Recent Sightings February 2021

28 Feb:  Overcast skies with rain showers in the morning.  Winds strong easterly with strong gusts in the Strait.  The Myrtle Warbler was re-located at Europa Point where it was seen on the Aloe stands behind the Mosque, feeding on the nectar, in the same fashion as chiffchaffs.  A Subalpine Warbler was seen at Camp Bay.

Myrtle Warbler      C. Finlayson

Myrtle Warbler C. Finlayson

Myrtle Warbler     C. Finlayson

Myrtle Warbler C. Finlayson

Myrtle Warbler  C. Finlayson

Myrtle Warbler C. Finlayson

Myrtle Warbler             C. Finlayson

Myrtle Warbler C. Finlayson

 A watch from Europa Point produced 10 Gannets, 4 Shags, two Cormorants, 30 Black-headed Gulls, 40 Mediterranean Gulls, three Audouin's Gulls and a Lesser Black-backed Gull.

27 Feb:  Overcast skies with a strong to gale force easterly wind particularly in the Strait.  A Yellow-rumped Warbler, Setophaga coronata, also known as a Myrtle Warbler was reported by Luis Lopez from the Europa Point area, with a video and a photograph posted by Manuel Morales Holgado,  on the the Whatsup group Aves Estrecho Gibraltar.

An afternoon visit to Europa Point produced 15 Gannets, a Scopoli's Shearwater, Great Skua, four Shags, a Cormorant, 60 Black-headed Gulls, 13 Mediterranean Gulls, five Audouin's Gulls, a Lesser Black-backed Gull, four Sandwich Terns and a Yellow Wagtail.

A Willow Warbler, the first of the season and a very early bird, was trapped and ringed at the Observatory.

 

26 Feb:  Overcast skies with slight drizzle in the morning.  Winds strong easterly.  Black Kites ventured across the Strait, despite the easterly winds, and this morning approximately 200 birds were counted with some flying along the east side of the Rock.

 

25 Feb:  Overcast skies with some slight drizzle.  Winds strong easterly. A flock of 10 Black Kites was seen heading north in the afternoon.

 

24 Feb:  Cloudy skies with levanter cloud over the town and harbour.  Some sunny spells in the afternoon.  Winds fresh easterly increasing to strong to gale force in the Strait.  A Hoopoe was trapped and ringed at the Observatory at Jews' Gate, and another one was seen in the Nature reserve.

 

23 Feb:  Clear skies in the morning but levanter cloud increasing in the afternoon as winds turned from light north-westerly to moderate to fresh easterly.  A Hoopoe and an Iberian Chiffchaff were present in the vicinity of the Observatory.  A flock of 30 Flamingoes were seen heading north-west over the airfield.  A Hoopoe and a Siskin were present at the Botanic gardens.

 

22 Feb:  Mainly clear skies with some cloud moving in from Morocco.  Winds light to moderate north-westerly.  A Hoopoe was seen along Europa Road.  A Sparrowhawk was observed heading north over Windmill Hill.  Possibly the same bird hit the nets at the Observatory but escaped.  This is probably the wintering individual that has been seen regularly since November.  A Turnstone was present at Europa foreshore.

 

21 Feb:  Overcast skies with moderate southerly winds in the morning followed by showers by mid morning and clearing in the early afternoon.  Winds then turned to northerlies with some cloud and the odd drizzle.  A flock of 60 Black Kites was reported over Catalan Bay.  Several more individuals numbering 15 Black Kites were seen during the afternoon flying low and  struggling against the northerly winds.  A morning watch from Europa Point produced a flock of 300 Scopoli's Shearwaters, two Cormorants, a Shag, 10 Gannets, two Great Skuas, 80 Black-headed Gulls, an Audouin's Gull, three Mediterranean Gulls and a flock of 15 Serins.  In the afternoon 300 Scopoli's Shearwaters were seen entering the mediterranean, but most of the Black-headed Gulls had left, with only 20 recorded.  Also seen were two Great Skuas, four Mediterranean Gulls, two Lesser Black-backed Gulls and an Audouin's Gull were observed. 

A morning visit to Windmill Hill produced 10 Barbary Partridges, a Blue Rock Thrush, eight Blackbirds, 10 Meadow Pipits, five Stonechats, eight Robins, 12 Black Redstarts, 14 Sardinian Warblers, a Chiffchaff,  18 Common Starlings, two Spotless Starlings, a Chaffinch, and four Goldfinches, before the rains meant a hurried retreat.

 

20 Feb:  Levanter cloud over the Rock in the morning, with more cloud from the west.  Winds moderate easterly becoming light towards evening.  Several flocks of Scopoli's Shearwaters were seen heading into the Mediterranean, with an estimate of 1000 birds.

 

17 Feb:  Levanter cloud remaining over the Rock during the morning, but plenty of sunny spells later.  Winds moderate easterly.  Two Grey Herons and 5 Cormorants were observed at Seven Sisters rocks, and the Ravens were sighted over the Northern Defences.

 

16 Feb:  Levanter cloud over the Rock dissipating slightly in the afternoon to give sunny spells.  Winds fresh easterly.  A visit to the North Front Cemetery by photographer David Bartolo, produced a Stonechat, several Black Redstarts, and a Pied Wagtail.  At first the bird was thought to be a White Wagtail, but the eagle-eyed editor of the Bird Report noticed that it was a female Pied Wagtail  Motacilla alba ssp. yarrellii, remarking on the dark flanks, dark back, and lots of white in the wing.  This subspecies has rarely been recorded in Gibraltar before.

 

Pied Wagtail female at North Front Cemetery.                                                                           David Bartolo.

 

15 Feb:  Levanter cloud over the Rock with some sunny spells.  Winds very strong easterly.  Three Kittiwakes were reported among other seabirds seen at Europa Point.

 

14 Feb:  Heavy levanter cloud over the town, harbour and Strait, with some sunny spells to the south in the afternoon.  Winds strong to gale force easterly gusts. Eight Kittiwakes were seen from Europa Point.

 

13 Feb:  Mainly clear skies with some high cloud.  Winds light northerly becoming light and variable .  An afternoon seabird watch at Europa Point produced 37 Gannets, with at least 15 remaining in the area to feed, six Balearic Shearwaters, two Great Skuas, two Cormorants, two Shags, 130 Black-headed Gulls that included gull T39J, a long recurring winter visitor from Poland ringed there in 2011, three adult Mediterranean Gulls, an Audouin's Gull, two Kittiwakes and three Razorbills.

 

12 Feb:  Overcast skies with sporadic showers throughout the morning clearing by midday to give clear skies with sunny spells.  Winds moderate westerly becoming moderate north-westerly.  A Hoopoe was seen at North Front Cemetery.  At Europa Point a few Gannets offshore, some 40 Black-headed Gulls feeding below the Point, three Mediterranean Gulls also present, two Audouin's Gulls and  two Great Skuas flying west.  In the afternoon 14 Black Kites and two House Martins were seen from Jews' Gate.  A Hoopoe was seen on the pathway at Inglis way in the Nature reserve.

An Iberian Chiffchaff, the first of the season,was photographed at the Botanic Gardens.  A Sparrowhawk was seen from Europa Advance Battery.

Iberian Chiffchaff at the dell of the Botanic Gardens.                        F.J. Odinius.

 

11 Feb:  Mainly clear skies with some wispy high cloud.  Winds light northerly in the morning, becoming light westerly to moderate south-westerly in the afternoon.  Twelve Black Kites crossed the Strait in the morning.  An afternoon watch at Europa Point produced 14 Gannets, two Cormorants, 80 Black-headed Gulls feeding below the Point, 38 Mediterranean Gulls heading west, 10 Audouin's Gulls also heading west, two Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a Sandwich Tern.

 

10 Feb:  Overcast skies with fresh to strong westerly to south-westerly winds in the morning, becoming moderate west in the afternoon.  Some Black Kites were forced around the east side in the morning arriving at La Linea beach.  In the afternoon approximately 40 Black Kites were counted as winds dropped, and some singles continued to cross in the late afternoon.  About 85 Black Kites were involved.  Several Audouin's Gulls were seen at Europa Point heading west.  Also seen was a Cattle Egret.

 

09 Feb:  Cloudy day with fresh westerly winds and some rain showers.    The first Hoopoe of the season was observed at North Front Cemetery.

 

08 Feb:  Strong to gale force south-westerly winds with rain throughout the night but subsiding and changing to north-westerly at dawn.  Cloudy most of the morning and early afternoon, but sunny mid-afternoon onwards.  An afternoon watch at Europa Point produced eight Gannets, six Cormorants, two Shags, a Great Skua, six Black-headed Gulls, six Mediterranean Gulls, two Audouin's Gulls, 12 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a House Martin.  Seen later was a lone Black Kite up the bay.

 

07 Feb:  Cloudy skies with moderate to fresh westerly to north-westerly winds.  A male Marsh Harrier was seen low over the Bay.

 

05 Feb:  Cloudy skies with some heavy rain showers.  Winds fresh westerly turning to north-west.  Unfavourable winds at Europa Point resulted in low numbers of seabirds with 20 Gannets, two Balearic Sherwaters, 15 Black-headed Gulls and a Shag.

 

04 Feb:  Cloudy skies with high cloud from the west.  Winds light easterly, becoming light south-westerly.  An afternoon visit to Europa Point in the afternoon produced 65 Gannets, a Cormorant, four Shags, 50 Black-headed Gulls, seven Mediterranean Gulls, a Kittiwake, an adult Audouin's Gull, three Lesser Black-backed Gulls, a 1st winter Slender-billed Gull sitting on the cliff beside a Black-headed Gull, a Sandwich Tern and 12 House Martins.

 

03 Feb:   Mainly clear skies, but high cloud moving in from the west.  Winds moderate westerly.The Short-toed Eagle was again seen over the east side sand slopes, and a Sparrowhawk was observed over Windmill Hill.    A steady movement of Gannets out of the mediterranean with 117 birds in two hours.  Also seen were 12 Black-headed Gulls and five Cormorants.

 

02 Feb:  Clear skies with a moderate westerly wind.  A Griffon Vulture was reported flying south-east over the airfield.  A Kingfisher, three Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a Grey Heron were observed from Europa Advance Battery.  A Swallow was seen sunning itself together with Crag Martins at Vanguard Cave.

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