Bird Report 2020 - In Progress

The Report sections listed below are largely complete and may be consulted here. They remain subject to further alteration until the final Report, complete with photographs, is published in the usual format later in the year. In the meantime, suggested changes, alterations or submissions for publication will be gratefully received by the Editor, Ernest Garcia (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

 

BIRDS IN GIBRALTAR 2020 in progress


Compiled by Ernest Garcia

 

 

REVIEW OF THE YEAR

It is certainly no exaggeration to say that 2020 was a landmark year in the lives of those who experienced it. The massive disruption caused by the global epidemic of COVID-19 will long be remembered. As it happens, Gibraltar was fortunate to experience a comparatively modest bout of the virus during its initial emergence in spring but a far more serious second outbreak occurred at the very end of the year.

The measures taken to contain the first wave of infection included a full Social Lockdown that began on March 24th. During this period people were required to remain at home although exercise outside for one hour a day was permitted. Some local birders took this opportunity to go for walks at good birding sites. That apart, such activities as raptor-watching took place from home. The lockdown was gradually eased from early May onwards and was not reinstated during the rest of the year. The lockdown had obvious limiting effects on birding activity, including the cancellation of visits by ringers and others. Nevertheless, 2020 proved to be an interesting year birdwise. An above average annual total of 154 species was recorded, more than in the ‘normal’ years of 2019 (150) and 2018 (139). There were no new additions to the Gibraltar List but a good range of locally very scarce species was reported. Details of these and all other species recorded are in the Systematic List.

The lockdown might have been expected to result in very poor monitoring of the spring passage of soaring birds. In fact, the housebound watchers achieved remarkably good coverage, and had plenty of time to do so. The outstanding feature of the spring 2020 movements was the massive passage of Black Kites, an all-time record arrival that totalled 44,132 birds, eclipsing the previous record of 22,093 birds that was set in 2017. As it happened, three-quarters of the Black Kite arrival occurred prior to the March 24th lockdown date and a massive day-count, 11,195 birds on March 3rd, alone comprised over a quarter of the seasonal total. It is well within recent memory that the March 3rd count would have been regarded as a reasonable total for an entire spring season. It is important to remember that movements of this and other raptors at Gibraltar represent only a proportion of the total cross-Strait movements, a variable fraction that is highly influenced by wind direction. The very large 2020 count will have been due to a combination of the recent marked increase in the Western European populations of the Black Kite (for reasons that are not entirely clear), good local coverage and the occurrence at key times of the westerly winds that bring large numbers of raptors over Gibraltar. Exceptional Black Kite numbers were also seen during the southbound passage, when 21,066 Black Kites were counted, mainly in August. The remainder of the autumn raptor passage was very sparsely monitored however.

Record high counts were also made during the spring season of Griffon Vultures (1,147) and Black Storks (444). In contrast, there was a record low count of just 11 Montagu’s Harriers. This last species is a broad front migrant and is never abundant at Gibraltar but spring counts usually average some 65 birds. In this case, unfavourable April winds may have been the main reason why so few were seen.

Raptor watchers at Gibraltar can always expect to encounter a range of scarce migrant species. In 2020 these comprised two Rüppell’s Vultures, no fewer than five Black Vultures, two Bonelli’s Eagles, seven Hen Harriers, a Pallid Harrier, a Goshawk, a Red Kite, a Long-legged Buzzard, an Eleonora’s Falcon and a Lanner Falcon. At the year’s end, an overwintering Osprey frequented the northern Bay area, where it was regularly seen on the Western Runway at the airfield eating fish that it caught nearby. A Short-toed Eagle, also seemingly overwintering, frequented the Great Sand Slope from December into the New Year.

Other locally scarce or rare species that contributed to the considerable diversity recorded in 2020 included a flock of seven Garganey (2nd record), five Spoonbills, 33 Glossy Ibises, an exceptional ten Golden Orioles, two Jackdaws, a Sedge Warbler (10th record), a Wood Warbler, a Yellow-browed Warbler, a Siberian Chiffchaff (3rd record), a Long-tailed Tit (7th record) and a Mistle Thrush. Considerable numbers of birds were captured, despite the limitations on ringing activities, and these included single individuals of such uncommon species as Isabelline Warbler, Great Reed Warbler (7th record), Goldcrest and Bullfinch. Falls of migrants on March 22nd and on several dates in April, generally associated with easterly winds and poor weather, were reflected in increased catches at Jews’ Gate and visible concentrations of diverse grounded passerines. These last notably included Woodchat Shrikes, Common Whitethroats, Nightingales and Common Redstarts among others, seen on Windmill Hill and at the North Front cemetery in particular.

Seabird observations were once again sparse. This aspect of Gibraltar birding has continued to be somewhat neglected in recent years and undoubtedly such records as were submitted greatly underestimate the actual occurrences of a range of species.

With respect to breeding species, the large local populations of Yellow-legged Gulls, Common Swifts and Pallid Swifts continued to thrive alongside the usual resident passerines. Spotted Flycatchers maintained a firm and more widespread breeding presence; up to six pairs were thought to be present but the population is not closely monitored. Over-summering by individual Robins was recorded once more, although still with no confirmation of a regular breeding presence. A pair of Ravens was present throughout the year although their home range clearly includes the northern hinterland of Gibraltar. They did not nest in Gibraltar, a traditional breeding site until recently, but it is hoped that will do so again before too long. Common Kestrels and Peregrines again enjoyed moderate breeding success but the decline in Little Owls pairs seems to have continued. A male Eagle Owl was present but seems to have failed to attract a mate for at least several years; perhaps the time has come to provide one?

 

 

 

 

THE SYSTEMATIC LIST 2020 in progress

Records marked * are pending consideration by the Rarities Panel.

 

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTES.

 

Status definitions.

Vagrant: Exceptional at any time in southern Iberia (including Gibraltar), e.g. Allen’s Gallinule.

Local Vagrant: Exceptional in Gibraltar but not unusual in southern Spain, e.g. Woodpigeon, Moorhen.

Rare: Seldom recorded in Gibraltar or anywhere in southern Spain, e.g. Yellow-billed Chough and Fieldfare.

Occasional: Seen infrequently and not annually e.g. Common Cuckoo.

Regular:  Annual in small numbers. e.g. Red-necked Nightjar.

Common: Annual and sometimes numerous, e.g. Black Redstart.

 

Locations

Sites mentioned are shown on the Map on Page X. The term ‘Western Runway’ refers to the western end of the airfield runway, where a small loafing ground used by gulls, cormorants, waders and some passerines is monitored by airfield staff.

Counts of migrant raptors. (See Appendices for daily totals).

Gibraltar only sees a variable fraction of the passage of raptors across the Strait. Most occur during westerly winds, when a higher proportion of the movements occur at the eastern end of the Strait. Harriers, falcons and the Osprey show only a limited tendency to seek short sea crossings and so their totals are invariably low. A daily watch is kept during the spring migration period.

Ringing

Birds ringed have been caught and ringed at Jews’ Gate, at the GONHS bird observatory at the south end of the Upper Rock Nature Reserve, unless otherwise stated.

Names.

We follow the classification, sequence and nomenclature employed in the HBW-Birdlife Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World, del Hoyo, J. & Collar, N. Eds. Volume 1 (2014) Non-passerines. Volume 2 (2016) Passerines. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.). Certain qualifiers, such as ‘Eurasian’, are omitted from vernacular names where no ambiguity results.

 

 

 

 

Common Quail                    Codorniz común                  Coturnix coturnix

Occasional: migrant.

Single birds were reported from Jews’ Gate on March 18th and Windmill Hill on March 22nd.

 

Barbary Partridge              Perdiz moruna                      Alectoris barbara

Resident.

The winter bird count on January 11thlocated 45 birds, distributed at all regular haunts. They included 15 on Windmill Hill, ten on the eastern slopes and 20 in total at locations within the Nature Reserve. Observations from the same areas later in the year were usually of coveys of four to nine birds except for 25 on Windmill Hill on September 24th. An adult with six chicks was seen on Sir Herbert Miles road, on the eastern side of the Rock, on June 23rd. A total of 54 captive-reared birds were released.

 

Goose species                    Ansar sp.                               Anser sp.

Local vagrant.

Two flew west over the airfield on February 2nd. They are most likely to have been Greylag Geese Anser anser.

 

Garganey                              Cerceta carretona                Spatula querquedula

Local vagrant: migrant.

A flock of seven was seen from Europa Point, flying west into the Bay, on March 12th. Second record (A. Sepulveda).

 

Greater Flamingo               Flamenco común                 Phoenicopterus roseus

Irregular migrant, usually annual.

Seven flocks were reported. They comprised four flying south off Catalan Bay on March 9th, 45 flying west over the airfield on March 15th, 50 seen from Jews’ Gate on April 30th followed by seven flying north there on May 1st, ten flying north off Eastern Beach on May 8th, 50 west over the Bay on September 26th and 29 north off Eastern Beach on December 30th.

 

Rock Dove                           Paloma bravía                      Columba livia

Rare. (Feral birds common).

The winter bird count on January 11th found 141 birds, chiefly in urban areas and gardens but including 38 on the East Side and 25 in the Nature Reserve.

 

Turtle Dove                          Tórtola europea                    Streptopelia turtur

Regular but scarce migrant.

One on Windmill Hill on April 13th was followed by five there on April 15th. One was in the North Front Cemetery on April 25th.

 

Collared Dove                     Tórtola turca                          Streptopelia decaocto

Common resident.

The winter bird count on January 11th found 56 birds. As usual the majority were in gardens in the town and south district. However, there were eight in the Western Beach area and six on the East Side.

 

Red-necked Nightjar         Chotacabras cuellirojo        Caprimulgus ruficollis

Regular migrant.

One was found in the Europort carpark on April 18th and another was seen on the Upper Rock on April 23rd. Single birds were ringed on April 28th and September 30th.

 

European Nightjar             Chotacabras europeo        Caprimulgus europaeus

Regular migrant.

Single birds were ringed on April 7th and April 24th. Four were ringed in autumn, between October 1st and October 5th. One was recorded at Europa Point on November 4th.

 

Alpine Swift                          Vencejo real                          Tachymarptis melba

Regular but scarce migrant. Scarce breeder.

Most records submitted were from Jews’ Gate in spring, where 16 birds in total were seen on four dates between March 16th and April 29th, nine of them on April 19th. The small colony at the lower northeast corner of the North Face of the Rock comprised at least four pairs, seen frequenting rocky fissures there on May 29th.

 

Pallid Swift                           Vencejo pálido                     Apus pallidus

Common migrant and breeder.

Numerous but seldom reported. The earliest record was on March 12th and many were reported over the town by April 8th. Seven were ringed at nests in the City.

 

Common Swift                    Vencejo común                    Apus apus

Common migrant and breeder.

Some flocks were reported over the town from April 7th. Sizable northward movements were seen from Jews’ Gate on at least nine dates in April and early May. The passage on May 4th was described as heavy. Four were ringed at nests in the City.

 

Great Spotted Cuckoo      Crialo europeo                     Clamator glandarius

Occasional migrant.

One was picked up in the Europort carpark on February 20th.

 

Common Cuckoo               Cuco común                         Cuculus canorus

Occasional migrant.

One was at Jews’ Gate on April 7th. A juvenile on Middle Hill on October 10th was an exceptionally late record.

 

Scopoli’s Shearwater        Pardela cenicienta mediterránea                                                                                                                          Calonectris diomedea

Regular, mainly on passage.

About 1,000 were seen off the East side on November 2nd. Some 300 were counted in one hour from Europa Point on November 4th and there were 20 there on November 8th. All were probably migrants heading for their Atlantic winter quarters.

 

Cory’s Shearwater             Pardela cenicienta canaria  Calonectris borealis

Common March–October. Most numerous in summer.

Reported on 21 dates between June 13th and October 18th, generally as feeding flocks off Europa Point. These included about 1,000 on July 28th, ‘many’ on September 15th and up to 200 on September 27th, October 3rd and October 18th.

 

Levantine Shearwater       Pardela mediterranea         Puffinus yelkouan

Occasional, mainly in late summer and autumn.

One was off Europa Point on July 28th.

 

Balearic Shearwater          Pardela balear                      Puffinus mauretanicus

All year, especially summer. Migrant.

Just 57 in total were reported on five dates between January 1st and March 14th. A further 21 were seen in total on eight dates between June 13th and November 4th. Most were seen from Europa Points. The very low numbers contrast with the thousands seen annually from Tarifa island and must reflect in part the scant seabird watching at Gibraltar in recent years.

 

Black Stork                          Cigüeña negra                     Ciconia nigra

Common migrant.

Spring migrants totalled a record 444, seen on 18 dates between February 29th and May 9th. They included 98 on the first date, 83 on April 19th and 55 on March 16th. The previous record spring total was 367 birds, in 2017.

             Later in the year there was one on September 23rd and four on October 4th.

 

White Stork                          Cigüeña blanca                   Ciconia ciconia

Common migrant, but most bypass Gibraltar to the west.

Northbound migrants totalled 1,056, seen on six dates between February 23rd and March 21st, including 380 on February 29th and 450 on March 21st. They were followed by single birds on April 26th, April 28th and May 9th.

A flock of 500 seen over the Bay on December 5th would also have been northbound migrants.

 

Eurasian Spoonbill            Espátula común                   Platalea leucorodia

Occasional migrant.

Single northbound birds were reported on April 13th and 22nd, followed by three flying north over the Bay on April 29th. All are likely to have been spring migrants.

 

Glossy Ibis                           Morito común                        Plegadis falcinellus

Occasional migrant.

A flock of 20 was seen flying north over the Bay on March 30th. One flew north over Europort on June 6th. A flock of nine flew west at Europa Point on June 27th and three flew north over the town on July 2nd. Records of this species have been more frequent in recent years, presumably a result of the large population increases in Iberia.

 

Cattle Egret                          Garcilla bueyera                   Bubulcus ibis

Occasional: migrant and in winter.

One was seen from Jews’ Gate heading north on April 21st. An individual lingered in vegetated stony areas at Europa Point between at least September 7th and September 12th.

 

Grey Heron                          Garza real                              Ardea cinerea

Regular: migrant and in winter.

Several individuals were present during the first winter period, almost entirely on the western shoreline and in particular the harbour area and the Western Runway. Records were intermittent but it seems likely that at least one or two were present until early spring. Ten were seen flying south over the harbour to feed or roost on January 10th and six were present on March 4th. Six were seen flying east from Jews’ Gate on May 1st.

There were a further eight records, totalling ten birds, between May 5th and September 21st, perhaps indicating the presence of a few summering non-breeders in the area. One or two individuals were again present later in the year from October 1st onwards and there were three in the harbour on October 27th.

 

Purple Heron                       Garza imperial                      Ardea purpurea

Occasional migrant.

Two were seen flying north high over the East Side on April 25th.

 

Little Egret                            Garceta común                     Egretta garzetta

Occasional: migrant and in winter.

Two were at Western Beach on April 22nd. One flew north over the town on May 5th and one was at the North Mole on May 6th.

Four flew south at Sandy Bay on September 28th.

 

Northern Gannet                Alcatraz atlántico                 Morus bassanus

Present all year, especially winter and passage.

Relatively few records were received. There were reports of 138 birds in total on six dates between January 2nd and March 22nd, these including 60 birds on March 7th and 45 on March 22nd.

            Later in the year there were reports of small numbers, a total of 111 birds, on 19 dates between June 13th and November 14th. These included 20 on October 3rd and again 20 on October 18th. Most observations were from Europa Point.

 

European Shag                  Cormorán moñudo  Phalacrocorax aristotelis

Resident.

Only one was recorded during the winter bird count on January 11th, in the Camp Bay area, reinforcing the impression that the local birds largely forage outside Gibraltar waters during the day. Birds were present all year as usual, the largest counts comprising ten on June 27th, nine on September 15th and seven on September 25th. Four juveniles were at Governor’s Beach on August 9th.

 

Great Cormorant                Cormorán grande                Phalacrocorax carbo

Regular: migrant and winter.

The winter bird count on January 11th found 25 birds, only one of which was on the eastern coast. They included 11 on the Western Runway and ten at Europort. Similar numbers of wintering birds were present until at least early April, gathering especially on the Western Runway, the Detached Mole and the cliffs at Little Bay. In addition there were records of flocks seen on northward migration. These totalled 292 birds on ten dates between March 3rd and April 28th, including 112 on March 5th and 76 on March 9th.

            The earliest returning bird was on the Western Runway on September 13th and there were two there on September 26th and seven on October 5th. Wintering numbers built up slowly, with maximum counts again from the Western Runway of 12 on November 9th and 15 on December 10th.       

 

Oystercatcher                     Ostrero euroasiático            Haematopus ostralegus

Regular: migrant.

Two were seen from Europa Point on July 28th and there were single birds seen there on August 17th, September 19th and October 10th.

 

Pied Avocet                         Avoceta común        Recurvirostra avosetta

Occasional: migrant.

A flock of 11 was seen flying west from Europa Point on March 16th.

 

Whimbrel                              Zarapito trinador                   Numenius phaeopus

Regular migrant and winter.

At least one bird, and sometimes two, lingered around the southern coastline between August 17th and September 28th, where they were reported from Europa Point, Sandy Bay and Rosia/Camp Bays. Two were over the North Front cemetery on September 30th. One bird was reported on the southern coastline on three dates between November 8th and December 27th.

 

Turnstone                            Vuelvepiedras común         Arenaria interpres

Regular, mainly in winter.

One was at Europa Point foreshore on March 7th and there were two there on April 8th and May 2nd.

            Later in the year the first report was again of two on the foreshore, on August 9th, followed by six there on August 17th and three in Rosia Bay on August 30th. Up to six remained until the end of the year, mainly frequenting the foreshore as usual.

 

Common Sandpiper          Andarríos chico                    Actitis hypoleucos

Regular migrant. Occasional in winter.

One was on the Western Runway on January 11th and two were at Waterport on March 4th. There was one in the harbour area on May 2nd and two were seen there on May 21st.

            Two were at Europa Point on August 18th. Thereafter there were eight reports of single birds between September 9th and November 8th, from the Western Runway and southern shoreline.

 

Black-headed Gull             Gaviota reidora                     Larus ridibundus

Common migrant and common in winter.

Only 24 were present during the winter bird count on January 11th, all of them on the Western Runway. Nevertheless, up to 65 were reported at Europa Point during the first four days of the year. The Europa Point gathering increased subsequently and there were 150 there on February 29th and March 7th. The last report from the first winter period was of six at the Point on March 22nd.

            One at Europa Point on June 14th was the first returning bird reported. Numbers there built up slowly from September onwards, to reach 80 birds on November 25th.

 

Mediterranean Gull            Gaviota cabecinegra           Larus melanocephalus

Common: migrant and winter.

Just four records, totalling 11 birds, were received during the first winter period, between January 1st and March 7th. Later in the year there were records on ten days between June 16th and October 18th. These totalled 78 birds, 55 of which were seen between June 16th and July 3rd, during the westward post-breeding dispersal period. They included a flock of 33 on June 28th. Nearly all were seen from Europa Point.

 

Audouin’s Gull                    Gaviota de Audouin                        Larus audouinii

Common migrant. Some remain in winter.

One on March 7th was the only spring observation received. Post-breeding passage was observed from Europa Point on 19 dates between June 8th and October 3rd. These migrants totalled 620, including 209 on June 27th and 120 on August 1st, although the watch kept was very intermittent.

 

Lesser Black-backed Gull  Gaviota sombría                 Larus fuscus

Regular: migrant and winter.

There were only four records, all from Europa Point. They comprised four birds on September 27th and single individuals on January 1st, August 29th and October 3rd.

 

Yellow-legged Gull             Gaviota patiamarilla             Larus michahellis

Common resident.

The large breeding population was very much in evidence, as ever.

 

Common Tern                     Charrán común                    Sterna hirundo

Irregular migrant.

Seven were seen from Europa Point on October 3rd.

 

Sandwich Tern                   Charrán patinegro   Thalasseus sandvicensis

Common: migrant and winter.

Six were at Camp Bay on January 4th and three were at Westview Promenade, in the harbour, on the same day. Five were on the Western Runway and one was at Europort on January 11th. Only six more records were submitted during the remainder of the year; these totalled 21 birds, between June 13th and November 9th.

 

Arctic Skua                          Págalo parasito                    Stercorarius parasiticus

Regular: mainly migrant.

One was off Europa Point on October 3rd.

 

Great Skua                           Págalo grande                      Catharacta skua

Present all year. Common migrant.

Single birds were seen on March 7th, March 22nd, October 4th and October 10th, and two on October 3rd. All were off Europa Point.

 

Puffin                                     Frailecillo atlántico              Fratercula arctica

Common migrant in Strait but rare inshore.

An adult in breeding plumage, photographed on May 4th in the Strait some three miles east of the Rock, was an unusual observation.

 

Little Owl                               Mochuelo europeo              Athene noctua

Scarce resident.

The observed local decline continued and no presence was recorded at former territories on the north-west cliffs at Laguna, at Windmill
Hill, in the Lighthouse area or at Moorish Castle. Birds were heard nightly above Catalan Bay and were also recorded at Sandy Bay. A pair at
Forbes Quarry, at the base of the North Face, fledged three young. One was at Hole-in-the-Wall, Windmill Hill, on November 24th.

 

Scops Owl                            Autillo europeo                     Otus scops

Common migrant. Has bred.

Three were ringed at Jews’ Gate, and two heard below the area, on April 6th.Single birds were reported from Ocean Views on April 12th, The Mount on April 17th and North Gorge on April 23rd. The bird at the Mount had been heard calling on several nights previously, leading to the summoning of Gibtelecom technicians by local (human) residents who thought it was some sort of alarm.

One entered a house at Eliott’s Battery on September 11th. Single birds were ringed at Middle Hill on September 25th and October 3rd.

 

Tawny Owl                           Cárabo común                     Strix aluco

Regular: mainly winter.

Birds were heard at Governor’s Parade on March 12th, in the Botanic Gardens on March 5th, April 6thJune 16th, at the northern end of Commonwealth Park on April 10thand at Jews’ Gate on April 14th. A breeding presence seems likely but has not been proved.

 

Eagle Owl                             Búho reál                              Bubo bubo

Recently re-established resident.

There were repeated sight and sound records in January of a male, chiefly at Windmill Hill, where an imprinted female is kept in captivity in the raptor rescue centre. One was also recorded above Both Worlds, Sandy Bay, on January 27th. It is thought that only a single male was present in Gibraltar, where the territory is well isolated from those in the hinterland.

 

Osprey                                  Águila pescadora                 Pandion haliaetus

Regular migrant and occasional in winter.

One was seen over Windmill Hill on January 27th. Spring migration proper was noted between February 29th and May 9th, when 35 birds were seen in total. These included five on March 26th and five on April 19th.

            Two seen over the Rock on September 23rd were the only southbound migrants reported.

A first-winter bird was present from October 26th onwards and into 2021. This individual favoured the north-western coastline, especially the shallow basin to the north of the Western Runway. It was seen to fish there regularly, taking the prey to be eaten on the runway margins. The bird was probably not present in Gibraltar constantly throughout its stay and more likely was wintering in the northern Bay area generally. Nevertheless, its prolonged presence in Gibraltar is unprecedented in recent times, perhaps not known since the breeding pair was lost in the 1930s.

 

Honey-buzzard                   Abejero europeo                  Pernis apivorus

Common migrant.

The earliest spring migrants reported were 11 on April 19th. The seasonal total of 8,155 birds was unexceptional. The largest day-counts were of 1,551 on April 28th and 3,567 on May 6th. The last of the spring birds was seen on June 17th.

            The southward passage went largely unnoticed, with reports on only four dates between August 14th and September 19th that totally only 136 birds. Two on October 3rd were relatively late migrants.

 

Egyptian Vulture                Alimoche común                  Neophron percnopterus

Regular migrant.

All the records received were from the spring passage period, between February 12th and May 29th. They totalled 138 birds, a modest total but still greater than the long-term mean (72.6). They included 20 on February 29th and 29 on April 13th. The latter included an exceptional flock of 27 birds.

 

Short-toed Snake-eagle   Culebrera europea              Circaetus gallicus

Common migrant. Occasional in winter.

The spring passage was prolonged as usual, with reports from February 11th to July 2nd. The total of 2,077 birds was noteworthy although not exceptional. The arrival of what are mainly the breeding adults early in the season produced the largest day-counts, of 334 on February 29th and 945 on March 3rd. A count of 120 on May 1st was also noteworthy given the relatively late date.

            There were only a few observations later in the year, a total of 12 birds between August 2nd and November 16th. One was seen over Levant Battery on December 6th and this or another individual was hunting over the Great Sand Slopes on December 15th. The latter remained in the area until the end of the year and into 2021.

 

Rüppell’s Vulture               Buitre moteado                     Gyps rueppelli

Occasional: migrant.

Single arrivals were reported on May 5th and May 9th.Tenth and eleventh records (K. Bensusan, R. Perez, et al.).

 

Griffon Vulture                    Buitre leonado                      Gyps fulvus

Common migrant.

Sixteen in total were seen on five dates between March 3rd and April 2nd. Passage proper was noted from April 20th, when 138 birds arrived, until June 19th. The seasonal total was 1,147 birds, a record spring total and almost twice the previous record, of 636 birds in spring 2009. Other notable day-counts comprised 240 on April 26th, 147 on April 30th and 184 on June 5th. At least two drowned off the East Side before they could be rescued on May 9th, although 81 made a safe landfall that day.

            Southbound migrant flocks that visited Gibraltar but did not cross the Strait there comprised 130 on October 24th, 40 on November 27th and 140 on December 1st.

 

Eurasian Black Vulture     Buitre negro                          Aegypius monachus

Occasional: migrant.

There were five records of single birds. One at Jews’ Gate on April 22nd was followed by another there on April 26th. A first-year bird had a lucky escape when it was spotted in the sea off the East side on May 4th; it was rescued and eventually released after a period in care. Another arrived at Jews’ Gate on May 9th. Finally, a juvenile female landed on the seashore rocks at Sandy Bay on September 27th before moving to an hotel balcony above the beach, from where it eventually ascended the eastern slopes.

 

Bonelli’s Eagle                    Águila perdicera                   Aquila fasciata

Occasional.

There were two records of birds seen over the Rock, an immature on March 4th and a juvenile on September 27th.

 

Booted Eagle                      Águila calzada                     Hieraaetus pennatus

Common migrant. Occasional in winter.

Spring migrants totalled 1,089 birds, a modest total compared to recent years but still well above the long-term mean (789.5). As ever, arrivals were long drawn-out, with records spanning February 29th to June 27th. The 330 birds that arrived on March 26th comprised the only three-figure day-total.

Between July 15th and August 16th there were records on 12 dates of 16 birds in total seen over the Rock that may have involved foraging birds from the hinterland, pre-migratory dispersal or even late arrivals of migrants from Africa. Southbound migrants appeared on at least 18 dates between August 29th and October 15th but no systematic count was made. As usual most visited during easterlies and did not cross the Strait at Gibraltar. The largest concentrations were 122 on September 5th and ‘many’ on September 13th. One was over Windmill Hill on November 27th.

 

Marsh Harrier                      Aguilucho lagunero                        Circus aeruginosus

Common migrant.

Spring migrants totalled 200, a sizable count by local standards. Arrivals were between February 23rd and May 9th and included 31 birds on March 16th and 26 on March 26th. There were no records submitted from later in the year.

 

Hen Harrier                          Aguilucho pálido                 Circus cyaneus

Regular but scarce migrant.

There were two spring records; one on March 1st and an exceptional five birds on March 9th. One was seen in autumn, on November 9th.

 

Pallid Harrier Aguilucho papialbo                                 Circus macrourus

Occasional: migrant.

A northbound male arrived on February 29th. Ninth record (C. Perez).

 

Montagu’s Harrier Aguilucho cenizo                           Circus pygargus

Common migrant.

The seasonal total of just 11 individuals was a record low, perhaps explained in part by the fact that the higher elevation watchpoints, from which this relatively small species is most often recorded, were irregularly manned this year. Unfavourable easterly winds during April, the main arrival month for this species, are also likely to have led to the low count. The arrivals were noted between March 3rd and May 9th.

            Single southbound migrants were seen on August 2nd and August 12th, followed by nine on August 28th.

 

Sparrowhawk                      Gavilán común                     Accipiter nisus

Common migrant.

One was seen from Windmill Hill on January 4th. Spring migrants totalled 482, an average total, recorded between February 23rd and May 9th. The largest day-counts were 34 on March 26th and 35 on April 13th.

            Later in the year 21 apparent migrants were reported between September 15th and October 30th, ten of them on October 3rd. Single birds, perhaps the same individual, were seen in the South District on November 17th and 19th.

 

Northern Goshawk                        Azor común                          Accipiter gentilis

Occasional: migrant.

A juvenile was seen from Jews’ Gate on September 27th.

 

Red Kite                                Milano real                            Milvus milvus

Occasional: migrant. Formerly annual.

One was recorded on February 29th.

 

Black Kite                             Milano negro                                    Milvus migrans

Common migrant.

The spring passage was exceptional by any standards, even when considering the increasing trend in the annual counts of this ever more numerous migrant. The count of 44,132 birds was almost twice the total of the previous record, of 22,093 birds, set as recently as 2017. It included the spectacular arrival of 11,195 birds on March 3rd, by far the highest day-total ever recorded locally. This arrival followed a huge build-up on the African side of the Strait, in the hinterland of Jebel Musa, where a roost variously estimated at up to 25,000 birds was reported the previous evening. The season, which extended from January 31st to July 3rd, produced ten further day-totals of 1,000+ birds, including most notably 8,550 birds on March 16th.

            The post-breeding raptor passage was partly counted but was well monitored in August, when the largest Black Kite numbers occur. Numbers were again exceptional by local standards. In total, 21,066 birds were counted between July 28th and August 29th, with an additional five birds seen in September, the last of these on September 27th. The great majority (95.7%) passed between August 2nd and August 16th, when day-counts included 6,800 on the 14th, 3,500 on the 15th and 4,585 on the 16th.

           

 

Common Buzzard              Busardo ratonero                 Buteo buteo

Occasional: migrant and winter. Formerly annual migrant.

Eight birds were seen in total, on five dates between February 23rd and April 10th.

 

Long-legged Buzzard       Busardo moro                       Buteo rufinus

Vagrant. Has wintered.

One was seen from Jews’ Gate on April 29th.

 

Hoopoe                                 Abubilla                                 Upupa epops

Common migrant.

Spring sight records totalled 42 birds, on 16 dates between January 26th and April 16th. Most were seen in southern gardens, the North Front cemetery and on Windmill Hill. Six on Windmill Hill on March 22nd was the highest site-count. Single birds were ringed on March 18th and April 5th.

One in the Nature Reserve on June 15th was an unseasonal record. This apart, there were four post-breeding records of single migrants, three of them on August 23rd and one on September 26th.

 

European Bee-eater          Abejaruco europeo              Merops apiaster

Common migrant.

Marked passage of successive flocks was seen or heard on 16 dates between April 4th and May 1st, particularly on April 14th and April 16th. No counts were attempted on most occasions. However, 130 were seen from Jews’ Gate on April 25th and there were 150 there on April 28th.

            There were only three post-breeding records; a single bird over the town on September 5th, six over the Botanic Gardens on September 8th and a small flock, again over the town, on September 16th.

 

Common Kingfisher          Martín pescador común      Alcedo atthis

Regular but scarce migrant and in winter.

Single birds were in the harbour on January 2nd and 15th. Later in the year single birds were seen at various points all around the shoreline, including the Western Runway, harbour, Governor’s Beach and Sandy Bay, on 12 dates between September 20th and December 10th. Probably only a few wintering individuals were involved.

 

Wryneck                               Torcecuello                           Jynx torquilla

Regular but scarce migrant. Occasional in winter.

One was in the North Front cemetery on September 19th. Single birds were ringed on October 1st, October 20th and November 2nd.

 

Lesser Kestrel                     Cernícalo primilla                 Falco naumanni

Regular migrant. Recently extinct breeder.

Ten presumed migrants in total were reported, on seven dates between February 23rd and April 26th. Two females were present during the breeding season.

 

Common Kestrel                Cernícalo vulgar                  Falco tinnunculus

Resident. Common migrant.

Two were seen on the Eastern Slopes and single birds were at Western Beach and in the Nature Reserve during the winter bird count on January 11th. Birds were present all year throughout Gibraltar but few records of this now familiar species, a comparatively recent colonist, were received. There was no significant evidence of migrants although four seen at Europa Point on August 1st may have been part of the regular small post-breeding dispersal from Morocco.

            Six pairs nested successfully, all of them on cliff sites as usual. Pairs above Catalan Bay, on the northwest cliffs and near the Europa Point mosque each fledged three young. Pairs above Sandy Bay, at Camp Bay and at the Devil’s Bellows, Windmill Hill each fledged four young.  

 

Eleonora’s Falcon              Halcón de Eleonora                        Falco eleonorae

Regular but scarce migrant, especially in late summer and autumn.

A light phase individual was seen from Europa Point on August 1st.

 

Hobby                                   Alcotán                                  Falco subbuteo

Regular but scarce migrant.

There were 16 spring migrants in total, on 11 dates between April 19th and June 5th. A juvenile seen at Windmill Hill on October 6th was an unusual record given that very few Hobbies are reported in autumn.

 

Lanner Falcon*                   Halcón borní                         Falco biarmicus

Regular but scarce migrant.

One was being mobbed by a pair of Peregrines over Jews’ Gate on February 22nd.

 

Peregrine Falcon                Halcón peregrino                 Falco peregrinus

Resident. Some migrants occur.

Four pairs nested successfully. Those at North Front, above the East Side oil tanks and near the Europa Point mosque each fledged three young. A fourth pair, on the cliffs behind the Rock Hotel, fledged four young.

 

Golden Oriole                      Oropéndola                           Oriolus oriolus

Regular migrant.

On April 13th there was one heard singing from Jews’ Gate and two were seen on Windmill Hill. One was heard singing at The Mount on April 17th. Another was on Windmill Hill on April 25th and four, three males and a female, flew out of a tree at Jews’ Gate the same day, another was caught and ringed. One was seen sitting on a railing below the Great Sand Slope on April 28th.

 

Woodchat Shrike               Alcaudón común                 Lanius senator

Common migrant. Has bred.

There were frequent sight records, totalling 186 birds, between March 19th and May 14th. They included 30 on Windmill Hill on April 15th, when there were also 13 in the North Front cemetery. Nine were ringed between March 18th and April 23rd.

            There were only two post-breeding records; two adults at Signal Station road on July 30th and one in the North Front cemetery on August 23rd.

 

Jackdaw                               Grajilla                                    Corvus monedula

Occasional. Has bred.

Up to two birds seem to have spent much of the first half of April in the Windmill Hill area, where they were seen between April 3rd and April 18th.

 

Raven                                    Cuervo                                   Corvus corax

Resident. Has bred.

A pair was reported at various locations throughout Gibraltar on scattered dates all year. No evidence of nesting was obtained.

 

Blue Tit                                 Herrerillo común                  Cyanistes caeruleus

Common resident.

The winter bird count on January 11th found 83 birds, a record high total. Of these 61 were in the Nature Reserve and most of the others were in gardens. One on the East Side was an unusual find.

One on Windmill Hill on April 13th was also an infrequent site record. Birds ringed totalled 47, only one of which was in spring. The remainder were caught during ringing sessions in September, October and early November  and comprised eight adults and 39 juveniles.

 

Great Tit                                Carbonero común               Parus major

Scarce resident.

One was in the Nature Reserve on January 11th and one was in the Botanic Gardens on September 24th. Only one was ringed, a juvenile at Middle Hill on September 29th.

 

Greater Short-toed Lark   Terrera común          Calandrella brachydactyla

Occasional: migrant.

There were five records, totalling seven birds, between April 14th and April 29th.

Two were seen from Jews’ Gate and the remainder were on Windmill Hill, including three there on April 25th.

 

Woodlark                              Alondra totovía                     Lullula arborea

Occasional: migrant.

One was on Windmill Hill on November 2nd.

 

Crested Lark                        Cogujada común                 Galerida cristata

Occasional in winter.

One was on the Western Runway on January 10th.

 

Zitting Cisticola                   Cistícola buitrón                   Cisticola juncidis

Regular: migrant and in winter. Has bred.

Two were on Windmill Hill on January 11th and one was there on November 2nd.

 

Isabelline Warbler              Zarcero pálido                      Iduna opaca

Occasional: migrant.

A Spanish-ringed bird was caught at Jews’ Gate on May 7th. See the Ringing Report for details of origin.

 

Melodious Warbler             Zarcero políglota                  Hippolais polyglotta

Common migrant.

Sight records, all of them in spring, totalled 59 birds, between April 12th and May 26th. Most were seen on Windmill Hill, where 13 on April 17th was the largest site-count. Others were reported from the North Front cemetery, Europa Point foreshore, the Botanic Gardens and Commonwealth Park. Nine were ringed in spring, between April 12th and May 8th.

            There were no post-breeding records.

 

Sedge Warbler                    Carricerín común     Acrocephalus schoenobaenus

Local vagrant.

One was in the Botanic Gardens on September 22nd. Tenth record (F.J. Odinius).

 

Common Reed-warbler    Carricero común      Acrocephalus scirpaceus

Common migrant.

Two ringed, on September 27th and October 1st, were the only records.

 

Great Reed-warbler           Carricero tordál         Acrocephalus arundinaceus

Local vagrant.

One was ringed on April 13th. Seventh record (C. Perez).

 

Grasshopper Warbler       Buscarla pintoja                   Locustella naevia

Occasional: migrant.

Three were ringed. The first was caught on the early date of March 9th. Single birds were ringed on October 4th and October 6th.

 

House Martin                       Avión común                                    Delichon urbicum

Common migrant. Scarce summer resident.

Spring migrants were recorded between February 8th and May 9th, chiefly from Jews’ Gate. Passage there was especially evident during the second half of April but no counts were attempted.

            Post-breeding sightings comprised one on August 1st and ten over the Botanic Gardens on October 10th. One accompanied roosting Crag Martins on October 29th.

 

Red-rumped Swallow       Golondrina dáurica             Cecropis daurica

Common migrant. Has bred.

Mainly small numbers were seen on northward passage, between March 5th and April 29th, although a steady movement was evident at Jews’ Gate on April 28th.

            Post-breeding records comprised four on October 10th over the Botanic Gardens, two on November 14th at the Crag Martin roost at Governor’s Beach on November 14th and two seen from Jews’ Gate on November 20th. Three were ringed at the Crag Martin roost on December 3rd.

 

Barn Swallow                      Golondrina común              Hirundo rustica

Common migrant. Formerly bred.

Mainly small numbers were reported on northward passage, between February 16th and May 21st. More sizable numbers comprised a steady passage seen from Jews’ Gate between April 28th and May 6th.

            There were only a few post-breeding records, none of them involving significant movements. The largest count was 24 at Europa Point on October 3rd. Single birds were associating with roosting Crag Martins on October 29th, November 11th and December 2nd, as well as two on November 13th. One was ringed at the Crag Martin roost on November 12th.

 

Crag Martin                          Avión roquero                       Ptyonoprogne rupestris

Common: migrant and in winter resident. Has bred.

The winter bird count on January 11th found 67 birds. Birds ringed during the first winter period totalled 289.

The first arrivals noted during the second winter period were 40 over Buenavista on October 6th. Counts from Europa Advance Road of birds descending to roost in the Governor’s Beach caves found 3,794 birds on October 29th and 5,764 birds on November 5th. Previous studies of these roosts (Elkins & Etheridge 1974, Finlayson & Cortes 1987) have found numbers peaking at around 2,000 birds, exceptionally up to 4,000, in December–January. However, much smaller numbers, generally hundreds rather than thousands, have been reported during the past 20 years as covered by these Bird Reports. The large 2020 counts are therefore most noteworthy and may not be due solely to increased observer effort. Birds ringed at the roosts during the second winter period totalled 503.

 

Collared Sand Martin        Avión zapador                      Riparia riparia

Regular but scarce migrant.

            There were only two records: 14 birds on March 4th and five on April 29th.

 

Western Bonelli’s Warbler  Mosquitero papialbo         Phylloscopus bonelli

Common migrant.

A few were seen on six dates between March 18th and May 7th, chiefly from Jews’ Gate. The largest day-count was five there on April 23rd. Birds ringed in spring totalled 114, between March 19th and May 8th. There were no autumn records.

 

Wood Warbler                     Mosquitero silbador             Phylloscopus sibilatrix

Occasional: migrant.

One was ringed on April 16th.

 

Yellow-browed Warbler    Mosquitero Bilistado            Phylloscopus inornatus

Rare migrant. Has wintered.

One was in Commonwealth Park, in the company of Chiffchaffs, on November 7th.

 

Willow Warbler                    Mosquitero musical             Phylloscopus trochilus

Common migrant.

Sight records comprised very small numbers, totalling 91 birds, between March 22nd and May 26th. The largest counts were of 13 on Windmill Hill and 15 on the Europa Point foreshore on April 17th. Birds ringed in spring totalled 197, between March 15th and May 8th.

            The only post-breeding observation was of one bird at Europa Advance Road on September 24th. A further 59 were ringed in autumn in September and October, the great majority of these at Middle Hill.

 

Iberian Chiffchaff                Mosquitero ibérico               Phylloscopus ibericus

Common migrant.

There were five records of single birds between February 29th and April 1st. Ten were ringed, between March 8th and April 7th.

            Returning migrants, totalling nine birds, were present in the Botanic Gardens on six dates between July 13th and September 12th.

 

Common Chiffchaff           Mosquitero común               Phylloscopus collybita

Common migrant and common in winter.

The winter bird count on January 11th found 126 bird, that were widely distributed in most vegetated areas but particularly in gardens and the southern half on the Nature Reserve. They included ten on the East Side. Sightings of 20 birds at Europa Point on February 9th and ten there on February 29th may have involved some migrants. There were 55 ringed in spring, the last of them on April 8th.

            Sight records from the second winter period were very sparse: three birds on November 2nd on Windmill Hill and one in Montagu Gardens on December 11th. Birds in autumn and winter, ringed from September 28th onwards, totalled 42.

 

Siberian Chiffchaff             Mosquitero sibérico             Phylloscopus tristis

Vagrant.

One was in the North Front cemetery on March 20th. Third record (Paul Rocca).

 

Long-tailed Tit                     Mito                                         Aegithalos caudatus

Local vagrant.

One was in the Botanic Gardens on November 21st. Seventh record (C. Victor).

 

Blackcap                              Curruca capirotada              Sylvia atricapilla

Common: resident, migrant and winter.

The winter bird count on January 11th found 101 birds, chiefly within the Nature Reserve and in gardens. Counts in the North Front Cemetery of 23 on March 22nd and seven there on April 13th probably involved migrants.

            Birds ringed totalled 1,171, 106 of them in spring and 1,065 during the second half of the year.

 

Garden Warbler                  Curruca mosquitera                        Sylvia borin

Common migrant.

There were three sight records of single birds; on Windmill Hill on April 13th, in the North Front cemetery on April 15th and in the Botanic Gardens on September 12th. Birds ringed in spring totalled 16, between April 6th and April 27th.

            A further 40 were ringed in autumn, over half of them at Middle Hill, between September 26th and October 20th. Thereafter, two more notably late birds were ringed, on November 1st and 2nd.

 

Orphean Warbler                Curruca mirlona                   Sylvia hortensis

Common migrant.

Single birds were seen on Windmill Hill on April 15th, 17th and 18th and two were in the North Front cemetery on April 28th. Sixteen were ringed in spring, between April 6th and May 8th.

            Single birds ringed on September 26th and October 7th were the only autumn records.

 

Sardinian Warbler              Curruca cabecinegra          Sylvia melanocephala

Common resident.

The winter bird count on January 11th found 191 birds. Most were within the Nature Reserve but there were 22 on Windmill Hill and 12 on the East Side with smaller numbers in gardens and other vegetated areas. Birds ringed totalled 200.

 

Subalpine Warbler             Curruca carrasqueña          Sylvia cantillans

Common migrant.

Sight record of spring migrants totalled 27, between March 18th and April 29th. The largest site-count was of six in the North Front cemetery on March 22nd. Birds ringed totalled 25, between March 14th and April 17th.

            There were no post-breeding records.

 

Common Whitethroat        Curruca zarcera                   Sylvia communis

Common migrant.

Sight records were all in spring and totalled 98 birds. Most were seen on Windmill Hill, where the largest count was of 23 on April 17th. There were 18 ringed in spring, between April 7th and April 24th.

            A further 15 birds, all but one of them juveniles, were ringed between September 26th and October 7th.

 

Spectacled Warbler           Curruca tomillera                 Sylvia conspicillata

Regular migrant. Has bred.

Two, a male and a female, were on Windmill Hill on March 22nd. One was on the Europa Point foreshore on April 15th.

 

Dartford Warbler                 Curruca rabilarga                 Sylvia undata

Regular migrant. Occasional in winter.

One at Europa Point on January 6th may have been overwintering locally. One was ringed on March 15th.

            Single birds were reported in autumn at the North Front cemetery on October 19th, on Windmill Hill on November 2nd and at Little Bay on November 29th. One was ringed on November 4th.

 

Short-toed Treecreeper    Agateador europeo              Certhia brachydactyla

Occasional: migrant and winter.

One was in the Botanic Gardens on October 13th.

 

Wren                                      Chochín                                Troglodytes troglodytes

Common resident.

The winter bird count on January 11th found 50 birds, chiefly in the Nature Reserve. Single birds on the East Side, at Camp Bay, at Jacob’s Ladder and on Windmill Hill were among more widely dispersed individuals. Only 11 were ringed during the year.

 

Common Starling               Estornino pinto                     Sturnus vulgaris

Common in some winters.

The winter bird count on January 11th found 13 birds, all of them on Windmill Hill. The only other records received were of single birds in the North Front cemetery on November 8th and in the harbour area on November 23rd, and three on Windmill Hill on November 2nd.

 

Spotless Starling                Estornino negro                   Sturnus unicolor

Common resident.

The winter bird count on January 11thonly found 16 birds, a record low count. They comprised four with Common Starlings on Windmill Hill, seven in gardens and five in the Western Beach area. A larger flock frequented Windmill Hill during March and April, with numbers there peaking at 55 birds on March 15th and 45 on April 14th and 25th, but falling to 10 birds on April 28th. The only subsequent sighting reported was of two on Windmill Hill on November 2nd.

 

Mistle Thrush                      Zorzal charlo                         Turdus viscivorus

Local vagrant.

One was at Commonwealth Park on June 26th.

 

Song Thrush                       Zorzal común                       Turdus philomelos

Common: migrant and winter.

The winter bird count on January 11th found ten birds, all within the Nature Reserve. There were five migrants in the North Front cemetery on March 22nd, when there were also three on Windmill Hill. Single birds were on Windmill Hill on April 13th and 15th. One was ringed on March 9th.

            Later in the year three were seen at Westview Promenade on October 17th and four were on Windmill Hill on November 2nd. Six were ringed between October 20th and November 4th.

 

Blackbird                              Mirlo común                          Turdus merula

Common resident.

The winter bird count on January 11th found 90 birds, chiefly in gardens and in the Nature Reserve. Nine were on Windmill Hill and there were two on the East Side.

            A juvenile at Europort on February 23rd would have been from a clutch laid nearby in January. Up to ten remained around Windmill Hill throughout the spring and there were 12 there on April 25th. Birds ringed totalled 70.

 

Spotted Flycatcher            Papamoscas gris                 Muscicapa striata

Common migrant. Some breed.

Records totalling 11 birds at scattered locations between April 13th and April 28th probably involved migrants. The first observation in the Botanic Gardens was on May 4th and two pairs eventually settled and nested there. Another breeding pair was in the Trafalgar Cemetery and a fourth pair was present in the northern Nature Reserve at the ‘City under Siege’ site. Two adults were in Commonwealth Park on June 19th, suggesting nesting in that area also. An adult was seen along Green Lane in July and two juveniles were found there on August 19th, again suggesting an additional breeding pair.

Single birds were ringed on May 8th and September 26th.The latest records, from the Botanic Gardens, were of single birds on October 13th, 19th and 23rd.

 

Robin                                     Petirrojo                                 Erithacus rubecula

Common: migrant and winter. Has bred.

The winter bird count on January 11th found 88 birds, 62 of them in the Nature Reserve with the remainder widely distributed in vegetated areas. Only one was found on the East Side. There were 56 ringed in spring, the last of them on April 7th.

            As in other recent seasons there were records from late spring through the summer and into early autumn that suggested a resident population but no evidence of nesting was found. The favoured sites included Commonwealth Park, the Trafalgar Cemetery, Scud Hill, the Loreto School garden and Governor’s Lookout. The last of these held three birds on June 21st and there were two in the Trafalgar Cemetery on August 18th. The other sightings were of single birds, including one that seems to have been present at Commonwealth Park from at least May 22nd until June 26th.

            Birds ringed in autumn totalled 175, the earliest of these on September 25th.

 

Nightingale                          Ruiseñor común                  Luscinia megarhynchos

Common migrant. Has bred.

Spring sight records totalled 95 birds, between March 22nd and April 28th. Most reports came from Windmill Hill and the North Front cemetery, where the largest counts were 28 on April 13th and eight on April 6th respectively. There were 47 ringed in spring, between March 16th and April 26th.

            One was in Rosia Bay on September 14th. Six were ringed in autumn, between September 30th and October 19th.

 

Pied Flycatcher                   Papamoscas cerrojillo         Ficedula hypoleuca

Common migrant.

Very few sightings were reported during the spring, just eight birds in total on five dates between April 12th and May 4th; three of them were in the Botanic Gardens. There were 35 ringed, between April 5th and April 26th.

            Post-breeding observations totalled 11 birds, also on five dates, between September 9th and October 20th. Six of them were in the North Front cemetery on October 12th. A further 87 were ringed, between September 25th and October 7th:only ten were at Jews’ Gate, the majority being caught at Middle Hill.

 

Black Redstart                    Colirrojo tizón                       Phoenicurus ochruros

Common: migrant and winter.

The winter bird count on January 11th found 94 birds. These were widely distributed in open habitats throughout Gibraltar. They included five on the Western Runway and 17 on the East Side.

            Seven were ringed in spring, the last on March 19th. A count of 26 in the North Front cemetery on March 22nd is likely to have involved northbound migrants. The last spring sighting was also in the cemetery, on April 10th.

            Reports of returning birds included 15 on Windmill Hill on November 2nd and ten on the Europa Point foreshore on November 14th. There were 153 ringed in autumn, the earliest of these on October 14th.

 

Common Redstart             Colirrojo real             Phoenicurus phoenicurus

Common migrant.

Spring migrant sightings totalled 94 birds, between March 18th and April 28th. Most sightings came from Windmill Hill and the North Front cemetery. The largest concentrations were on Windmill Hill, where there were 20 on April 17th and 17 on April 18th. Spring birds ringed totalled 17, between April 5th and April 27th.

            Post-breeding reports were of single birds in the Botanic Gardens on September 23rd and 24th and two in the North Front cemetery on September 30th. A further 19 were ringed, between September 26th and October 21st.

 

Rufous-tailed Rock-thrush Roquero rojo                      Monticola saxatilis

Occasional migrant.

A male was in the North Front cemetery on April 15th.

 

Blue Rock-thrush               Roquero solitario                 Monticola solitarius

Resident.

The winter bird count on January 11th found nine birds. Sightings during the year came from Windmill Hill, the Europa Point foreshore and the North Front cemetery. They were of one or two birds mainly but four were on Windmill Hill on April 14th and 17th.

 

Whinchat                              Tarabilla norteña                  Saxicola rubetra

Common migrant.

Spring sight records totalled 25 birds, on ten dates between April 13th and April 28th. They were seen in the North Front cemetery or on Windmill Hill. The latter site held six birds on April 17th.

            Post-breeding there were two in the North Front cemetery on October 12th and one was there on October 18th.

 

Stonechat                             Tarabilla común                   Saxicola torquatus

Common: migrant and winter.

The winter bird count on January 11th found seven birds, four of which were in the North Front cemetery.

            Sight records later in the year comprised two in the North Front cemetery on September 30th  and three there on October 12th, followed by five on Windmill Hill on November 2nd. Single birds were ringed on September 26th and October 6th.

 

Northern Wheatear            Collalba gris                          Oenanthe oenanthe

Common migrant.

Spring sightings totalled 37 birds, between March 17th and April 28th. They were found at Windmill Hill, Europa Point and the North Front cemetery. Six in the cemetery on April 15th and six on Windmill Hill on April 25th were the largest site-counts.

            Post-breeding migrants totalled nine, between September 23rd and October 12th.

 

Black-eared Wheatear      Collalba rubia                       Oenanthe hispanica

Common migrant.

All reports were in spring. They totalled 19 birds, between March 23rd and April 28th. All were seen either in the North Front cemetery or on Windmill Hill. Four on Windmill Hill on April 13th was the largest site-count.

 

Goldcrest                              Reyezuelo sencillo              Regulus regulus

Rare: migrant.

One was ringed at Jews’ Gate on March 21st.

 

Firecrest                               Reyezuelo listado                Regulus ignicapilla

Regular but scarce: migrant and winter.

One was in the Nature Reserve on January 11th.

 

House Sparrow                  Gorrión común                     Passer domesticus

Common resident.

The winter bird count on January 11th found 359 birds, including 104 in South District gardens, 98 on the East Side, 45 in the Western Beach area and 20 in the North Front cemetery. Only seven were in the Nature Reserve.

            Five were on Windmill Hill on April 17th. Ten were ringed during the year.

 

Spanish Sparrow               Gorrión moruno                    Passer hispaniolensis

Occasional migrant.

A male at Europa Point on January 11th was not in the company of House Sparrows, as is often the case. It was also seen there on January 6th and January 10th.

 

Tree Pipit                              Bisbita arbóreo                     Anthus trivialis

Regular migrant.

Spring migrants totalled 24 birds, on seven dates between March 10th and April 29th. The great majority, 19 birds, were on Windmill Hill, where eight were found on April 13th. One was ringed on March 16th.

            There were no post-breeding records.

 

Meadow Pipit                       Bisbita pratense                   Anthus pratensis

Common: migrant and winter.

There were 15 on Windmill Hill, the favoured site for this species, on January 11th and 18 there on March 22nd. One also there on April 13th was the latest recorded.

            In autumn ten were on Windmill Hill on November 2nd.

 

Tawny Pipit                          Bisbita campestre                Anthus campestris

Regular migrant.

Spring migrants totalled 12 birds, on five dates between April 13th and April 30th. All were seen either on Windmill Hill or from Jews’ Gate. They included six on Windmill Hill on April 25th.

 

Yellow Wagtail                    Lavandera boyera                Motacilla flava

Regular but scarce migrant.

Just seven individuals in total were seen in spring, on six dates between March 25th and April 30th.

            In autumn there were two in Camp Bay on September 13th and four at Europa Point on October 3rd.

 

Grey Wagtail                        Lavandera cascadeña        Motacilla cinerea

Regular but scarce: migrant and winter. Has bred.

Single birds were at Camp Bay on January 11th and at Commonwealth Park on February 11th.

            One was in the Botanic Gardens on September 14th and 15th, two were on the Europa Point foreshore on November 14th and one was in Montagu Gardens on December 11th. One was ringed on November 6th.

 

White Wagtail                      Lavandera blanca                Motacilla alba

Regular but scarce migrant. Regular in winter. Has bred.

The winter bird count on January 11th found 12 birds, comprised by seven in the North Front cemetery, two at Europort, two in the Nature Reserve and one at Western Beach. Subsequent spring records were typically sparse and comprised two birds on Windmill Hill on March 22nd, one at the sundial roundabout on Winston Churchill Avenue on April 22nd and two in the North Front cemetery on April 23rd.

            One at Europa Point on June 21st was unusual although perhaps a summering individual. Another was on Windmill Hill on November 2nd.

 

Chaffinch                              Pinzón vulgar                       Fringilla coelebs

Common: migrant and winter.

The winter bird count on January 11th found 39 birds, comprised by 24 in the Nature Reserve, five on Windmill Hill and ten in gardens.

By comparison very few were recorded later in the year, just 18 birds in total in spring between March 9th and April 13th. Most of these were seen on Windmill Hill or over the Nature Reserve. Six were ringed in March.

Six were on Windmill Hill on November 2nd. Four were ringed between November 1st and November 7th.

 

Bullfinch                               Camachuelo común                       Pyrrhula pyrrhula

Rare migrant.

A male was ringed on November 11th.

 

Greenfinch                           Verderón común                  Chloris chloris

Common: migrant and winter. Some resident.

The winter bird count on January 11th found 15 birds, chiefly in the Nature Reserve.

            Apparent spring migrants were seen from Windmill Hill, Jews’ Gate or over the Nature Reserve on 11 dates between March 9th and April 26th. They totalled 213 birds, including 150 over Windmill Hill on April 13th. Nine were ringed in spring, between March 9th and April 23rd.

            Four were on Windmill Hill on November 2nd. Birds ringed in autumn totalled 70, between September 25th and November 30th.

 

Linnet                                                Pardillo común                     Linaria cannabina

Common migrant.

Single birds were seen in the Nature Reserve and at the Western Runway on January 11th.

            Apparent spring migrants were seen from Windmill Hill, Jews’ Gate or over the Nature Reserve on 13 dates between March 13th and April 26th. They included 25 at Windmill Hill on April 13th and 20 there on April 25th. Four were ringed in spring, between March 13th and May 8th.

            Three were on Windmill Hill on November 2nd.

 

Goldfinch                              Jilguero común                    Carduelis carduelis

Common: migrant and winter. Has bred.

The winter bird count on January 11th found 42 birds, 30 of which were on Windmill Hill.

            One was in the Botanic Gardens on February 26th. Apparent spring migrants were seen from Windmill Hill, Jews’ Gate or over the Nature Reserve on 15 dates between March 9th and April 25th. They totalled 167 birds, including 70 on Windmill Hill on April 13th and 25 there on April 25th.

            Ten were on Windmill Hill on November 2nd. Ten were ringed in autumn, between October 30th and November 7th; all were juveniles.

 

Serin                                      Serín verdecillo                    Serinus serinus

Common: migrant and winter. Has bred.

Six were on Windmill Hill on January 11th.

            Seven were at the Botanic Gardens on February 26th. A total of 40apparent spring migrants were seen from Windmill Hill, Jews’ Gate or over the Nature Reserve on nine dates between March 9th and May 17th.

            There were 20 on Windmill Hill on November 2nd. Twenty, mainly juveniles, were ringed in autumn, between October 20th and November 6th.

 

Siskin                                                Jilguero lúgano                    Spinus spinus

Regular but scarce migrant. Occasional in winter.

One was at Western Beach on January 11th, 12 were seen flying north over The Convent on February 11th and one was at Europa Point on March 1st. Apparent spring migrants comprised four birds seen from Jews’ Gate on April 1st, eight also there on April 6th and eight were on Windmill Hill on April 25th.

            One was on Windmill Hill on November 2nd, nine were over Commonwealth Park on November 26th and three were in the Botanic Gardens on December 1st.

 

Corn Bunting                      Escribano triguero               Emberiza calandra

Occasional: migrant and winter.

One was in the Nature Reserve on January 11th and one was in the North Front cemetery on April 10th. Sightings totalling 20 birds were made on Windmill Hill on seven dates between April 13th and May 12th. The largest site-count there was five birds on April 17th and it may be that a small group was present throughout this period, as occasionally happens on Windmill Hill.

 

Ortolan Bunting                  Escribano hortelano                        Emberiza hortulana

Occasional: migrant.

One was in the North Front cemetery on April 23rd, four were on Windmill Hill on April 25th and one was at Jews’ Gate on April 29th.

 

 

References

Elkins, N. & Etheridge, B. 1974. The Crag Martin in winter quarters at Gibraltar. British Birds 67: 376–389.

Finlayson, J.C. & Cortes, J.E. 1984. The Birds of the Strait of Gibraltar: its waters and the northern shore. Alectoris 6. Special Issue. GONHS. Gibraltar.

 

Contributors to Birds in Gibraltar 2020

 

The Gibraltar Bird Report relies on the submission of information by many people, whose contributions are gratefully acknowledged. We are once again particularly grateful to Keith Bensusan and Charles Perez, and our ringers-in residence: Graeme Dunlop, Natasha Stonestreet, Kieron Palmer, Graham Hill, David Wilkinson, Robin & Julia Springett, Mark Cutts and Roger Dickey who each submitted large numbers of records. The full list of those who submitted sight records is as follows. Those who were also, or mainly, involved with the ringing programme are listed in the Ringing Report. Our apologies to anyone who has been inadvertently omitted.

Paul Acolina, Robert Azopardi, Keith Bensusan, Clayton Busto, Steve Copsey, Dino Charvetto, John Cortes, Mark Cutts, Roger Dickey, Graeme Dunlop, EPRU*, Clive Finlayson, Stewart Finlayson, Tommy Finlayson, Harry Van Gils, Albert Gonzalez, Rhian Guillem, Trevor Hammond, Roland Hayes, Yvonne Henwood, Graham Hill, Tyson Holmes, Clive Horrocks, Jane Horrocks, Terence Jesty, Jason Mesilio, David Murray, Franz Odinius, Stanley Olivero, Kieron Palmer, David Parody, Charles Perez, Robert Perez, Raymond Risso, Vincent Robba, Paul Rocca, Charlie Rugeroni, Anna Russo, John Sanchez, Antonio Sepulveda, Shane Shacaluga, Albert Sheriff, Julia Springett, Robin Springett, Natasha Stonestreet, Cordella Victor, Stephen Warr, David Wilkinson, Jill Yeoman, Albert Yome.

*EPRU- Environmental Protection & Research Unit

 

 

 

 

                         APPENDIX:         MINIMUM DAILY TOTALS OF SOARING RAPTORS   SPRING 2020        
                       
    See Systematic List for records of falcons and species represented by fewer than ten individuals       
                       
Date Osprey Honey-buzzard Egyptian Vulture Short-toed Eagle Griffon Vulture Booted Eagle Marsh Harrier Montagu's Harrier Sparrowhawk Black Kite Day Totals
31-Jan                   1 1
08-Feb                   10 10
11-Feb                   1 1
12-Feb     1             31 32
13-Feb                   24 24
23-Feb     6       1   2 450 459
25-Feb     6       1   2 450 459
26-Feb           1 2   1 260 264
27-Feb       2             2
29-Feb 2   20 334     7   4 2505 2872
01-Mar 2     7     5   4 41 59
02-Mar     1       8   1 950 960
03-Mar     2 945 8 4 10 1 14 11195 12179
04-Mar     6 50   5 6   19 2486 2572
05-Mar     1 34   14 3   19 1145 1216
06-Mar       82   2 20   6 437 547
08-Mar                 1   1
09-Mar 2   5 131   13     29 1511 1691
10-Mar                 1   1
12-Mar                   1 1
13-Mar 1   2 65   14 5   31 1265 1383
16-Mar 4   7 86   70 31   28 8550 8776
17-Mar                 1    
20-Mar                   160 160
21-Mar     2 12 5 92 2 3 30 1241 1387
22-Mar         1           1
26-Mar 5   2 3   330 26 1 34 200 601
27-Mar 1       2 2     10 3 18
30-Mar 1         5 6   8 42 62
01-Apr 1     1   14 1 1 13 4 35
02-Apr         1 1 3       5
03-Apr       1   20     13 64 98
06-Apr       1         3 500 504
10-Apr     1 1   12   2 12 250 278
13-Apr     29 1   21     35 2500 2586
15-Apr 1                   1
17-Apr                 3   3
19-Apr 5 11 5 3 30 11 7   11 2450 2533
20-Apr 3 4   3 138 26 12   10 986 1182
21-Apr             5   1 13 19
22-Apr 1 12   8 4 13 9   16 242 305
25-Apr                 1   1
26-Apr 1 28 4 8 240 25 7   14 81 408
27-Apr   101 1 2 13 22 4   8 188 339
28-Apr 2 1551 3 10 17 16 3   9 98 1709
29-Apr 2 463 8 70 63 71 3   9 472 1161
30-Apr   342 9 33 147 25 5 1 6 780 1348
01-May   198 4 120 16 38 5 1 11 1380 1773
02-May   20   2           27 49
04-May   48 2 14 2 12     1 170 249
05-May   120 1 19 52 63 1   5 200 461
06-May   3567   1   8       35 3611
09-May 1 834 9 10 81 65 2 1 2 393 1398
11-May   156   5 93 9       94 357
12-May   256       1       15 272
13-May   269       1       3 273
14-May                   1 1
16-May   3                 3
17-May   7     1           8
20-May   50               4 54
21-May   18               6 24
29-May     1               1
02-Jun           1         1
03-Jun   2   1 12 2     5 45 67
05-Jun   45   2 184 43     45 145 464
06-Jun   2   1           4 7
07-Jun   12       2       4 18
08-Jun   5             1   6
09-Jun   8   1 10 2       2 23
10-Jun   1   1 5 1         8
13-Jun   4       3       2 9
14-Jun   1             1   2
15-Jun   13   2   3       2 20
16-Jun   3   1   3       3 10
17-Jun   1   2 12         9 24
18-Jun         8 1         9
19-Jun         2           2
26-Jun       1         1   2
27-Jun           2         2
02-Jul       1         1   2
03-Jul                   1 1
TOTALS 35 8155 138 2077 1147 1089 200 11 482 44132 57465
Date Osprey Honey-buzzard Egyptian Vulture Short-toed Eagle Griffon Vulture Booted Eagle Marsh Harrier Montagu's Harrier Sparrowhawk Black Kite Day Totals

 

 

 

 

RINGING REPORT 2020

 

Charles Perez

 

Gibraltar Ringing Group, GONHS, P.O. Box 843, Gibraltar

 

The Gibraltar Ringing Group, working under the auspices of the British Trust for Ornithology, is based at the Strait of Gibraltar Bird Observatory at Jews’ Gate, on the Upper Rock. The Covid-19 pandemic severely curtailed the ringing campaign in 2020, with a lockdown experienced from March 24thuntil early June, and placed a constraint on visiting ringers in the autumn. Nevertheless we were fortunate to have some ringers before lockdown, with some cutting their visit short. A small Joint Services expedition operated at the Middle Hill site from September 25th until October 7th, and Kieron Palmer, Graham Hill and David Wilkinson manned the Jews’ Gate Bird Observatory from September 30th until October 7th.Mark Cutts provided extra cover from October 30th until November 11th.Both I and Jill Yeoman took over throughout the rest of the spring and autumn periods. The Crag Martin roosts at Vanguard and Gorham’s caves were targeted on eight days during the early part of the year and again for six days during the latter part.

 

There were 43 ringing days in the first half of the year, 15 fewer than in 2019,and 42 ringing days in the second half, six more than in 2019. Ringing took place from sunrise until early afternoon, occasionally continuing throughout the day when many migrants were present and weather conditions were appropriate.

 

In total, 4,182 birds were processed; 656fewer than in 2019. These comprised 3,734new birds and 448 retraps. With fewer ringing days, the spring total was 1,123new birds, 323fewerthan in 2019, and the post breeding period recorded 2,611 new birds ringed, 1,268 birds fewer than the previous year. There were three controls of foreign-ringed birds: a Blackcap from the United Kingdom, a Garden Warbler from France and an Isabelline (Western Olivaceous) Warbler from Spain. Fifty-four species were processed, two fewer than in 2019.

 

The Crag Martin roosts in Vanguard and Gorham’s Caves at Governors Beach were targeted during five days in January and 133 birds were processed, with 58 retraps from current and previous years.

 

The roosts were again targeted on four days in February when 131 new birds and 45 retraps were captured. The Jews’ Gate campaign began on February 24th, when nets were set up and a small catch of wintering birds resulted.

 

The second week in March saw the arrival of visiting ringers from the UK and Denmark, but by the 24th they had to leave on the last few flights out from Gibraltar, due to the pandemic. A total of 396 birds were processed during the month, with the first trans-Saharan migrant, an Iberian Chiffchaff on the 8th; Tree Pipit, Nightingale and Subalpine Warbler on the 16th; Willow Warbler, Hoopoe and Woodchat Shrike on the 18th, Bonelli’s Warbler on the 19thand a Sparrowhawk and a Goldcrest on the 21st.The Goldcrest was only the fifth ringed at the Observatory and the 11th recorded at Gibraltar. The 19th saw an arrival of Phylloscopus warblers with two Common Chiffchaffs, four Bonelli’s Warblers and 28 Willow Warblers caught. A further four Bonelli’s Warblers, six Common Chiffchaffs and 29 Willow Warblers were trapped and ringed the following day. An unexpected bird so early in the season, a Grasshopper Warbler, was ringed on the 9th and retrapped on the 11th. A Dartford Warbler on the 15thadded to the warbler variety for the month.

 

A total of 525 birds were processed throughout April, a month which saw a spate of frontal systems resulting in some wet weather and mainly westerly winds, enabling only 15 ringing days. Nevertheless, the wet weather caused some small falls of migrants, which were trapped during intermittent dry spells. The period was again dominated by Phylloscopus warblers totalling six Iberian Chiffchaffs, 11 Common Chiffchaffs, 104 Bonelli’s Warblers and 122 Willow Warblers. The period from the 5th till the 7th proved fruitful with captures including 26 Nightingales, 31 Bonelli’s Warblers, 14 Willow Warblers, a Hoopoe, the first Pied Flycatcher and Common Redstart on the 5th, the first Garden Warbler, Orphean Warbler and three Scops Owls on the 6th, and a European Nightjar on the 7th.The 12th saw a large fall of migrants with 98 birds processed. The high catching rate continued the next day but affected by heavy drizzle. During these two days 13 Bonelli’s Warblers and 37 Willow Warblers were trapped together with the first Melodious Warblers. A Great Reed Warbler was trapped on the 13th, only the second ringed locally and the 7thGibraltarrecord.By mid month Orphean Warblers were more prevalent with 14 birds trapped, and the only Wood Warbler of the spring was ringed on the 16th.A Sparrowhawk and a Red-necked Nightjar on the 28th provided further variety.

 

Clear skies and windy westerly winds during May prevented most ringing during the month, and trapping was only carried out on four days. Only 45 birds were processed that included some resident species: nine Blackcaps, ten Sardinian Warblers and five House Sparrows. Sparrows are mainly caught at this time of the year when they venture into the scrub habitat to forage for insects with which to feed their offspring.

 

The ringing campaign resumed on September 25th, with a small Joint Services Expedition that covered the site at Middle Hill until October 7th inclusive. During that time they processed 705 birds of 22 species. The Observatory was manned from September 29th continuously until November 7th and then sporadically until November 30th.A comparison was made of the two sites during this period, with the Observatory processing 625 birds of 20 species, with five fewer ringing days. Catching rate was similar but some species preferred the denser scrub habitat at the Observatory, where 386 Blackcaps were processed compared to 235 at Middle Hill during the same period. The first day at Middle Hill produced a Scops Owl and seven Pied Flycatchers as well as wintering and resident species: 12 Blackcaps, eight Sardinian Warblers, four Blackbirds, four Blue Tits, two Robins and a Greenfinch. The following day, the 26th, an unprecedented fall of migrants occurred, as the weather was clear with moderate westerly winds. A total of 129 birds were trapped then at Middle Hill: 40 Pied Flycatchers, 26 Blackcaps, 25 Willow Warblers, seven Redstarts, six Garden Warblers, six Sardinian Warblers, six Blue Tits, five Blackbirds, two Whitethroats, and single Robin, Stonechat, Orphean Warbler and Spotted Flycatcher.

 

The winds continued from the west during the two-week period when ringers were operating at both sites, with the first easterlies from October 9th.Only 862 birds were processed during October. The Middle Hill site, which is more exposed to the windy conditions, trapped 251 birds, compared to 551 processed at the Observatory during the same period. The main difference involved Blackcap captures; 143 at Middle Hill compared with 335 at the Observatory. The 6th and 7th were particularly good as westerly winds were light to moderate, although the more exposed Middle Hill site was less successful. The latter had 105 birds processed compared to 275 at the Observatory, with Blackcaps, the most common migrant during this period, numbering 105 at Middle Hill and 275 at the Observatory. Willow Warblers were more numerous at the Observatory, where 22 were trapped compared to only six at the other site during this two day period. Most trans-Saharan migrants occurred during the first few days of the month, with eight Pied Flycatchers, two Common Redstarts, two European Nightjars, two Grasshopper Warblers, 22 Willow Warblers, five Nightingales, eight Whitethroats and six Common Redstarts captured during the month. Totals of regional winterers in October included 485 Blackcaps, 51 Robins and 33 Black Redstarts, the last two species being much scarcer than usual.Other species low in numbers were Song Thrush with only three caught and Common Chiffchaff with only 18 during the month. Finch passage was slow with westerly winds hampering the peak migration throughout late October. Only 46 Greenfinches, three Serins and a single Goldfinch were trapped and ringed. The October variety included a Reed Warbler and Wryneck on the 1st, Scops Owl on the 3rd, Stonechat on the 6th and Orphean Warbler on the 7th.On the 29th the Crag Martin roost at Governor’s Beach was targeted and 91 birds were processed.

 

Mark Cutts arrived on the 30th October for a week and manned the Observatory. He processed 16 Crag Martins as they flew low over the netting site at the Observatory, on their way to the roost in the evening. During that week he also processed 220 Blackcaps, 54 Black Redstarts, 28 Common Chiffchaffs, four Song Thrushes, a Barn Swallow, and a number of finches; four Chaffinches, 19 Serins, 27 Greenfinches and 10 Goldfinches. A Wryneck on November 2nd and a Dartford Warbler on the 4th provided some variety among other wintering and resident species.

 

The rest of November and December was covered on occasional dates when the weather was favourable and only a few nets were in operation. During this period 85 Black Redstarts, 56 Robins, 34 Blackcaps, 16 Sardinian Warblers, seven Greenfinches, two Common Chiffchaffs, two Crag Martins and single Blackbird and Blue Tit were ringed. A male Bullfinch was trapped on November 11th.

 

The Crag Martin roosts at the caves at Governor’s Beach were again targeted on seven days during November and early December and a total of 387 new birds were ringed. Also trapped there were a Barn Swallow on November 12th and two Red-rumped Swallows on December 3rd.

 

Table 1:  Controls in 2020.

 

Ring

Species

Date

Co-or

Site

County

Country

Control Date

Duration

Distance

1Y55470

Isabelline Warbler

23/08/2014

37°04N 05° 37W

El Coronil

Seville

Spain

07/05/2020

2084 days

109km

8867146

Garden Warbler

30/09/2020

43° 32N 00°28E

Miramont-D'Astarac

Gers

France

12/10/2020

12 days

960km

ALL8842

Blackcap

01/09/2020

49° 34N 05° 34E

Blashford Lakes

Hampshire

England

07/10/2020

36 days

1664km

 

 

 

Table 2:  Annual Ringing Totals 2020

 

 

Spring

Autumn

Total

Total

Total

Totals

SPECIES

2020

2020

2020

2019

2018

91-20

Quail

-

-

-

-

-

13

European Turtle-dove

-

-

-

-

-

30

Eurasian Collared-dove

-

-

-

-

1

14

Red-necked Nightjar

1

1

2

2

8

119

European Nightjar

2

4

6

4

21

155

Pallid Swift

6

1

7

7

-

56

Common Swift

4

-

4

-

-

16

Great Spotted Cuckoo

-

-

-

-

-

3

Common Cuckoo

-

-

-

-

-

1

Purple Swamphen

-

-

-

-

-

1

Moorhen

-

-

-

-

1

1

European Storm-petrel

-

-

-

-

-

2

Leach's Storm-petrel

-

-

-

-

-

2

Cory's Shearwater

-

-

-

-

-

3

Little Bittern

-

-

-

-

-

1

Night Heron

-

-

-

-

-

1

Gannet

-

-

-

-

-

1

Woodcock

-

-

-

-

-

1

Yellow-legged Gull

-

-

-

-

1

494

Puffin

-

-

-

-

-

1

Barn Owl

-

-

-

-

-

1

Little Owl

-

-

-

-

1

18

Scops Owl

3

2

5

2

19

208

Long-eared Owl

-

-

-

-

-

2

Eurasian Eagle-owl

-

-

-

-

-

1

European Honey-buzzard

-

-

-

-

-

8

Short-toed Eagle

-

-

-

-

-

9

Griffon Vulture

-

-

-

-

1

14

Booted Eagle

-

-

-

-

-

7

Bonelli's Eagle

-

-

-

-

-

1

Sparrowhawk

2

-

2

3

5

83

Black Kite

-

-

-

-

-

5

Hoopoe

2

-

2

4

1

103

European Bee-eater

-

-

-

4

-

27

River Kingfisher

-

-

-

-

-

9

Wryneck

-

3

3

-

1

42

Lesser Kestrel

-

-

-

-

-

1

Common Kestrel

1

1

2

1

2

34

Merlin

-

-

-

-

-

2

Hobby

-

-

-

-

-

3

Peregrine

-

1

1

-

-

8

Golden Oriole

1

-

1

-

2

21

Woodchat Shrike

9

-

9

6

-

225

Coal Tit

-

-

-

-

-

2

Blue Tit

1

46

47

26

27

1162

Great Tit

-

1

1

-

2

96

Wood Lark

-

-

-

-

-

3

Thekla’s Lark

-

-

-

-

-

2

Zitting Cisticola

-

-

-

-

-

29

Isabelline Warbler

-

-

-

-

1

7

Melodious Warbler

9

-

9

10

17

775

Icterine Warbler

-

-

-

-

-

6

Sedge Warbler

-

-

-

-

1

8

Common Reed-warbler

-

2

2

18

22

345

Great Reed-warbler

1

-

1

-

-

2

Grasshopper Warbler

1

2

3

5

1

53

House Martin

-

-

-

1

14

151

Red-rumped Swallow

-

3

3

4

-

17

Barn Swallow

-

2

2

4

4

198

Crag Martin

289

503

792

550

101

2143

Bonelli's Warbler

114

-

114

68

60

1915

Wood Warbler

1

-

1

-

-

78

Yellow-browed Warbler

-

-

-

-

-

9

Willow Warbler

197

59

256

217

104

6859

Iberian Chiffchaff

10

-

10

17

12

497

Common Chiffchaff

55

42

97

180

192

6327

Mountain Chiffchaff

-

-

-

-

-

1

Cetti's Warbler

-

-

-

-

-

4

Long-tailed Tit

-

-

-

-

-

5

Blackcap

106

1065

1171

2736

1751

36201

Garden Warbler

16

54

70

143

112

2961

Orphean Warbler

16

2

18

12

17

440

Lesser Whitethroat

-

-

-

-

-

2

Sardinian Warbler

29

171

200

112

169

6788

Subalpine Warbler

25

-

25

24

28

726

Common Whitethroat

18

15

33

42

27

803

Spectacled Warbler

-

-

-

-

-

23

Dartford Warbler

1

1

2

3

3

101

Short-toed Treecreeper

-

-

-

2

-

23

Wren

2

9

11

4

7

373

Starling

-

-

-

-

-

2

Spotless Starling

-

-

-

1

-

36

Song Thrush

1

5

6

70

93

1539

Mistle Thrush

-

-

-

-

-

2

Redwing

-

-

-

-

-

10

Blackbird

9

61

70

35

70

2659

Ring Ouzel

-

-

-

1

1

22

Rufous Bush Chat

-

-

-

-

-

2

Spotted Flycatcher

1

1

2

2

7

315

Robin

56

175

231

449

1354

14698

Bluethroat

-

-

-

2

-

11

Nightingale

47

6

53

48

22

1157

Red-breasted Flycatcher

-

-

-

-

-

1

Pied Flycatcher

35

87

122

13

40

2304

Black Redstart

7

153

160

287

515

8767

Common Redstart

17

19

36

45

39

1282

Rufous-tailed Rock-thrush

-

-

-

-

-

4

Blue Rock-thrush

-

-

-

-

3

79

Whinchat

-

-

-

2

3

53

Stonechat

-

2

2

1

4

228

Northern Wheatear

-

-

-

2

-

45

Black-eared Wheatear

-

-

-

-

-

30

Goldcrest

1

-

1

-

-

7

Firecrest

-

-

-

2

1

41

Dunnock

-

-

-

1

-

27

House Sparrow

6

4

10

3

26

959

Spanish Sparrow

-

-

-

-

-

6

House/Spanish Sparrow

-

-

-

-

-

1

Tree Pipit

1

-

1

2

3

105

Meadow Pipit

-

-

-

6

1

50

Richard's Pipit

-

-

-

-

-

1

Tawny Pipit

-

-

-

-

-

15

Yellow Wagtail

-

-

-

1

-

4

Grey Wagtail

-

1

1

 

2

25

Chaffinch

7

4

11

19

18

788

Brambling

-

-

-

-

1

7

Hawfinch

-

-

-

-

-

5

Common Rosefinch

-

-

-

-

-

1

Bullfinch

 

1

1

-

-

22

Trumpeter Finch

-

-

-

-

-

1

Greenfinch

9

70

79

79

170

4216

Linnet

4

-

4

1

2

109

Crossbill

-

-

-

-

-

1

Goldfinch

-

10

10

13

35

1006

Serin

-

20

20

25

102

1241

Siskin

-

-

-

-

-

217

Corn Bunting

-

-

-

-

-

11

Rock Bunting

-

-

-

-

-

8

Ortolan Bunting

-

-

-

1

3

38

Cirl Bunting

-

-

-

-

-

1

Little Bunting

-

-

-

-

-

2

TOTAL

1123

2609

3732

5322

5251

113043

 

Acknowledgements: Alba Caballero Rubio, Mark Cutts, Graeme Dunlop, Roger Dickey, Graham Hill, Kieron Palmer, Charles Perez, Robin Springett, Julia Springett, Natasha Stonestreet, David Wilkinson,Jill Yeoman.

 

 

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