Recent Sightings May 2021

23 May:  Clear skies with a fresh westerly wind.  Several Griffon Vultures arrived at Europa Point and headed north, but no counts were made.

 

22 May:  Clear skies with some westerly cloud.  Winds moderate to fresh westerly.  Good late passage of  soaring birds with 420 Honey Buzzards, 84 Black Kites, 122 Booted Eagles, 14 Short-toed Eagles, two Kestrels and a Black Stork.

 

21 May:  Winds changed to westerly and a few raptors crossed the Strait but a systematic count was not made.  Nevertheless 15 Honey Buzzards were seen early in the morning and a single Short-toed Eagle in the early afternoon.

An afternoon watch at Europa Point produced five Cory's Shearwaters, 34 Balearic Shearwaters, a Great Skua and an Audouin's Gull.

 

20 May:  Overcast skies with a low levanter cloud over the Rock clearing to give sunny spells in the afternoon. 

A visit to North Front Cemetery produced three Melodious Warblers and three Woodchat Shrikes.  Jacob's Ladder area held six Swallows hawking around, three Melodious Warblers, two Spotted Flycatchers and two Woodchat Shrikes.

 

18 May:  Overcast skies in the area with low levanter cloud over the Rock.  Winds light to moderate easterly.  The Firecrest was seen again in the Botanic Gardens.

Cloudy conditions produced a number of migrants on Windmill Hill, and also at the ringing Station at Jews' Gate Bird Observatory.

Windmill Hill totals.

Iberian Magpie 1
House Martin 1
Yellow Wagtail 1
Redstart 1
Melodious Warbler 10
Subalpine Warbler 1
Whitethroat 1
Willow Warbler 1
Spotted Flycatcher 13
Woodchat Shrike 1
Serin 1
Greenfinch 1
Corn Bunting 1

 

 Ringing Totals.

Species Full Grown Retrap Total
Blackbird 1 0 1
Wren 1 0 1
Melodious Warbler 1 0 1
Sardinian Warbler 4 5 9
Blackcap 1 2 3
Garden Warbler 3 0 3
Spotted Flycatcher 2 0 2
Blue Tit 1 4 5
House Sparrow 1 0 1
Greenfinch 1 0 1
Total 16 11 27

 

17 May:  Mainly clear skies with some high cloud.  Winds moderate to fresh south-westerly.  A Red-necked Nightjar was found at Ocean Village and rescued by the Rehabilitation Unit.  A Firecrest was heard and then located at the Botanic gardens.  This is an unusual sighting as the bird is normally seen arriving in the autumn in small numbers and then wintering until late february and early march, when they are last seen.

Small numbers of raptors were seen heading north, although a systematic count was not made.  These involved several Honey Buzzards and Black Kites, and three Griffon Vultures.

 

16 May:  Clear skies with a light to moderate westerly wind.  Several hundred Honey Buzzards with a few Black Kites were reported flying north in the afternoon.

 

15 May:  Clear skies with a light to moderate westerly wind.  Four Balearic Shearwaters were seen heading south off Sandy Bay.  A Short-toed Eagle was reported over the east side of the Rock.

 

14 May:  Clear skies with a moderate westerly wind.  The Iberian Magpie was observed in the area of Europa Mews.

 

13 May:  Clear skies with some high cloud.  Winds moderate westerly.  A Nightingale was heard singing in the Botanic Gardens.  At least 150 Honey Buzzards and 68 Black Kites were seen flying north over the Rock during the day.  The Iberian Magpie was seen at the top of Rock Gun.

 

12 May:  Clear skies with some westerly cloud.  Winds moderate to fresh south-westerly.  Reports of Honey Buzzards, Black Kites and a Griffon Vulture were received but no counts were made.

 

11 May:  Clear skies with a light to moderate north-westerly wind.  A Scops Owl was heard last night in the Vineyards area, and a Grey Heron was seen in the harbour area.

 

10 May:  Clear skies with a moderate westerly wind.  A visit to Windmill Hill produced a Hoopoe, a Willow Warbler, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Serin, a Linnet and a Corn Bunting.  A Spotted Flycatcher was also observed outside the offices of the Botanic Gardens.

A flock of 20 Honey Buzzards were seen early in the morning, with another reported mid morning.

 

07 May:  A Cattle Egret was observed at the Europa foreshore.  Commonwealth Park held a Robin and a Melodious Warbler in the morning, and a Turtle Dove was observed at the old St. Christopher's School, at Europa Point.

 

06 May:  Clear skies with a moderate to light easterly wind.  Spotted Flycatchers are around, with one seen at the Botanic Gardens and two observed at Commonwealth Park, that included one singing.  Three recently fledged Greenfinches were seen at Trafalgar Cemetery.

 

A Woodchat Shrike was seen at Middle Hill.

A poor catch at the Observatory with only seven birds trapped.  This due to  clear skies that allowed migrants to bypass the Rock and fly north.

Ringing Totals

Species Full Grown Retrap Total
Sardinian Warbler 1 0 1
Garden Warbler 2 0 2
Blackcap 1 1 2
Blue Tit 0 1 1
Greenfinch 1 0 1
Total 5 2 7

 

05 May:  Levanter cloud over the Rock, town and harbour, clearing in the afternoon to give sunny spells.

 

There were two Spotted Flycatchers, two Woodchat Shrikes, a Robin and recently fledged Sardinian Warblers at Commonwealth Park.

 A good trapping session at the Observatory that included several species of migrants including a Willow Warbler control.  Also at this time of the year House Sparrows venture into the Nature Reserve to catch invertebrates to feed their young.

Ringing Totals

Species Full Grown Retrap Total
Blackbird 2 0 2
Reed Warbler 2 0 2
Melodious Warbler 3 0 3
Sardinian Warbler 1 0 1
Subalpine Warbler 1 0 1
Orphean Warbler 1 0 1
Garden Warbler 4 0 4
Blackcap 0 3 3
Western Bonelli's Warbler 2 0 2
Willow Warbler 0 1c 1c
Pied Flycatcher 1 0 1
Blue Tit 1 1 2
House Sparrow 2 1 3
Total 20 6 26

 

04 May:  A dull day with overcast skies and moderate easterly wind producing a levanter cloud over the Rock.  Winds freshening by midday.

A visit to Windmill produced a few migrants, but was marred by military activity and nearby demolition of buildings.

Windmill Hill Totals

Barbary Partridge 5
Blackbird 5
Swallow 14
Whinchat 1
Redstart 1
Melodious Warbler 1
Sardinian Warbler 23
Whitethroat 3
Orphean Warbler 1
Woodchat Shrike 1
Spotless Starling 1
House Sparrow 15

 

03 May:  Westerly cloud with sunny periods throughout the day.  Winds mainly northerly but light westerly at times in the Strait.

A Nightjar sp. was observed on Green lane road.

 

02 May:  Mainly clear skies with northerly winds throughout the day but winds turned to south-westerly in the Strait during the late afternoon.

A trickle of raptors over the Rock during the morning, consisting of mainly Black Kites and Honey Buzzards.  Raptor movement got underway in the late afternoon with the shift in the wind, with many Honey Buzzards seen, but no systematic count was made.

 

01 May:  Mainly clear skies with some westerly cloud.  Winds a cold northerly during the morning, but becoming westerly in the late afternoon.

Totals for the evening were 76 Honey Buzzards, 52 Black Kites, seven Short-toed Eagles,  a Marsh Harrier,  three Griffon Vultures,  five Egyptian Vultures, two Booted Eagle and a Black Stork.

 

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