Recent Sightings September 2021

21 Sep:  Dense fog at dawn covering the whole area, but slowly lifting by 09:00hrs.  Levanter cloud over the Rock, town and harbour throughout the day.  Winds moderate easterly.

A flock of 15 Swallows and 14 Bee-eaters flew south over the Observatory.

 

20 Sep:  Overcast skies with levanter cloud over the Rock, town and harbour, and cloudy over the Strait and nearby Spain.  Cloud clearing by midday but levanter cloud remaining until mid afternoon. Winds a moderate easterly.

 Ringing Totals

Species Name New Retrap Total
Scops Owl 1   1
Wryneck 1   1
Blackbird   1 1
Nightingale 1   1
Redstart 7   7
Reed Warbler 4   4
Melodious Warbler 1   1
Sardinian Warbler 2 1 3
Western Subalpine Warbler 1   1
Blackcap 11 1 12
Garden Warbler 24   24
Western Orphean Warbler   1 1
Willow Warbler 11   11
Chiffchaff 2   2
Iberian Chiffchaff 11   11
Pied Flycatcher 21   21
Spotted Flycatcher 2   2
Grand Total 100 4 104

A Sparrowhawk was seen around Jews' Gate and the Iberian Magpie flew past the Observatory.  Also seen were single Swallow and three Booted Eagles soaring over the Rock at midday.

 

19 Sep:  Clear skies with a light to breezy northerly wind at the Observatory.  In the afternoon winds became light and variable.

Ringing Totals

Species Name New Retrap Total
Blackbird 3 2 5
Redstart 4 1 5
Reed Warbler 1   1
Whitethroat 1   1
Sardinian Warbler 3 3 6
Blackcap 2 2 4
Garden Warbler 4   4
Willow Warbler 3   3
Western Bonelli's Warbler 1   1
Pied Flycatcher 4   4
Spotted Flycatcher 1   1
Blue Tit 1   1
House Bunting* 1   1
Greenfinch 1   1
Grand Total 30 8 38

Although the winds at the Observatory gusting at the nets, a number of passerine migrants and some resident birds were trapped and ringed.  Among these was a first for Gibraltar, a House Bunting * Emberiza sahari ,a north African species that has been expanding its range northwards in Morocco, and has now established a breeding population in Tangier; it was only a matter of time before one arrived in Gibraltar. 

House Bunting  Adult female, arrested moult. New PP 1-3

House Bunting Adult female, arrested moult. New PP 1-3

House Bunting Adult female, arrested moult.

House Bunting Adult female, arrested moult.

Photos by C. Finlayson.

Single Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk and adult Egyptian Vulture were seen heading south over the Observatory.  A Honey Buzzard was seen in the late evening dropping down to roost on the Rock.

 

18 Sep:  Clear skies throughout the day but fog creeping over Europa Point and the airfield that dissipated by 11am.  Winds light variable turning to moderate south-westerly by midday.

Ringing Totals

Species Name New Retrap Total
Nightjar 1   1
Blackbird 1   1
Nightingale 3   3
Reed Warbler 2   2
Sardinian Warbler 3   3
Blackcap 4 2 6
Garden Warbler 4   4
Western Orphean Warbler 1   1
Willow Warbler 3   3
Iberian Chiffchaff 1   1
Western Bonelli's Warbler 1   1
Pied Flycatcher 7   7
Greenfinch   1 1
Grand Total 31 3 34

A flock of 32 Black Kites flew low over town mid afternoon.  Eighteen Glossy Ibises flew along the east of the Rock heading south.

 

17 Sep:  Clear skies at dawn but fog bank came in from the east to cover Windmill Hill and the airfield and harbour.  Some levanter cloud forming mid morning to bring overcast skies, but by midday the cloud dissipated and was followed by clear skies.  Winds light variable to light easterly becoming light southerly in the afternoon.

Ringing Totals

Species Name New Retrap Total
Red-necked Nightjar 1   1
Nightjar 1   1
Blackbird 1 1 2
Nightingale 5   5
Redstart 1   1
Reed Warbler 5   5
Melodious Warbler 1   1
Sardinian Warbler 4   4
Whitethroat 1   1
Blackcap 4 1 5
Garden Warbler 13   13
Western Orphean Warbler 1   1
Chiffchaff 3   3
Iberian Chiffchaff 5   5
Western Bonelli's Warbler 2   2
Willow Warbler 11   11
Pied Flycatcher 3   3
Blue Tit 1   1
Grand Total 63 2 65


 The North Front Cemetery held two Black-eared Wheatears and five Redstarts.

 

 

16 Sep:  Clear skies with a light westerly wind becoming moderate south-westerly.

Approximately 150 raptors were seen in the morning over town, composed of Honey Buzzards and Black Kites.

Ringing Totals

Species Name New Retrap Total
Blackbird 3   3
Tree Pipit 2   2
Nightingale 2   2
Sardinian Warbler 4 1 5
Whitethroat 1   1
Garden Warbler 8   8
Western Orphean Warbler 1   1
Pied Flycatcher 8   8
Willow Warbler 6   6
Grand Total 35 1 36

 

A visit to North Front Cemetery in the morning produced three Black-eared Wheatears, two Blackbirds, five Redstarts, a Reed Warbler, four Sardinian Warblers, three Willow Warblers, four Chiffchaffs and five Pied Flycatchers.

A walk from Upper Witham's Road to the Botanic Gardens produced 50 Collared Doves, four Blackbirds, two Sardinian Warblers, six Blackcaps, three Chiffchaffs, seven Pied Flycatchers, four Spotted Flycatchers and 13 Blue Tits.

A seawatch from Europa Point produced over 100 Cory's Shearwaters, a Cormorant, a Shag, six Turnstones, two Common Sandpipers, three Black-headed Gulls, three Audouin's Gulls.  Also seen from there were two Ravens, an Osprey and two Yellow Wagtails.

 

15 Sep:  Overcast skies with some light rain showers overnight, remaining cloudy with some sunny spells.  Winds light variable to light westerly.

Ringing Totals

Species Name New Retraps Total
Blackbird 2   2
Nightingale 1   1
Redstart 1   1
Sardinian Warbler 1 1 2
Blackcap 1 2 3
Garden Warbler 1   1
Western Orphean Warbler 3 1 4
Willow Warbler 3   3
Pied Flycatcher 3   3
Blue Tit 1   1
Greenfinch 1   1
Grand Total 18 4 22

 

The Turtle Dove was still at North Front Cemetery in the morning, plus two Sardinian Warblers, four Garden Warblers, a Willow Warbler two Chiffchaffs and four Blue Tits.

A walk along upper Witham's Road to the Botanic produced three Sardinian Warblers, two Blackcaps, five Pied Flycatchers, three Willow Warblers, two Chiffchaffs and nine Blue Tits

In the Botanic Gardens a further seven Blackbirds, three Sardinian Warblers, two Blackcaps, single Spotted and Pied Flycatchers and four Blue Tits were seen.

At North Front Cemetery there were single Black-eared Wheatear and Reed Warbler, three Sardinian Warblers, a Garden Warbler, three Spotted Flycatcher and two Pied Flycatcher.

 

14 Sep:  Overcast skies with some rain showers overnight and early in the morning.  Remaining cloudy but clearing mid afternoon to give sunny periods.  Winds light easterly.

Ringing Totals

Species Name New Retrap Total
Sardinian Warbler 3 1 4
Whitethroat 1   1
Garden Warbler 3   3
Willow Warbler 4   4
Pied Flycatcher 4   4
Blue Tit 1   1
Grand Total 16 1 17

 

In the morning, a Marsh Harrier flew south over the Observatory, a Sparrowhawk flew low over the net rides and a flock of 10 Swallows were seen around the site.

A visit to North Front Cemetery in the morning produced a Turtle Dove, three Blackbirds, four Sardinian Warblers, two Garden Warblers, three Pied Flycatchers and a Blue Tit.

A walk along upper Witham's Road to the Botanic revealed 37 Collared Doves, five Blackbirds, two Spotted Flycatchers, two Pied Flycatchers, a Chiffchaff and a Blue Tit.

A visit to Windmill Hill produced eight Barbary Partridges, a Kestrel, four Hoopoes, a Swallow, 11 Blackbirds, four Blue Rock Thrushes, a Zitting Cisticolas, six Redstarts, a Nightingale, 26 Sardinian Warblers, two Willow Warblers and 31 Spotless Starlings.

 

13 Sep:  Overcast skies with westerly cloud plus low levanter cloud.  Some light rain showers in the morning and afternoon.

Ringing Totals

Species Name New Retrap Total
Hoopoe 1   1
Scops Owl 1   1
Swallow 1   1
Blackbird 2 1 3
Wren 1   1
Nightingale 2   2
Redstart 2   2
Reed Warbler 10   10
Grasshopper Warbler 1   1
Melodious Warbler   1 1
Sardinian Warbler 2   2
Whitethroat 2   2
Blackcap 2   2
Garden Warbler 4   4
Western Orphean Warbler 3   3
Willow Warbler 16   16
Iberian Chiffchaff 4   4
Pied Flycatcher 1   1
Blue Tit 2   2
Greenfinch 2   2
Grand Total 59 2 61

 A Booted Eagle and a Sparrowhawk were seen mid morning over O'Hara's Battery.  Two Turnstones were seen at the South Mole.

 

12 Sep:  Clear skies in the morning but some light levanter cloud developing mid morning, disappearing by midday.  Winds light variable to light easterly.

Ringing Totals

Species Name New Retrap Total
Nightjar 1   1
Bee-eater 1   1
Wryneck 1   1
Tree Pipit 3   3
Blackbird 4   4
Reed Warbler 5   5
Sardinian Warbler 9 1 10
Whitethroat 2   2
Blackcap 3 2 5
Garden Warbler 16 1 17
Western Orphean Warbler   1 1
Willow Warbler 6   6
Iberian Chiffchaff 4   4
Chiffchaff 3   3
Pied Flycatcher 2   2
Great Tit 1   1
Greenfinch 3   3
Grand Total 64 5 69

 

There were single Garden Warblers in the Botanic Gardens and Trafalgar Cemetery. 

 

 

11 Sep:  Clear skies with a light to moderate westerly becoming light variable.  A Sparrowhawk was observed at Jews' Gate.

Ringing Totals

Species Name New Retrap Total
Hoopoe 1 0 1
Wryneck 1 0 1
Blackbird 2 0 2
Redstart 1 0 1
Nightingale 4 0 4
Reed Warbler 1 0 1
Sardinian Warbler 7 0 7
Whitethroat 2 0 2
Blackcap 4 0 4
Garden Warbler 5 0 5
Western Orphean Warbler 1 0 1
Willow Warbler 13 0 13
Blue Tit 4 0 4
Pied Flycatcher 5 0 5
Greenfinch 2 0 2
Grand Total 53 0 53

A morning watch at Europa Point produced a Black-headed Gull, a Common Sandpiper, two Turnstones and two Grey Wagtails.

At midday at North Front Cemetery there were single Hoopoe, Redstart and Melodious Warbler, two Chiffchaffs, a Blackbird and six Sardinian Warblers.  In the Botanic Gardens there were several Willow Warblers, a Bonelli's Warbler and a Pied Flycatcher.

Bonelli's Warbler in the Botanic Gardens.                                               F.J. Odinius.

A walk from Governor's Lookout to Signal Station Road produced two Barbary Partridge, two Kestrels, seven Pallid Swifts,  a Wren, two Blackbirds, three Redstarts, two Pied Flycatchers, three Ravens and five Greenfinches.

 

10 Sep:  Clear skies with a light northerly becoming moderate south-westerly in the afternoon. 

Ringing Totals

Species Name New Retrap Total
Blackbird 2   2
Wren 1   1
Redstart 2   2
Nightingale   1 1
Reed Warbler 2   2
Sardinian Warbler 7   7
Whitethroat 3   3
Blackcap 5 1 6
Garden Warbler 3   3
Western Orphean Warbler 1   1
Willow Warbler 10   10
Chiffchaff 1   1
Pied Flycatcher 8   8
Blue Tit 4   4
Greenfinch 2   2
Grand Total 51 2 53

An early morning count from Princess Caroline's Battery produced a White Stork, three Honey Buzzards, 46 Black Kites, a Short-toed Eagle and a Kestrel.  Total for the day was 524 Honey Buzzards, 30 Black Kites, two Egyptian Vultures, a Short-toed Eagle, a Montagu's Harrier, three Sparrowhawks, four Booted Eagles and a Kestrel.  Also seen were single White Stork, 40 Bee-eaters and a Common Swift.

A two hour watch at Europa Point produced two Shelduck, 56 Cory's Shearwaters, four Gannets, a Cormorant, three Shags, two Black-headed Gulls, a Mediterranean Gull, two Audouin's Gulls, two Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a Sandwich Tern.  Also seen overhead were five Honey Buzzards and two Marsh Harriers.

Adult and juvenile Shelducks flying west at Europa Point.                                    R. Perez

 

09 Sep:  Cloudy skies with some sunny periods clearing by midday.  Winds fresh westerly. 

Ringing Totals

Species Name New Retrap Total
Blackbird 1 0 1
Sardinian Warbler 6 0 6
Whitethroat 1 0 1
Blackcap 3 0 3
Chiffchaff 1 0 1
Pied Flycatcher 3 0 3
Greenfinch 1 0 1
Grand Total 16 0 16

Raptor passage commenced early in the morning with 469 Honey Buzzards, 247 Black Kites, two Egyptian Vultures, two Sparrowhawks and two Booted Eagles counted.  A visit in the morning to North Front Cemetery produced two Hoopoes, two Black-eared Wheatears and a Willow Warbler.

Black-eared Wheatear at North Front Cemetery.                                                   R. Perez 

 

08 Sep:  Cloudy with some clear patches in the morning, with cloud from the west clearing by midday.  Winds fresh north-westerly.  Windy at the Observatory with only a few nets opened. 

 Ringing Totals

Species Name New Retrap  Total
Blackbird 2 0 2
Reed Warbler 1 0 1
Sardinian Warbler 4 1 5
Blackcap 2 2 4
Garden Warbler 1 0 1
Greenfinch 0 1 1
Grand Total 10 4 14

 

Raptor passage begun early with 117 Honey Buzzards in the cloud cover.  Also seen were 67 Black Kites, seven Eygptian Vultures, five Marsh Harriers, two Montagu's Harriers, two Booted Eagles and three Sparrowhawks.  At least 50 Black Kites were seen in the evening low over the town and Rock.  An Osprey was seen feeding on fish in a tree behind Catalan Bay.

A juvenile Golden Oriole was present at North Front Cemetery together with three Sardinian Warblers, a Blackbird and two Chiffchaffs., and a Hoopoe and three Swallows were seen at the Observatory.   In the evening there were single Pied Flycatcher and Spotted Flycatcher at North Front Cemetery with 25 Honey Buzzards and 39 Black Kites overhead.

There were two Ortolan Buntings present in the north of the Rock.

One of two Ortolan Buntings seen at the northern end of the Rock.                                  R. Perez 

 

 

07 Sep:  Clear skies at dawn but some levanter cloud over the Rock and town dissipating by mid morning, followed by clear skies.  Winds light easterly becoming light variable in the evening. 

The Iberian Magpie was observed flying south at the Observatory and then landed on Clifftops before setting off to Windmill Hill. 

Ringing Totals

Species New Retrap Total
Hoopoe 1 0 1
Bee-eater 1 0 1
Wryneck 1 0 1
Blackbird 5 0 5
Nightingale 1 0 1
Reed Warbler 1 0 1
Sardinian Warbler 6 0 6
Whitethroat 1 0 1
Orphean Warbler 1 0 1
Blackcap 9 2 11
Garden Warbler 5 0 5
Willow Warbler 2 0 2
Chiffchaff 2 0 2
Blue Tit 4 1 5
Total 40 3 43

 

 

Juvenile Bee-eater ringed at the Jews' Gate Field Centre.

 

A juvenile Glossy Ibis made the headlines in the Gibraltar Chronicle, when it was found inside the Sports Hall.  It eventually managed to fly out through one of the upper windows.

 

There were 13 Turnstones at the South Mole, with nine Shags on the rocks at Seven sisters.  A Willow Warbler was at Vineyards, with a Hoopoe late in the evening at North Front Cemetery. A single Sparrowhawk was seen from the Observatory.

 

06 Sep:  Heavy levanter over the Rock, town and harbour with overcast skies in the region.  Winds moderate easterly.

Ringing Totals

Species New Retrap Totals
Sparrowhawk 1 0 1
Nightjar 1 0 1
Swallow 10 0 10
Blackbird 7 0 7
Nightingale 4 0 4
Redstart 3 0 3
Reed Warbler 3 0 3
Melodious Warbler 3 0 3
Sardinian Warbler 11 0 11
Whitethroat 2 0 2
Blackcap 15 8 23
Garden Warbler 14 0 14
Orphean Warbler 3 0 3
Willow Warbler 1 0 1
Chiffchaff 2 0 2
Iberian Chiffchaff 2 0 2
Spotted Flycatcher 1 0 1
Pied Flycatcher 2 0 2
Blue Tit 2 0 2
Greenfinch 5 0 5
Totals 92 8 100

 A flock of 36 Bee-eaters were seen in the heavy cloud above the Observatory in the morning, with over 100 seen elsewhere.   Also four Booted Eagles and three Swallows

 

05 Sep:  Levanter cloud over the Rock, town and harbour with early morning fog in the Strait and the airfield, lifting by midday.  Levanter cloud decreasing in the afternoon to give sunny spells.

All nets were erected for a good catch today that included a Spanish ringed Orphean Warbler control.

Ringing Totals

Species New Retraps Total
Wren 1 0 1
Blackbird 9 1 10
Nightingale 5 0 5
Redstart 2 0 2
Reed Warbler 5 0 5
Melodious Warbler 1 0 1
Sardinian Warbler 19 3 22
Whitethroat 1 0 1
Blackcap 24 3 27
Garden Warbler 4 0 4
Orphean Warbler 3 1c 4
Willow Warbler 3 0 3
Iberian Chiffchaff 1 0 1
Spotted Flycatcher 2 0 2
Blue Tit 3 0 3
Great Tit 0 1 1
Greenfinch 7 2 9
Totals 90 11 101

 

 A Willow Warbler and a Reed Warbler were observed in scrub vegetation at Vineyards.  Two Iberian Chiffchaffs were seen in Aloes by Europa Point.

 Two Common Sandpipers were seen at Little Bay.

 

04 Sep:  Mainly clear skies in the morning with a light variable to light westerly wind in the Strait.  Sunny in the afternoon with winds becoming light easterly.  

Ringing totals for the top nets only.

Ringing Totals

Species New Retraps Totals
Reed Warbler 1 0 1
Melodious Warbler 1 0 1
Sardinian Warbler 18 1 19
Whitethroat 1 0 1
Blackcap 1 0 1
Garden Warbler 1 0 1
Willow Warbler 3 0 3
Blue Tit 1 0 1
Greenfinch 2 0 2
Totals 29 1 30

 

A Storm Petrel was seen one nautical mile off the east side of the Rock.  Two Sanderlings were photographed at Eastern Beach, and a further two Sanderlings and a Common Sandpiper were observed at Sandy Bay.

Two Sanderlings at Eastern Beach.                                                                         M.C. Garcia.

 A dark phase Booted Eagle was seen over town and Bee-eaters were heard at midnight over the southern end of the Rock.  This diurnal species regularly migrates at night also.

 

03 Sep:  A visit to North Front Cemetery in the morning produced five Hoopoes, single Northern and Black-eared Wheatears and a Golden Oriole flushed from the rubber tree as an Easy Jet flight came in to land.  An Osprey overflew this site and was later spotted in a Eucalyptus tree behind Catalan Bay. 

 

02 Sep:  Clear skies with a light westerly wind becoming moderate in the Strait.  At dawn two Grey Herons heading north over the North Mole.  A flock of at least 60 Honey Buzzards were seen soaring over town mid morning.

The morning total of raptors was 118 Honey Buzzards, 41 Black Kites, a Marsh Harrier, a Sparrowhawk and four Booted Eagles.

 

01 Sep:   Levanter cloud over the Rock, town and harbour clearing by midday to a clear sky.  Winds light easterly.

Common Sandpiper observed at western end of runway.  An Egyptian Vulture was seen heading towards mid harbours in the afternoon.  Two Great Tits heard at the Botanic Gardens, and the Jackdaw was still present at Moorish Castle.

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