February 2018 Sightings
28 Feb: Clear skies in the morning with light easterly winds turning to a moderate westerly by mid morning and fresh to strong south-westerly by the afternoon. Rain showers from midday onwards. A Hoopoe was observed in the nature Reserve on the Upper Rock in the morning. Raptors were kept at bay because of the strong winds and showers.
27 Feb: Cloudy skies as a frontal system passed close to Gibraltar, with some sunny spells and showers during the morning and late afternoon. Today saw the first day of good raptor passage with a constant arrival of hundreds of Black Kites and Short-toed Eagles and many Marsh Harriers. Swallows were also on the move north.No counts were made.
25 Feb: Levanter cloud over the Rock with some sunny spells in the afternoon. Fresh easterly wind becoming moderate in the afternoon and evening. The Hoopoe remained at the the Botanic Gardens.
24 Feb: Levanter cloud over the Rock with a fresh easterly wind.. A Hoopoe was seen at the south Mole at dawn.
21 Feb: Clear skies with a moderate westerly wind. The Hoopoe was still present in the Botanic Gardens. Single Black Kite, two Black Storks and four Short-toed Eagles were seen heading north over the ridge of the Rock in the afternoon.
20 Feb: Clear skies with a light westerly wind. A Hoopoe was present in the Botanic Gardens.
18 Feb: Mainly clear skies with some levanter cloud in the morning and early afternoon. Winds light easterly. The Ring Ouzel was again present at the Botanic Gardens during the weekend.
17 Feb: Clear skies with a moderate south-westerly in the morning, turning to west north-west in the afternoon. In the morning at least 200 Black-headed Gulls were resting and feeding below Europa Point, together with at least eight Mediterranean Gulls. Among the Black-headed Gulls were Z02C and T39J also seen there last week. Also present was last weeks first-winter Little Gull. A Black Kite flew up the Bay at midday, with another at 15:00pm with a Short-toed Eagle.
Little Gull, first winter plumage at Europa Point. Photo: J. Henwood
A Hoopoe was seen around Central Hall in the afternoon.
16 Feb: Clear skies with a light west to south west, turning northerly in the evening. The Ring Ouzel was back at the Botanic Gardens, drinking from the fountain. Two White Storks and a Swallow were seen at midday over the Rock.
15 Feb: Clear skies with a moderate westerly wind. A Griffon Vulture that was recovered some time ago was tagged and released from the top of the Rock today.
Griffon Vulture C5 release. Photos: Shane Shacaluga
14 Feb: Clear skies with a light to moderate westerly wind. The Ring Ouzel was seen again at the Botanic Gardens. A Common Sandpiper was seen and photographed at western Beach.
Common Sandpiper Photo: Tommy Finlayson
13 Feb: Clear skies with a moderate west to north-west wind. A Griffon Vulture was chased over the Rock by Yellow-legged Gulls as it flew north. It was closely followed by a Black Kite. A Hoopoe was seen around the top cable car Station.
11 Feb: Clear skies with a light westerly wind, picking up after midday to a fresh northerly wind. The Black-headed Gull flock continued at Europa Point where they were feeding and resting, and contained two white colour-ringed Black-headed Gulls ; one with the code Z71T and the other T39J. T39J was ringed at Gydnia in Poland on the 1st April 2011 and was last seen at Europa Point on the 26th February 2017, and Z17T was ringed at Ostrava in the Czech Republic and was last seen at Europa Point on the 26th February 2017.
Photos: C. Perez & A. Yome
The Ring Ouzel was back drinking in the fountain at the Botanic Gardens just after midday.
10 Feb: Clear skies with a moderate northerly wind. A visit to Europa Point in the morning produced at least 200 Black-headed Gulls resting and feeding below the Point, together with 14 Mediterranean Gulls, with 6 first-winters, and the rest mainly adult birds. Some Gannets were heading out of the Mediterranean as well, and two Shags flew west past the Point.. A first-winter Little Gull made a short appearance below the Point and then flew out and landed on the sea about 200m out. It was not seen subsequently. Little Gull had not been recorded for at least a decade, when after winter easterly gales, flocks of over 100 birds would be seen flying back east after the strong winds had subsided.
Two of the gulls had white colour rings; a Black-headed Gull with the code Z02C and an adult Mediterranean Gull with the code 32A9. Z02C was ringed in the Czech Republic on the 10th May 2014 and was last seen at Europa Point on the 21st January 2018. 32A9 was ringed at Ijsselmeer in the Netherlands on the 24th June 2010 and was last seen at Europa Point on the 28th January 2017.
A Common Buzzard caused a commotion amongst the Yellow-legged Gull population during the morning, when it flew low over town and then moved up to Middle Hill.
09 Feb: Clear skies with a fresh west to north-westerly wind. A Grey Heron was seen over Westview Promenade in the morning heading north. A Black Kite headed north over town.
06 Feb: Mainly clear skies in the morning with cloud building up by midday with some sunny intervals. Winds mainly fresh west-northwest. Two Black Kites flew low over town in the early afternoon.
03 Feb: Clear skies with a cold and moderate north-westerly wind. The wintering Ring Ouzel was back at the fountain at the Dell in the Botanic Gardens. A flock of 13 Flamingoes flew south off Eastern Beach.
Ring Ouzel back at the Dell in the Botanic Gardens. Photo: Franz J Odinius