with Stanley Olivero and Gilbert Gonzalez, retrieved the rescued birds and transported them to the Centre.  Some of them had severe injuries, and were taken to the Veterinary Clinic, where the vet had to insert a pin on the broken leg of a Short-toed Eagle, with some inflicted with eye injuries, as a result of attack by the Peregrines and Gulls.  Eventually they were given food and water and were rested for the day.

EPRU hands in a rescued Griffon Vulture

EPRU hands in a rescued Griffon Vulture

Police rescue a Griffon Vulture

Police rescue a Griffon Vulture

Stanley Olivero with a wet Short-toed eagle

Stanley Olivero with a wet Short-toed eagle

Vincent Robba with a rescued Booted Eagle.

Vincent Robba with a rescued Booted Eagle.

Griffon Vulture in the harbour.

Griffon Vulture in the harbour.

These birds will remain at the Centre until they recover optimal condition and substantial weight that will enable them to continue their trajectory into Iberia.

Short-toed eagle with pin inserted to broken leg.

Short-toed eagle with pin inserted to broken leg.

Damaged eye of a Short-toed Eagle

Damaged eye of a Short-toed Eagle

Short-toed eagle at the Gibraltar Veterinary Clinic

Short-toed eagle at the Gibraltar Veterinary Clinic

OS 35 Incident

OS 35 Incident

OS 35 Incident 

The Bulk Carrier OS 35 was involved in a collision with the Adam LNG south of Europa Point on the evening of the 29th August. The OS 35 started to sink, and was directed by the Port Authorities to the East Side of the Rock, where it was decided to beach the vessel to prevent it sinking altogether.

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Birdlife Eurobirdwatch 22.  30th Anniversary

Birdlife Eurobirdwatch 22. 30th Anniversary

Birdlife Eurobirdwatch 22.  30th Anniversary

 

The Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society will be celebrating the 22 edition of the Birdlife EuroBirdwatch on Saturday the 1st of October.

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Raptor Rescue

Raptor Rescue

The 25th May was specially hectic for the number of raptors that fell into the sea.  Most of these are young non-breeding and inexperienced birds that fall foul of windy conditions in the Strait.

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Sierra De Las Nieves Outing

Sierra De Las Nieves Outing


The Sierra de las Nieves outing was held on Saturday 21st May.  A good group of people attended and the weather was magnificent.

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Field Marshal Sir John Chapple, 1931-2022

Field Marshal Sir John Chapple, 1931-2022

Field Marshal Sir John Chapple, 1931-2022

 

GONHS notes with much sadness the passing of Field Marshal Sir John Chapple, Governor of Gibraltar 1993-1995 and Honorary Life Patron of the Society.

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Gibraltar Bird Report 2020

Gibraltar Bird Report 2020

Welcome to the 2020 issue of the Gibraltar Bird Report.

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The Remarkable Lives of Gibraltar's Swifts Uncovered

The Remarkable Lives of Gibraltar's Swifts Uncovered

 A paper has just been published by the journal PLOS ONE which reveals the remarkable lives of pallid swifts that nest in the attic of The Gibraltar National Museum. ‘Birds with multiple homes. The annual cycle of the pallid swift (Apus pallidus brehmorum)’ details the incredible exploits of these birds, from when they leave for Africa after breeding until their return the following spring.

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Eurobirdwatch 2021

Eurobirdwatch 2021

EuroBirdwatch21

This year, GONHS once again celebrates bird migration with the rest of the BirdLife family in Europe and Central Asia. Organisations throughout the continent will be participating in the event, which takes place during the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd October.

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