EuroBirdwatch 2018

GONHS celebrated the 25th EuroBirdwatch last weekend, a Europe-wide event organised by BirdLife International to highlight bird migration and conservation.  The event has been celebrated in Gibraltar every year since 1993, when it began.  

The events started off at sunrise with a bird walk up to Jew's Gate led by Keith Bensusan, who highlighted migratory birds that were present along the way including Blackcaps and Robins. Participants were then able to see the ringing that takes place at our field station, which at this time of the year is headed by Ray Marsh.  Members of the public were shown the process involved in measuring and ringing a bird, including how the birds are extracted from the mist nets. Some of the children present were even able to release the birds after they had been ringed and processed.

A small group of Barbary Partridges were also present around the field station, which afforded some really close up views of these stunning birds.  Some ringing highlights included a large migratory movement of Blackcaps, including a Blackcap that had been ringed in Belgium earlier in the year, highlighting effectively how migratory birds travel between countries and do not know borders.  It was stressed to those attending that, unlike throughout most of the Mediterranean, all hunting of birds is illegal in Gibraltar and no illegal hunting or trapping takes place on the Rock.

A Robinson moth trap was also run at Jews' Gate where we recorded around 50 species of moths, including two Death's-head Hawkmoths Acherontia atrops. This feature of the event, which we hold every year, proved to be very popular with the children.

The event continued in the afternoon at Europa Point with a seabird watch. Some 400 Cory’s Shearwaters that vied for flying fish with Common Dolphins and Bluefin Tuna could be seen off Europa Point.  This impressive spectacle has become an annual event during EuroBirdwatch, but this year the feeding frenzy was further from the shore than usual.

 

The day's events were attended by some fifty people in total, with 837 birds recorded. The same events are planned for 2019, with the addition of a bird of prey display at Commonwealth Park, where the hazards of migration for raptors will be highlighted.

 

Jews' Gate Field Station ready to welcome members of the public

Jews' Gate Field Station ready to welcome members of the public

Bird ringing station at Jews' Gate

Bird ringing station at Jews' Gate

European Nightjar

European Nightjar

European Nightjar

European Nightjar

Releasing a Robin

Releasing a Robin

Blackcap perched on one of the ringers!

Blackcap perched on one of the ringers!

Barbary Partridge at Jews' Gate

Barbary Partridge at Jews' Gate

Male Blackcap in the hand

Male Blackcap in the hand

Wren in the hand

Wren in the hand

Moth trapping at Jews' Gate

Moth trapping at Jews' Gate

Death's-head Hawkmoth

Death's-head Hawkmoth

Selection of GONHS material

Selection of GONHS material

Seabird watch at Europa Point

Seabird watch at Europa Point

Raptor Rescue

Raptor Rescue

The 25th May was specially hectic for the number of raptors that fell into the sea.  Most of these are young non-breeding and inexperienced birds that fall foul of windy conditions in the Strait.

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Sierra De Las Nieves Outing

Sierra De Las Nieves Outing


The Sierra de las Nieves outing was held on Saturday 21st May.  A good group of people attended and the weather was magnificent.

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Field Marshal Sir John Chapple, 1931-2022

Field Marshal Sir John Chapple, 1931-2022

Field Marshal Sir John Chapple, 1931-2022

 

GONHS notes with much sadness the passing of Field Marshal Sir John Chapple, Governor of Gibraltar 1993-1995 and Honorary Life Patron of the Society.

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Gibraltar Bird Report 2020

Gibraltar Bird Report 2020

Welcome to the 2020 issue of the Gibraltar Bird Report.

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The Remarkable Lives of Gibraltar's Swifts Uncovered

The Remarkable Lives of Gibraltar's Swifts Uncovered

 A paper has just been published by the journal PLOS ONE which reveals the remarkable lives of pallid swifts that nest in the attic of The Gibraltar National Museum. ‘Birds with multiple homes. The annual cycle of the pallid swift (Apus pallidus brehmorum)’ details the incredible exploits of these birds, from when they leave for Africa after breeding until their return the following spring.

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Eurobirdwatch 2021

Eurobirdwatch 2021

EuroBirdwatch21

This year, GONHS once again celebrates bird migration with the rest of the BirdLife family in Europe and Central Asia. Organisations throughout the continent will be participating in the event, which takes place during the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd October.

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GONHS May Outing: Finca La Alcaidesa

GONHS May Outing: Finca La Alcaidesa

The outing to Finca La Alcaidesa, on the 15th May, was the first GONHS outing to Spain since before the pandemic. 

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Myrtle or Yellow-rumped Warbler

Myrtle or Yellow-rumped Warbler

Myrtle Warbler, Setophaga coronata, also known as a Yellow-rumped Warbler, was reported by Luis Lopez from the Europa Point area, with a video and a photograph posted by Manuel Morales Holgado,  on the WhatsApp group 'Aves Estrecho Gibraltar' on February 27th

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