January 2018 Sightings

27 Jan:  Clear skies with a northerly wind, becoming easterly in the afternoon.  A Tawny Owl was heard in the late evening behind the Vineyards area.  Four Ravens were seen over the Rock.  The two semi-resident pairs attacked the two intruders and chased them off.

 

The two local Ravens chasing off two intruders
Photos:- Tommy Finlayson
The two local Ravens chasing off two intruders

A Whimbrel was seen and photographed on the rocks on the shoreline.

 

Whimbrel down on the foreshore.                                                                                                                                                     Photo:- Clive Crisp

 

26 Jan:  Clear skies with a cold northerly wind.  The first Hoopoe of the spring was seen and photographed at the Botanic Gardens.

 

The first Hoopoe of the spring at the Botanic Gardens.                                                            Photo: Franz Josef Odinius

24 Jan:  Overcast skies with a light westerly wind.  A flock of 14 Flamingoes were seen in the bay of Gibraltar.

 

23 Jan:  Clear skies with a light to moderate west to north-westerly wind.  A Black Kite and the first Short-toed Eagle of the season were seen flying over the Rock.

Our avid photographer Franz Josef Odinius, who spends a lot of afternoons at the Botanic Gardens, taking photos of our resident and wintering birds, came across a very interesting and unusual species drinking at the fountain of the Dell.  This is the first record of a Ring Ouzel for the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens; a species that is normally encountered in small numbers during its migration period in October, and in late March.  This is also the first record of the species wintering in Gibraltar, and as the photograph shows, a magnificent bird.

 

Ring Ouzel at the fountain of the Dell at the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens
Ring Ouzel at the fountain of the Dell at the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens
Ring Ouzel at the fountain of the Dell at the Gibraltar Botanic Gardens

 

21 Jan:  Clear skies with some high cloud in the late afternoon.  Winds moderate north-westerly.  The Seabird Outing at Europa Point was very successful with good views of many birds close inshore.  see the news page for more details.

Totals were 100 Black-headed Gulls mainly feeding and resting on the cliff below the Point.  Seven Mediterranean Gulls, with 3 adults, one with a black head appearing, a second winter and 3 first winter birds.  Three Great Skuas, 30 Gannets, with some feeding close inshore, 3 Shags heading east, and a Cormorant feeding below the Point.  Two of the Black-headed Gulls bore white colour rings with black letters with the codes E6PT and Z02C.  These details will be posted as soon as we receive the information back from the original ringers.

 

Two Firecrests were seen around Anglian Way in the Nature reserve, and 16 Black Kites were seen in the evening heading north, with another low over the airfield.

 

20 Jan:  A Cattle Egret was feeding on the Gibraltar side of the border fence.

 

19 Jan:  Overcast skies with high cloud in the morning, clearing to give a sunny day in the afternoon.  Winds light westerly, becoming moderate.  The first Black Kite of the season passed north over the Rock in the afternoon.

 

05 Jan:  Overcast skies with a fresh westerly wind.  A flock of approximately 200 White Storks flew north over the Rock mid morning.

 

01 Jan:  Clear skies with a light westerly wind.  A Dartford Warbler was present in the tamarix bushes at Europa Point.  It may be the same individual seen on the 20th December and may be wintering there.  Also 85 Black-headed Gulls resting on the cliff and feeding below the Point.  Offshore two Gannets.

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