In the last few weeks seabird migration has got underway at Europa Point, with birds migrating west out of the Mediterranean close inshore. The best weather conditions are usually westerly winds, although even during easterlies birds will be seen. The afternoon is the best time to watch from this site as the light is favourable, and the birds pass close providing suitable conditions for good photography opportunities.
Over the last few weeks Europe has experienced a severe heatwave named 'Lucifer'. Gibraltar did not escape the ravages of the high temperatures, but fared better than inland areas in Spain. Temperatures increased daily with the highest recorded so far 35oC on the 7th August.
A few years ago a disease was proliferating among the Tree Aloes, Aloe arborescens around Gibraltar. Large stands of the plant around Europa Point and the east side of Gibraltar were badly affected, and several stands were unable to survive, and perished. Those that did weather the storm, recovered slowly during the winter months and managed to put on the display of their colourful and characteristic flowers; the red pokers.
Two pairs of Spotted Flycatchers bred successfully in Gibraltar. One was located at the Trafalgar Cemetery, where they raised two young, while the other pair bred near the Theatre area of the Botanic Gardens and were seen throughout the last few weeks feeding just one chick, but a few days ago two were seen together.
It is a good time of the year to see a range of butterflies and day flying moths around the gardens. A good population of Monarch Butterflies can be seen along the Main Walk and other species include the Crimson-Speckled Moth, Andalusian Blue, Small White and the Speckled Wood butterfly; all depicted in the video.
Scops Owl rescued by our Raptor Unit this morning. This is a migratory species and had arrived here having flown all the way from sub-Saharan Africa.
Greenfinch and Goldfinch. Ringed and released into the Gibraltar Nature Reserve this morning.