Wintering Seabirds Outing

Our first outing of the year took place on Saturday 19th January at Harding's Observation Post, Europa Point.

Despite the forecast, the rain held off for the most part but the dark clouds and offshore breeze were not conducive to a great afternoon's birding.

The outing was poorly attended, with a handful of observers making the best of it. The sewage outlet below the lighthouse had attracted nearly 200 Black-headed Gulls (Chroicocephalus ridibundus), with many resting on the cliff above, among the clumps of Gibraltar Sea Lavender. 

 

 

Black-headed Gull in winter plumage.                                                         Photo:  R. Risso.

 

Great Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) were seen fishing right in the muck, with the gulls pattering the surface, searching for food. In the clearer water further away from shore, Northern Gannets (Morus bassanus) dived for fish. Most were adults but several immature and juvenile birds reproduced the field guide's range of age plumages for us.

Adult Gannet.                                                                                                           Photo:  R. Risso.

Further offshore we were able to spot three small flocks of endangered Balearic Shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus), flying towards the West. 

Balearic Shearwater.                                                                                                Photo:  T. Finlayson. 

 

An unusual but most welcome sighting were 10 Common House Martins (Delichon urbicum) arriving from having crossed the Strait, the first migrants of this year's northward passage.

An adult and first-winter Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus) were also seen. It also a delight to see several passes by local Mediterranean Shags (Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmarestii), two of which were immature birds. It was reassuring to witness evidence of recent, successful breeding of this marine species.

 

Our next outing will be further afield, to La Janda in Cadiz, Spain on the 16th February.

 

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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Bird List and Bird Report changes

Bird List and Bird Report changes

 Contains updated Bird List and Gibraltar Bird Report Progress, together with Spring 2021 Raptor Totals.

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Eurobirdwatch 2020

Eurobirdwatch 2020

This year’s celebration of BirdLife International’s ‘EuroBirdwatch’ was a quieter affair than in previous years. 

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GONHS Marine Bioblitz at Sandy Bay

GONHS Marine Bioblitz at Sandy Bay

The prime objective of our first marine bioblitz was to engage the public in a citizen science initiative which also served to raise understanding of the dynamic coastline we have in Gibraltar.

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