Iberian Chiffchaffs on passage

Iberian Chiffchaffs Phylloscopus ibericus are now passing through the area of the Straits on their way to their winter quarters in Africa.

This species has a different phenology to the Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita which arrives in southern Iberia around mid-October and November, and spends the winter months in Spain and Gibraltar, before returning to their breeding grounds in central and northern countries in Europe during February and March, coinciding with the return of Iberian Chiffchaffs from Africa.  Therefore late August and September is a good time to see the Iberian Chiffchaffs, as they will not be confused with their similar species.  In spring , this is a different matter, and even when birds are caught and ringed, differentiating them in the hand can be very difficult.  The easiest way to tell is by comparing their distinct calls.  The Iberian Chiffchaff has a downward seewoo, whereas the Common Chiffchaff has an upward sounding swooeet.  Calls can be heard on the website Xeno-canto at http://www.xeno-canto.org/ .  Iberian Chiffchaff:-  http://www.xeno-canto.org/explore?query=Iberian+Chiffchaff  and Common Chiffchaff:-  http://www.xeno-canto.org/explore?query=Common+Chiffchaff .

This September Frances Hurley took some good photographs of the Iberian Chiffchaffs at the top of Mediterranean Steps..

Iberian Chiffchaff
Note the pale orange base to the lower mandible, and dark legs. Also all yellow underparts, including undertail coverts
Iberian Chiffchaff
Note the stouter bill and pale lower mandible. In Common Chiffchaff, mandible is blacker and more pointed. Bright yellow throughout, but distinguished from Willow Warbler by dark legs.
Iberian Chiffchaff
Again the pale base to the lower mandible is quite obvious with a complete yellowish suffusion throughout and a well marked supercilium, and dark legs.

Photographs:  Frances Hurley

 

 

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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