Recent Sightings February 2022

28 Feb:  Overcast skies with levanter cloud over the Rock, town and harbour, clearing to give prolonged sunny spells in the afternoon.  Winds fresh and sometimes strong easterly.

A Hoopoe was seen overflying Queensway road close to Commonwealth Park, and another was observed in the Botanic Gardens.

Most of the seabirds from the last two days had left the area with only single Gannet, three Shags, 54 Black-headed Gulls and eight Mediterranean Gulls present at Europa Point.

 

27 Feb:  Light rain overnight and drizzle early morning with a low levanter cloud and overcast skies in the area.  Winds dropped overnight to fresh easterly, with occasional strong gusts.

A morning visit to Europa point produced 55 Gannets, two Cormorants, four Shags, 312 Scopoli's Shearwaters, 20 Balearic Shearwaters, a Great Skua, 160 Black-headed Gulls, 140 Mediterranean Gulls, four Audouin's Gulls, three Razorbills and seven Sandwich Terns.  There were still at least 180 Yellow-legged Gulls settled on the sea close inshore.

Part of a flock of 100 Scopoli's Shearwaters at Europa Point.                                     C. Finlayson.

A visit to North Front Cemetery produced four Chiffchaffs, three Hoopoes, six Black Redstarts and three Stonechats.

 

Hoopoe at North Front Cemetery.                                                                     R. Perez

 

26 Feb:  Overcast skies with light drizzle in the early morning and late afternoon.  Gale force easterly winds with strong gusts.

A morning watch at Europa Point produced  50 Gannets, a Cormorants, two Shags, 47 Scopoli's Shearwaters, two Balearic Shearwaters, 53 Black-headed Gulls, a Great Skua, seven Mediterranean Gulls, a Lesser Black-backed Gulls, four Audouin's Gulls, a Razorbill and a Sandwich Terns.  Also seen was a Hoopoe.

In the afternoon, at this same site, there were at least 300 Yellow-legged Gulls settled on the sea close to the shoreline, mainly first winter, together with 25 Black-headed Gulls and 20 Mediterranean Gulls.  Also seen were 25 Gannets, seven Cormorants, nine Shags, 26 Scopoli's Shearwaters, 30 Balearic Shearwaters, six Great Skuas, three Lesser Black-backed Gulls, four Audouin's Gulls, two Razorbills and eight Sandwich Terns.

 

25 Feb:  Overcast skies with some light rain showers in the morning with levanter cloud over the Rock, town and harbour.  Winds strong increasing to gale force with strong gusts in the afternoon and evening.

An afternoon watch  at Europa Point produced 30 Gannets, six Cormorants, six Shags, four Balearic Shearwaters, 30 Black-headed Gulls, three Mediterranean Gulls, two Lesser Black-backed Gulls and two Sandwich Terns.

 

22 Feb:  Mainly clear skies with some wisps of levanter cloud over the Rock.  Winds light to moderate easterly.

A visit to North Front Cemetery in the afternoon produced three Chiffchaffs, 12 Black Redstarts, a Stonechat four Blackbirds and a White Wagtail.

An afternoon watch at Europa point produced 23 Gannets, six Cormorants, seven Shags, a Grey Heron, 100 Black-headed Gulls, an Audouin's Gull and a Razorbill.

 

21 Feb:  Cloudy with levanter cloud over the Rock, town and harbour with sunny spells in the afternoon.  Winds moderate easterly.

 

20 Feb:  Overcast skies with some light rain early in the morning, remaining cloudy throughout the day with levanter cloud over the Rock, town and harbour.  Winds strong easterly.

 

19 Feb:  Clear skies in the morning, but some westerly cloud in the afternoon.  Winds  moderate to light westerly sea breeze.

A Black Kite and two Short-toed Eagles were seen in the late afternoon.

 

18 Feb:  Clear skies with a light to moderate westerly to north westerly.

Seven Black Kites, a Red KiteCommon Buzzard and a Sparrowhawk. were seen around midday.

 

17 Feb:  Clear skies with a light northerly wind.

A Short-toed Eagle was seen over the harbour heading north in the late afternoon, and a Sparrowhawk was seen along the Sand Slopes on the east side.

 

16 Feb:  Clear skies with a moderate northerly wind, but fresh south-westerly in the Strait.

In the early morning a Hoopoe was see by Westview Park, where five Grey Herons flew out of their roosting area.

At midday raptor passage began, with small flocks of birds throughout the afternoon.  in total there were two White Storks, seven Black Storks, two Cranes, a Spoonbill, nine Black Kites, five Egyptian Vultures, 37 Short-toed Eagles, a Marsh Harrier and two Sparrowhawks.  Also seen were seven Swallows and the two Ravens.

Crane:                       C. Finlayson

Crane: C. Finlayson

Spoonbill:                 C. Finlayson

Spoonbill: C. Finlayson

A watch at Europa point in the afternoon produced 20 Gannets, a Grey Heron, two Cormorants, three Shags, 78 Black-headed Gulls, an adult Mediterranean Gull, 13 Razorbills and four Puffins.

 

15 Feb:  Clear skies with a light northerly wind.

A morning visit to Europa point produced three Gannets, a Cormorant, a Shag, eight Balearic Shearwaters, 170 Black-headed Gulls, four Mediterranean Gulls two Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a Hoopoe.

In the afternoon there were single Great Skua, Audouin's Gull and 18 Razorbills apart from other seabirds present at this site. A Common Sandpiper was seen on the rocks by the runway.

 

14 Feb:  Finally after weeks of easterlies, the winds turned to proper westerlies.  The morning was cloudy as the tail of a frontal system passed with a light drizzle earlier on, but sunny spells towards midday and clear skies in the afternoon with a north-westerly wind.

The first Black Kites of the year were seen in the morning with a total of 53 birds, a Marsh Harrier and two House Martins.

Two Hoopoes were seen at Transport Lane, and a Razorbill was observed in the Marina.  Two Grey Herons flew over Morrison's store.

 

13 Feb:  Levanter cloud over the town and harbour, with sunny spells away from the Rock.  Winds moderate easterly becoming lighter in the late afternoon.

A Kingfisher was spotted at the GSLA pools.

 

12 Feb:  Levanter cloud over the town and harbour in the morning, clearing in the afternoon.  Some westerly cloud from the west in the afternoon with plenty of sunny spells.  Winds moderate easterly.

A morning visit to Europa Point produced 12 Gannets heading out of the Mediterranean, eight Balearic Shearwaters, four Cormorants, two Shags, 295 Black-headed Gulls, including colour ringed gull T39J, five Mediterranean Gulls and an Audouin's Gull. 

In the afternoon, at this same site, there were several flocks of Gannets moving out of the Med with 24 birds, two Cormorants, two Shags, 110 Black-headed Gulls, including colour ringed gull E6PT, six Mediterranean Gulls, an Audouin's Gull, a Sandwich Tern and 44 Razorbills.

The Iberian Magpie was seen again at Vineyards.

 

11 Feb:  Overcast skies in the morning with high cloud from the west,  and levanter cloud over the Rock, clearing somewhat to give sunny spells.  Winds moderate easterly.

An evening watch from Europa Point produced 37 Gannets, three Balearic Shearwaters, a Grey Heron, eight Cormorants, four Shags, 93 Black-headed Gulls, three Mediterranean Gulls, an Audouin's Gull and 10 Razorbills.

 

10 Feb: Levanter cloud over the Rock, town and harbour in fresh easterly winds.

A visit to Europa point in the late afternoon produced 31 Gannets, 15 Balearic Shearwaters, a Grey Heron, six Cormorants, three Shags, 25 Black-headed Gulls, a Mediterranean Gull, an Audouin's Gull, eight Sandwich Terns and 11 Razorbills.

A visit to the Botanic Gardens located the wintering Wryneck, among other resident and wintering birds.

The Iberian Magpie was seen again at Vineyards.

 

09 Feb: Overcast in the morning with levanter cloud over the Rock, but sunny spells in the afternoon.  Winds fresh easterly.

A visit to Europa point produced 6 Gannets, a Cormorant, two Shags, 12 Balearic Shearwaters, 54 Black-headed Gulls, an Audouin's Gull and four Razorbills.

A Woodpigeon was seen by St. Bernard's Church.

Woodpigeon by St. Bernard's Church.         S. Olivero

 

 

07 Feb:  Levanter cloud over the town and harbour, with sunny spells away from the Rock.  Winds fresh easterly.

A visit to the Botanic Gardens produced 13 Blue Tits, three Great Tits, 23 Chiffchaffs, eight Sardinian Warblers, 20 Blackcaps, 10 Robins, 12 Black Redstarts, 19 Blackbirds, 21 Chaffinches and 17 Greenfinches.

 

06 Feb:  Heavy levanter cloud over the Rock, town and harbour in fresh easterly winds.

A visit to Camp Bay in the morning produced seven Gannets, three Cormorants, a Shag, a Common Sandpiper and a Kingfisher.

In the afternoon, at Europa Point, there were 27 Gannets, four Cormorants, two Shags, 13 Balearic Shearwaters, 94 Black-headed Gulls, four Mediterranean Gulls and six Sandwich Terns.

The Iberian Magpie was seen at Commonwealth Park.

 

05 Feb:  Mainly clear skies with some high cloud.  Winds light variable to light westerly.  

In the morning there were six Sanderlings at Eastern beach and a Marsh Harrier and four Swallows flew north over Windmill Hill.  In the afternoon another Marsh Harrier was seen.

A flock of 12 Balearic Shearwaters flew past Europa Point, and the Black-headed Gull with white colour ring  E6PT was again present.

We have received information of a ringed Garden Warbler from Norway which was trapped last year.

 

04 Feb:  Cloudy skies with slight drizzle in the morning remaining cloudy during the morning but some sunny spells in the afternoon.  Winds moderate westerly.

A morning watch at Europa point produced 31 Gannets, a Grey Heron, 11 Balearic Shearwaters, three Cormorants, six Shags, 145 Black-headed Gulls, two Mediterranean Gulls, eight Lesser Black-backed Gulls and an Audouin's Gull.

In the afternoon there were 45 Gannets, a Grey Heron, eight Balearic Shearwaters, 11 Cormorants, three Shags, 120 Black-headed Gulls, seven Mediterranean Gulls, two Lesser Black-backed Gulls, an Audouin's Gull, a Sandwich Tern and a Kestrel.  Also seen were six Swallows.

 

03 Feb:  Mainly clear skies with some high cloud mid morning.  Winds light variable to light westerly in the Strait.

An afternoon visit to Europa Point produced 54 Gannets, 23 Balearic Shearwaters, a Grey Heron, four Cormorants, four Shags, a Turnstone, a Common Sandpiper, 150 Black-headed Gulls, eight Mediterranean Gulls, three Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 13 Sandwich Terns.

Over 200 Black-headed Gulls feeding and resting on the cliff at Europa Point, including colour ringed E6PT.  Offshore some Balearic Shearwaters heading west, a few Gannets about and three Cormorants.

We have received a report of one of our ringed birds, a Siskin, that was retrapped in Algeria.  Details below.

 

02 Feb:  Levanter cloud back again with a moderate easterly wind.

The Kittiwake was present again below Europa Point in the late afternoon.

In the evening a Tawny Owl was seen flying south towards Eliotts battery.

 

01 Feb:  Clear skies with a moderate to fresh westerly wind in the Strait.

A morning watch from Europa Point produced six Gannets, four Cormorants, a Shag, 160 Black-headed Gulls, four Mediterranean Gulls and four Lesser Black-backed Gull.

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