Recent sightings February 2020

29 Feb:  A fresh north to north-westerly  most of the morning and afternoon turning to westerly mid afternoon. 

An exceptional day of raptors so early in the season.  Totals were one Red Kite, 2505 Black Kites, 20 Egyptian Vultures, 334 Short-toed Eagles, 7 Marsh Harriers, a male Pallid Harrier*, a Booted Eagle, 4 Sparrowhawks, 2 Ospreys and 3 Kestrels.  Also seen were 380 White Storks, 98 Black Storks, 11 House Martins and 13 Swallows.  There were several Chiffchaffs in the vegetation around Europa Point including an Iberian Chiffchaff calling.

At least 150 Black-headed Gulls below the Point together with two adults and a first-winter Mediterranean Gulls.  Two of the Black-headed Gulls had colour rings; RKSF  ringed in Central France on the 13th June 2019,and T39J  ringed at Gydnia in Poland on the 1st April 2011, and seen every year since then at Europa Point in winter. 


27 Feb:  Clear skies with a moderate westerly wind.  Two Short-toed Eagles were seen heading north over the Rock.


26 Feb:  Clear skies with a moderate north-westerly wind but with moderate south-westerly in the Strait.  A total of 260 Black Kites, 32 Short-toed Eagles, 2 Marsh Harriers, a Buzzard, a Sparrowhawk, three House Martins, seven Serins and a Goldfinch were seen from the Observatory at Jews' Gate heading north.


25 Feb:  Mainly clear skies with some cloud from the west.  Winds fresh westerly.  A Hoopoe was seen flying across Europa road, and another Hoopoe was seen in the Europa Point area.

The first day of raptor migration for a total of 450 Black Kites, 6 Egyptian Vultures, 30 Short-toed Eagles, a male Marsh Harrier, 2 Sparrowhawks, 2 Buzzards, and a Lesser Kestrel.  Also seen were 98 White Storks.


24 Feb:  Overcast skies in the morning with a moderate easterly wind, clearing by mid morning to give a warm and sunny day.  A Hoopoe was seen in the Botanic gardens.

The Observatory at Jews' Gate started the ringing season with a total of 30 birds processed.  One of the retrapped Blackcaps was first ringed on the 18/09/2012 making it 7 years and 5 months old; a good age for a small passerine.



Species Full Grown Retraps Totals
Crag Martin 3 0 3
Robin 1 0 5
Black Redstart 2 0 3
Blackbird 1 0 3
Sardinian Warbler 1 6 7
Blackcap 4 7 11
Chiffchaff 3 1 4
Blue Tit 0 1 1
Totals 15 15 30


23 Feb:  Overcast with levanter cloud over the Rock.  Winds fresh easterly.  A recently fledged Blackbird was seen in the Morrison's carpark.


22 Feb:  Overcast with a moderate easterly wind.  A Lanner* was seen over Jews' Gate mobbed by a pair of Peregrines.


20 Feb: Overcast with a heavy levanter cloud over the Rock, and cloudy skies over the Strait and mainland Spain.   A Great Spotted Cuckoo was found in the Europort Carpark sitting on one of the cars.  This species has been encountered in the area in February, having entered buildings or hit glass windows.



The Great Spotted Cuckoo found in Europort Carpark .                                        Photo taken with mobile phone by Dino Charvetto.


17 Feb:  After a spate of easterlies the winds changed to westerly, with mainly clear skies.  As winds freshened in the afternoon a single Short-toed Eagle was seen heading north.


16 Feb:  A Swallow flew north at Europa Point.


13 Feb:  Clear skies with a moderate westerly wind.  A flock of 24 Black Kites were seen over the Rock in the morning.


12 Feb:  Clear skies with moderate westerly winds.  Some raptors were seen over the Rock and flying up the Bay in the afternoon when the winds picked up. The total consisted of 31 Black Kite, an Egyptian Vulture, and four Short-toed Eagles.

Two Hoopoes were present in the Botanic gardens and a Grey Heron was heard calling off Westview Park at nightfall.


11 Feb:  A Grey Wagtail was present at Commonwealth Park, and a flock of 20 Siskins flew north over the Convent gardens.  A Black Kite and a Short-toed Eagle flew north over the Rock.


9 Feb:  Sixteen Balearic Shearwaters and two Shags were seen at Europa Point heading west, and a Cormorant was present below the Point.  At least 20 Chiffchaffs have been seen in the vegetation surrounding the playpark at Europa Point, and around Nun's Well, for the last few weeks.  Two Hoopoes were seen in a garden in the Rosia area.


8 Feb:  Overcast skies with low cloud clearing to high cloud in the afternoon.  A flock of ten Black Kites flew north over the Rock.  Five House Martins were seen over the Europa area.  Eight Cormorants were seen in Little Bay.


03 Feb:  Clear skies with a light easterly wind.  A Hoopoe was seen on Windmill Hill.


02 Feb:  Clear skies with a light easterly wind.  Fog over the Strait, east side and coming across the north of the Rock.  Two Geese sp. were seen heading west across the runway; possibly Greylag Geese.

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