October 2018 Sightings
31 Oct: Clear skies first thing in the morning, clouding over by mid morning, and some drizzle by midday. Winds light westerly Heavier cloud in the afternoon with thunderstorms and torrential rain and strong winds from the south-west.A lull in the weather in the morning provided for some trapping with a total of 41 new birds ringed. These included 3 Crag Martins, a Red-rumped Swallow, a Robin, 6 Black Redstarts, 2 Sardinian Warblers, 22 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, a Chaffinch, a Serin and 2 Greenfinches.
30 Oct: Overcast skies with rain showers from the west. Winds fresh south-westerly. Only a Robin and a retrap Blackbird were trapped in absymal conditions when the rain eased off.
29 Oct: Clear skies with a fresh north-westerly wind.a Total of 31 new birds were ringed at the Observatory and included the first Dunnock in three years, 3 Robins, 6 Black Redstarts, 2 Song Thrushes, 8 Blackcaps, a Chiffchaff, a Chaffinch, 4 Serins, 4 Greenfinches and a Goldfinch.
28 Oct: Mainly clear skies with some cloud from the west. Fresh northerly wind, with a considerable drop in temperature. A total of 52 new birds were ringed in blustery conditions that included a European Nightjar, 7 Robins, 2 Song Thrushes, a Sardinian Warbler, 13 Blackcaps, 3 Chiffchaffs, 2 Chaffinches, 18 Serins, 4 Greenfinches and a Goldfinch.
27 Oct: Cloudy start to the morning but sunny spells later with a cold fresh north-westerly wind. Several flocks of Griffon Vultures flew in over the Rock in the morning with a further larger flock after midday for a total of 260 birds.
A poor day at the Observatory in very windy northerly conditions but 40 new birds were ringed. They included 13 Robins, 2 Black Redstarts, a Blackbird, 19 Blackcaps, 4 Greenfinches and a Goldfinch.
26 Oct: A frontal system is moving west giving overcast skies with alto stratus and some drizzle in the morning. Winds Light variable to light westerly. A visit to Windmill Hill in the afternoon produced 50 Meadow Pipits, 3 Skylarks, 4 White Wagtails, a Ring Ouzel, 9 Blackbirds, 17 Song Thrushes, 3 Blue Rock Thrushes, 55 Black Redstarts, 10 Robins, 11 Stonechats, a Dartford Warbler, 15 Sardinian Warblers, 15 Blackcaps, 18 Chiffchaffs, 4 Chaffinches, 22 Serins, 4 Greenfinches, 70 Goldfinches, 5 Linnets, 15 Spotless Starlings, 30 Common Starlings, and 10 Barbary Partridges.
A total of 105 new birds were ringed at the Observatory and included 15 Robins, 7 Black Redstarts, 3 Song Thrushes, 2 Sardinian Warblers, 71 Blackcaps, 3 Chiffchaffs, 3 Greenfinches, and a Goldfinch.
Small passage of Scopoli's Shearwaters moving west past Europa Point.
25 Oct: Some levanter cloud over the Rock but clearing in the morning to give a sunny day. Arrival of Song Thrushes in the Botanic Gardens noticeable in the morning as many birds were heard calling and some looking for shelter. A flock of approximately 300 Common Starlings were seen in the early morning heading north over town. The Magpie was seen again over the Boy's Comprehensive School.
A clear day of ringing for a total of 117 birds that included 13 Robins, 14 Black Redstarts, 3 Song Thrushes, a Sardinian Warbler, 76 Blackcaps, 5 Chiffchaffs, a Serin and 4 Greenfinches.
24 Oct: Clear skies in the area but heavy levanter cloud over the Rock, town and harbour. The Magpie, possibly the same bird that has been seen sporadically since the late spring and last spotted in late September, was seen flying over Peninsular Heights in the morning.
At the Observatory 202 new birds were ringed and included 14 Crag Martins, a Red-rumped Swallow, a Tree Pipit, 28 Robins, 41 Black Redstarts, 9 Song Thrushes, a Subalpine Warbler, 3 Sardinian Warblers, 71 Blackcaps, 3 Chiffchaffs, a House Sparrows, 2 Chaffinches, a Serin, 24 Greenfinches and 2 Goldfinches.
A Common Starling was seen on the main walk of the Botanic Gardens.
23 Oct: Overcast throughout the area with low levanter cloud over the Rock. Showers in the morning but dry the rest of the afternoon. Another good day at the Observatory, despite the rain showers, for a total of 241 new birds ringed that included 10 Crag Martins, 2 Swallows, 32 Robins, 60 Black Redstarts, a Common Redstart, 5 Song Thrushes, a Garden Warbler, 96 Blackcaps, 4 Chiffchaffs, 3 House Sparrows, a Chaffinch, 24 Greenfinches and 2 Goldfinches.
22 Oct: Very cloudy in the area with levanter cloud over the Rock. Winds moderate easterly. A total of 232 new birds were ringed at the Observatory, only using the top six nets, and included 7 Crag Martins, a Swallow, 38 Robins, 9 Black Redstarts, a Common Redstart, 11 Song Thrushes, single Sardinian Warbler, Garden Warbler, 108 Blackcaps, 5 Chiffchaffs, 3 Chaffinches, 17 Serins, 23 Greenfinches and 7 Goldfinches.
A Stone Curlew was seen on Windmill Hill.
21 Oct: Levanter cloud over the Rock, town and harbour with a moderate easterly wind. Throughout the morning thunderstorms headed north from Africa to the east and west of the Rock, but by 15:00hrs, we were in the track of several of these storms which were accompained by thunder, lightning, heavy rain and hail till 18:00hrs when the rain eased off and some sunshine persisted till the evening. The Observatory managed to ring throughout the morning and early afternoon. By mid morning, a flock of hirundines made up of approximately 300-500 House Martins, at least 50 Red-rumped Swallows and several Crag Martins, were wheeling over the Observatory catching emerging flying ants. A tape-lure was placed at net 18, ( a tall net), and the birds started to come in, with many perching on the top shelf-string. A total of 126 House Martins and a Red-rumped Swallow were caught and ringed. Also ringed were 25 Robins, 3 Black Redstarts, a Common Redstart, 3 Song Thrushes, 55 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 3 Chaffinches, 2 Serins, 4 Greenfinches, and 5 Goldfinches.
Just outside the gates to Windmill Hill, several Meadow Pipits were heard, and Black Redstarts and Chiffchaffs were seen around the fennel stands. A Reed Warbler was seen in the reeds at Commonwealth Park, and 4 Common Starlings were observed at Europa Advance Road.
20 Oct: Very cloudy with heavy cloud to the north of the area and a levanter cloud over the Rock. Rain at midday when the weather closed in, but clearing somewhat mid afternoon. A flock of 7 Cormorants were seen heading south from the Observatory. Also many Crag Martins were seen in the area with a flock of at least 12 House Martins. Two of these were trapped and ringed. The totals for the day were 2 House Martins, 2 Grey Wagtails, 37 Robins, 17 Black Redstarts, 2 Common Redstarts, a Stonechat, a Blackbird, 2 Song Thrushes, 2 Sardinian Warblers, 70 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 3 Chaffinches, 5 Greenfinches and a Goldfinch.
There were 2 Cormorants and a Grey Heron at the western end of the runway.
19 Oct: Cloudy skies with a levanter cloud over the area. Some rain showers in the morning, clearing in the afternoon. Despite the bad weather, some ringing was achieved throughout the afternoon and evening and a total of 141 new birds were ringed. These included a Scops Owl, a European Nightjar, 27 Robins, 8 Black Redstarts, a Common Redstart, 2 Song Thrushes, a Garden Warbler, 87 Blackcaps, 9 Chiffchaffs, a Serin and 3 Greenfinches. A flock of approximately 60 Crag Martins were seen flying around the cliffs at Little Bay and Jacobs Ladder.
18 Oct: Overcast skies with heavy rain and thunderstorms in the early morning, clearing for a while till 14:hrs when more thunderstorms crossed the area, clearing again till the evening. Winds light variable in the morning, becoming light westerly and then moderate in the afternoon. Only 70 birds were ringed at the Observatory during clear spells in the weather. They consisted of a European Nightjar, 14 Robins, 11 Black Redstarts, a Common Redstart, a Sardinian Warbler and 42 Blackcaps.
A visit to Windmill Hill produced plenty of migrant and resident birds and included a Barbary Partridge, 12 Common Starlings, 20 Song Thrushes, 3 Blue Rock Thrushes, 2 Blackbirds, a Northern Wheatear, 20 Stonechats, a Common Redstart, 50 Black Redstarts, 17 Robins, 2 White Wagtails, 2 Dartford Warblers, 20 Sardinian Warblers, 50 Blackcaps, 4 Common Chiffchaffs, a Chaffinch, 2 Greenfinches and a Corn Bunting.
The North Front Cemetery held some birds in the afternoon with 4 Common Redstarts, 12 Black Redstarts, 2 Robins and a Song Thrush.
17 Oct: Clear skies with a light westerly wind. Black Redstarts finally made an appearence in the company of Common Redstarts. It was a fantastic day of ringing at the Observatory with a record total of 347 new birds ringed, despite conditions that indicated a low catch. They also included 5 controls. Species included 3 European Nightjars, 112 Robins, 9 Black Redstarts, 7 Common Redstarts, a Northern Wheatear, a Blackbird, 4 Song Thrushes, 2 Reed Warblers, 2 Sardinian Warblers, 2 Garden Warblers, 182 Blackcaps, 18 Chiffchaffs, 2 Chaffinches and 2 Greenfinches.
A flock of 20 White Wagtails were seen over Westview Promenade in the evening. A visit to the North Front Cemetery produced 7 Robins, 11 Common Redstarts and 4 Black Redstarts.
16 Oct: Clear skies with a moderate to fresh westerly wind. A total of 59 new birds were ringed at the Observatory and included a Red-necked Nightjar, 8 Robins, a Common Redstart, a Sardinian Warbler, a Garden Warbler, 42 Blackcaps, a Chiffchaff, a Blue Tit, a Chaffinch and a Goldfinch.
15 Oct: Clear skies in the morning cloudying up with westerly cloud in the afternoon as a depression approaches. Winds moderate north-westerly becoming light westerly. A flock of at least 80 Woodpigeon, were seen flying north towards Spain from the Observatory. Woodpigeons are a common species, found in the surrounding woodlands but in low numbers, and a few singles have been recorded from Gibraltar. This flock was unprecedented.
14 Oct: Hurricane Leslie was on track to head towards the Strait, but headed north and made landfall north of Lisbon. Cloudy most of the morning with some slight drizzle, but clearing by midday to give mainly clear skies in the afternoon.. Winds fresh to strong westerly, becoming fresh north-westerly in the afternoon. There were 2 Cormorants and 6 Shags resting on the rocks at Little Bay in the afternoon. There was a Whimbrel flying along the South Mole, and a Grey Heron was seen well after dark on the Western end of the runway.
13 Oct: Levanter cloud over the town and harbour decreasing in the afternoon to give sunny spells. A Booted Eagle was seen around midday from the Observatory. Also about 15 Crag Martins were swooping around the Observatory feeding on emerging flying termites.
12 Oct: Fresh westerly winds with mainly clear skies and some high cloud. A couple of Griffon Vultures were seen soaring over the Bay at midday. A total of 80 new birds were ringed at the Observatory and included 7 Robins, 3 Common Redstarts, 2 Sardinian Warblers, 62 Blackcaps, a Pied Flycatcher and 5 Greenfinches.
11 Oct: Very cloudy and overcast in the morning with contrasting levanter cloud and westerly cloud drifting in. Rain showers throughout the morning. Winds easterly turning to south-westerly and then westerly by mid morning, with sunny spells in the afternoon. A Pied Flycatcher was present in the Botanic Gardens in the morning. No ringing took place at the Observatory due to inclement weather and strong winds.
10 Oct: Levanter cloud over the town and harbour clearing to give sunny spells in the afternoon. A Great White Egret, a first record for Gibraltar, was spotted along the west coast of the Rock, and then flew and landed on Napier Battery. Seventy-nine new birds were ringed at the Observatory and included 9 Robins, a Blackbird, 3 Sardinian Warblers, 64 Blackcaps and 2 Chiffchaffs.
09 Oct: Cloudy with levanter cloud over the Rock. Winds moderate easterly. There was a Spotted Flycatcher in the Botanic Gardens, and 2 Night Herons were seen in the late evening over Waterport Terraces. Blackcaps again dominated the catch with 131 new birds ringed. Also trapped were a Scops Owl, a European Nightjar, 12 Robins, 2 Common Redstarts, a Ring Ouzel, 2 Sardinian Warblers, a Garden Warbler, 2 Chiffchaffs and an Iberian Chiffchaff.
08 Oct: Moderate easterly winds back, with a levanter cloud over the town and harbour. Ninety-six new Blackcaps were processed at the Observatory for a total of 124 birds that included 11 Robins, 4 Common Redstarts, a Stonechat, a Blue Rock Thrush, a Blackbird, a Reed Warbler, a Sardinian Warbler, a Whitethroat, 2 Garden Warbler, 2 Chiffchaffs, 2 Willow Warblers and a Pied Flycatcher.
07 Oct: Clear skies with a light westerly wind becoming moderate by mid afternoon. Clear skies meant that migrant birds could overfly the site at night. Despite this 108 new birds were ringed at the Observatory and included 3 European Nightjars, 3 Robins, a Sardinian Warbler, a Garden Warbler, 96 Blackcaps, an Iberian Chiffchaff, a Willow Warbler and 2 Blue Tits. About 10 Booted Eagles were seen over the town in the morning.
Thirty-two Black-headed Gulls were present on the cliff below Europa Point, and an Osprey was also seen flying by there.
06 Oct: Winds moderate easterly becoming light south easterly in the afternoon to light variable in the evening. Levanter cloud over the Rock in the morning slowly dissipating by the afternoon to give a sunny and clear day with high cloud. A very good day for Blackcaps at the Observatory, during EuroBirdwatch Day, with a total of 157 new birds ringed in the morning, and 188 for the day. They also included a European Nightjar, 16 Robins, a Wren, a Common Redstart, a Whitethroat, 4 Sardinian Warblers, 3 Garden Warbler, a Willow Warbler, a Pied Flycatcher, 2 Blue Tits and a House Sparrow. The seawatch during the afternoon was well attended but seabirds were lacking apart from the feeding frenzy of over 400 Cory's Shearwaters offshore with Common Dolphins feeding together. Also seen were 6 Gannets, 24 Black-headed Gulls, 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 2 Audouin's Gulls a Shag, and a Cormorant. A Crag Martin was seen over Jews' Gate.
A flock of 20 Booted Eagles and a Short-toed Eagle were seen soaring over the town in the morning.
05 Oct: Levanter cloud over the town and harbour. Winds fresh easterly. Another good day for Blackcaps at the Observatory with 100 new birds ringed, for a total of 128 birds. Also trapped were 2 Scops Owls, 2 European Nightjars, a Wren, 14 Robins, a Nightingale, a Blackbird, 5 Sardinian Warblers, an Iberian Chiffchaff, a House Sparrow and a Greenfinch.
04 Oct. Easterly winds continue to affect the Rock with a levanter cloud over the town and harbour. A Kingfisher was picked up at the North Mole and taken into care. Robins and Blackcaps dominated the catch at the Observatory with 29 and 67 birds ringed respectively. Other species trapped included single Scops Owl, Stonechat, Blackbird, Reed Warbler, 3 Sardinian Warblers, a Whitethroat, a Pied Flycatcher, a Blue Tit and an Ortolan Bunting.
03 Oct: Levanter cloud over the town and harbour, with a fresh easterly wind. There were 8 Black-headed Gulls feeding below Europa Point and they were joined by the first Cormorant of the season. A total of 99 new birds were ringed at the Observatory and included a Scops owl, 12 Robins, a Common Redstart, a Blackbird, 2 Sardinian Warblers, a Whitethroat 2 Garden Warblers, 77 Blackcaps and 2 Pied Flycatchers.
02 Oct: Cloudy with levanter cloud over the town and harbour. Winds fresh north easterly. A total of 63 new birds were ringed at the Observatory and included a European Nightjar, 6 Robins, a Nightingale, 2 Stonechats, 2 Blackbirds, 3 Sardinian Warblers, a Whitethroat, 2 Garden Warblers, 40 Blackcaps, a Willow Warbler, 3 Pied Flycatchers and a Blue Tit. A Red-necked Nightjar was photographed on the roadway at night in the Nature Reserve.
01 Oct: Some high westerly cloud with plenty of sunny spells during the day. Winds light westerly. A Total of 54 new birds were ringed at the Observatory and included single Red-necked Nightjar, Robin, Common Redstart, 2 Blackbirds, a Reed Warbler, a Melodious Warbler, 4 Sardinian Warblers, a Garden Warbler, 37 Blackcaps, 3 Pied Flycatchers and 2 Blue Tits.