May 2018 Sightings

29 May:  Overcast skies with some drizzle and a light shower clearing after midday to give plenty of sunshine.  Winds moderate westerly.  Two Honey Buzzards flew north.  The Robin at the Botanic Gardens entrance was still there in territory, as was another bathing at the fountain at the Dell, but a more unusual sighting for the time of the year was a Song Thrush.  Probably the first May record, and a very late bird too.  Spotted Flycatchers are now a feature of the Botanic Gardens as are the countless family parties of Greenfinches, with parent birds feeding their young.  A Robin a Spotted Flycatcher and a White Wagtail were also present at the Commonwealth Park, while a Blue Tit has taken up residence in one of the nest boxes placed there.

Song Thrush hiding in a Olive Tree.  An unusual sighting so late in the season.


28 May:  Mainly clear skies with some westerly cloud.  Winds fresh south-westerly.  Some raptors crossed and headed north, but only a sporadic watch was involved,  and totalled approximately 45 Griffon Vultures, 20 Black Kites and a Booted Eagle.  One of the Griffons landed in the Governor's garden and another on a roof at Montagu Gardens residential complex.


25 May:  mainly clear skies with a moderate to fresh westerly wind.  In the late afternoon approximately 50 Griffon Vultures came over the Strait and headed north over the Rock.  A Yellow Wagtail was present at the Commonwealth Park.

The Yellow Wagtail at Commonwealth Park.  Unfortunately with an injured left leg.



21 May:  Cloudy skies in the early morning with a light drizzle, clearing by mid morning to give a sunny day.  Winds light variable to light easterly, becoming light again with onshore breezes.  A late migrant, a Woodchat Shrike and the resident Robin were observed at Commonwealth Park in the morning.


20 May:  Slight levanter cloud disappearing by mid morning giving way to a sunny day.  Winds light easterly and at times light variable.


19 May:  Cloudy skies with a levanter cloud over the town and harbour, but some sunny spells in the afternoon and evening.  Winds moderate and at times fresh easterly.  Spotted Flycatchers present at the Botanic Gardens, as was a Red-necked Nightjar that was flushed from cover and glided away into the Mediterranean bed..


18 May:  Levanter cloud over the town and harbour with a moderate easterly wind.  The Robin and Bonelli's  Warbler remain in the Botanic Gardens.  A Woodchat Shrike was observed at the Botanic Gardens, and two White Wagtails were present at Commonwealth Park..


17 May:  Levanter cloud thickning during the early afternoon with a light drizzle, but sunny periods afterwards.  Winds continuing moderate easterly.  Some trans-Saharan migrants were seen in the Botanic Gardens and included a Hoopoe, a Common Redstart, a Woodchat Shrike and a Bonelli's Warbler.  No raptors due to easterly winds.


16 May:  Levanter cloud over the town and harbour in a fresh easterly wind.  A Bonelli's Warbler was heard in the Botanic Gardens, and a Pied Flycatcher was seen drinking from the fountain at the Dell.  A pair of White Wagtails were observed at Commonwealth Park.


15 May:  Clear skies with a light to moderate easterly wind. Robin, Garden WarblerBonelli's Warbler and Melodious Warbler present in the Botanic Gardens


14 May:  Clear skies with a light westerly to light variable wind.  The first Spotted Flycatcher arrived at the Botanic Gardens today.  many family parties of Greenfinches with up to three young calling around the Botanic Gardens.


13 May:  Clear skies with a light westerly becoming moderate south-westerly.  Good passage of Honey Buzzards in the morning over the Rock but no counts were made.


12 May:  Clear skies early in the morning becoming cloudy and overcast, with some sunny spells after midday.  Winds fresh west to north-west.  Melodious Warbler bathing at the fountain at the Botanic Gardens.


11 May:  Clear skies with a light to moderate westerly wind.  Thousands of Honey Buzzards flying north since 8:00 this morning, and still going strong at midday.Passage slowed down after midday with very few raptors recorded.  Totals were 5958 Honey Buzzards, 6 Black Kites, a Short-toed Eagle, a Marsh Harrier, and 2 Sparrowhawks.


10 May:  Overcast skies in the morning and early afternoon but clearing mid afternoon to give sunny spells.  Winds fresh westerly.  Raptors passed mainly in the afternoon for a total of 515 Honey Buzzards, 125 Black Kites, 2 Egyptian Vultures, 26 Griffon Vultures, 23 Short-toed Eagles, 7 Sparrowhawks and 73 Booted Eagles.  Also seen were 112 White Storks.   Only 8 new birds were ringed at the Observatory and included a Common Redstart, a Blackbird, 2 Garden Warblers and 4 House Sparrows.  The Jackdaw was seen again in the south District, and a Hoopoe was present in the Botanic gardens.


09 May:  Clear skies but poor visibility, with a fresh south-westerly wind.   Again visibility impeded raptor passage with only 17 Honey Buzzards, 12 Black Kites, 14 Griffon Vultures, 2 Short-toed Eagles, a Sparrowhawk and 8 Booted Eagles seen.  Also observed were 2 Black Storks and 8 GreenfinchesRobins are still present at Commonwealth Park and the Botanic Gardens where two different territories are being held.  Also there the Hoopoe seen yesterday.


08 May:  Clear skies with some storm clouds over the hills in Spain and over Morocco.  Winds light westerly becoming fresh south-westerly with poor visibility.  Slow raptor passage in poor visibility with a total of 51 Honey Buzzards, 319 Black Kites, 2 Egyptian Vultures, 14 Griffon Vultures, 33 Short-toed Eagles, 5 Sparrowhawks and  33 Booted Eagles.  Also seen were 4 Black Storks and 8 House Martins.   A Jackdaw was seen around the northern end of town.  At the Observatory 7 new birds were ringed and included a Blackbird, a Common Redstart, Melodious Warbler, a Bonelli's Warbler, 2 Willow Warblers, and a Blackcap Hoopoe present at the Botanic gardens.


07 May:  Cloudy skies with some sunny periods, and storm clouds over Spain.  Winds moderate easterly becoming light. A Hoopoe  and a Robin were seen at the Botanic Gardens.  Only 2 Booted Eagles and 2 Swallows were observed from the Observatory.  Ten new birds were ringed at the Observatory and included a Blackbird, a Subalpine Warbler, 3 Blackcaps, a Bonelli's Warbler, a Pied Flycatcher, a Woodchat Shrike, a House Sparrow and a Greenfinch.


06 May:  Levanter cloud in the morning clearing in the afternoon.  Winds moderate easterly. A Red-necked Nightjar and 2 Garden Warblers were ringed at the Observatory.  A Pied Flycatcher was present in the Botanic Gardens.  A Common Sandpiper was feeding along the rocks at Westview Promenade.


05 May:  Levanter cloud over the town and harbour.  Winds fresh easterly.  No raptor passage due to easterly winds with only a Honey Buzzard, 5 Swallows and a House Martin seen.  The cloud brought in some passerine migrants with a Melodious Warbler and a Reed Warbler seen at the Botanic Gardens. Also a Robin there which may possibly nest.  A Robin was heard calling from the scrub at Camp Bay.


04 May:  Mainly clear skies with some westerly cloud. Winds southerly becoming moderate south-westerly.  A few raptors in the morning with passage dropping in the afternoon and winds became light.  Totals were 725 Honey Buzzards, 361 Black Kites, 27 Short-toed Eagles, 3 Sparrowhawks, 13 Booted Eagles and 3 Hobbies.  Also seen were 12 Swallows and 266 Common Swifts.  A Woodchat Shrike was present at the Botanic Gardens, where several young fledged birdsn were seen about, including young Blackcaps, Blackbirds Greenfinches and Wrens.


03 May:  Clear skies with a fresh westerly wind.  A steady passage of raptors for a total of 753 Honey Buzzards, 210 Black Kites, 8 Griffon Vultures, 7 Short-toed Eagles, 5 Sparrowhawks, 15 Booted Eagles, 2 Ospreys and 2 Hobbies.  Also seen were 120 Swallows and 20 Common Swifts.  Two Bonelli's Warblers were seen at the northern end of the Nature Reserve.


02 May:  Clear skies with a moderate westerly wind. A trickle of raptors at the Observatory with 338 Honey Buzzards, 255 Black Kites, 5 Short-toed Eagles, 4 Sparrowhawk, and 11 Booted Eagles.  Also seen were 33 Common Swifts,  83 Swallows and  5 House MartinsRobin still present at Commonwealth Park, and the entrance to the Botanic gardens.


01 May:  Clear skies becoming cloudy at midday with a light shower, but clearing in the afternoon with some westerly cloud.  Winds light north-westerly, becoming moderate in the afternoon.  Slow raptor passage for a total of 174 Honey Buzzards, 113 Black Kites, an Egyptian Vulture, 9 Griffon Vultures, a Short-toed Eagle, a Marsh Harrier, 3 Sparrowhawks and 2 Booted Eagles.  Also seen were a heavy passage of Common Swifts, with over 2100 counted, and 1000s more heading north,  60 Swallows and 9 House Martins.

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