EuroBirdwatch 2017 (part 2)
The second part of EuroBirdwatch took place on Saturday 7th October during the morning. Ringer in residence, Ray Marsh, was at the event ringing birds caught at the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens to show to members of the public.
EuroBirdwatch is BirdLife International’s biggest birdwatching event in Europe and Central Asia and works to raise awareness of issues relating to bird migration and promotes efforts to save threatened bird species and their habitats. It is an opportunity for the public to explore birds and see bird migration in action.
On display was a Red-necked Nightjar which has been ringed up at Jew's Gate the night before and brought to the Gardens to show to members of the public. The ringing session was affected by blustery conditions with 13 birds ringed including two Eurasian Reed Warblers, a Pied Flycatcher, two Blackcaps, two Blackbirds, a Sardinian Warbler and 5 House Sparrows. During the morning we saw an impressive flock of hirundines over the Rock with an estimate count of at least over 1000 birds that included Barn Swallows, Red-rumped Swallows, House Martins and Crag Martins.
Also present was the team from the GONHS Raptor Rehabilitation Unit with various birds of prey on display.
Members of GONHS had also set up a moth trap with live moths that had been captured during the night. Some lovely moths were present including the Pine Processionary (Thaumetopoea pityocampa) and a stunning Discrete Chaperon (Cymbalophora pudica), a member of the family Erebidae. The moth display proved popular with the children who also got to hold some of the moths before they flew off.
The Minister for Education, Heritage, the Environment, Energy and Climate Change and GONHS member Dr John Cortes was also there to lend his support to the event. The event was well attended with many families with young children turning up to watch the bird ringing and raptors.