Gibraltar Swallow found in Angola
A Barn Swallow, ringed at the Bird Observatory at Jews' Gate, was found in Chibia, Angola. The Swallow, ringed on the 16th October 2017, flew into the window of a house in the town of Chibia in Angola on the 20th March 2018.
Barn Swallows are rarely caught in the nets at the Bird Observatory, the habitat is unsuitable, although with tape lure, some will come in to investigate and are trapped. They are passage migrants that do not breed in Gibraltar, but are heading to their winter quarters in Africa from nesting sites in Europe. Only 188 Swallows have been ringed at the Observatory since 1992, with 2017 a good year with 62 Swallows ringed in October 2017. No recoveries or controls of this species had been recorded, until details of this bird was received from the British Trust for Ornithology, who maintains a database of all birds ringed in the UK and Gibraltar.
This is an exceptional recovery, with the Swallow covering a distance of 6040km, and possibly heading further south to a roost in Mount Moreland, in South Africa, where an estimated 3 million birds are present during our winter months. See http://barnswallow.co.za/ .
Swallow. Photo Ernest Garcia.