Recent Sightings August 2021
31 Aug: Low levanter cloud in the morning with levanter cloud clearing in the afternoon, but some westerly high cloud present. Winds moderate easterly. A Hoopoe and two Spotted Flycatchers were seen in the evening at North Front Cemetery.
A Great Skua was observed in the Strait off Europa Point, and a Common Sandpiper was present on the western end of the runway.
30 Aug: Clear skies with a moderate westerly wind. A good raptor passage in the morning observed from Princess Caroline's Battery until 11:00hrs resulted in 1338 Honey Buzzards, 1125 Black Kites, four Egyptian Vultures, three Montagu's Harriers, three Booted Eagles, an Osprey and two Kestrels. Also seen were 11 Common Swifts and three Ravens.
A three hour visit to Europa Point produced 34 Cory's Shearwaters, two Gannets, seven Shags, eight Black-headed Gulls, 11 Audouin's Gulls, 14 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, and included a number of raptors among which were 111 Honey Buzzards, 19 Black Kites, a Sparrowhawk and an Osprey. Also seen were seven Swallows.
A flock of 14 Shelduck was seen off the east side of the Rock heading south.
29 Aug: Clear skies with a moderate north-westerly wind but fresh south-westerly wind in the Strait. An early start to raptor migration from 07:30 onwards with heavy passage of birds approaching from the Spanish coast, with passage easing off as south-westerly winds set in to shift passage to the east of the Rock. Morning total was over 4200 Honey Buzzards, 124 Black Kites, a Short-toed Eagle, 15 Marsh Harriers, 11 Montagu's Harriers, a Booted Eagle, eight Sparrowhawks and a migrant Peregrine. Also seen from Princess Caroline's Battery were three Ravens and a Hoopoe.
One of thousands of Honey Buzzards crossing the Strait. R. Perez.
Raptors continued to cross over the sea to the east of the Rock but no counts were made. Overhead an Egyptian Vulture and a Montagu's Harrier were seen in the afternoon over the Rock.
An hours watch at Europa Point produced 20 Cory's Shearwaters a Scopoli's Shearwater, a Gannet, three Audouin's Gulls, a Lesser Black-backed Gull, a Caspian Tern, two Sandwich Terns, a Montagu's Harrier and a Little Egret.
A Common Sandpiper was seen on the north groyne at Eastern Beach.
28 Aug: Clear skies with a moderate westerly to south-westerly wind. Some raptors crossed in the morning and a watch from 07:30 till 11:00 produced 500 Honey Buzzards, 300 Black Kites, an Egyptian Vulture, a Montagu's Harrier, three Booted Eagles, three Kestrels and a heavy passage of Bee-eaters. In the evening more Black Kites and a Short-toed Eagle were seen approaching the Rock over the runway.
A Caspian Tern was seen at Europa Point.
27 Aug: Light variable winds becoming light westerly in the morning but increasing to a fresh south-westerly in the Strait. Visibility very poor with the Spanish and African coasts obscured. A poor catch at the Observatory with single Nightingale, Sardinian Warbler, Iberian Chiffchaff and Bonelli's Warbler. A Montagu's Harrier and a Lanner were seen from the Observatory in the morning.
An hours watch at Europa Point was poor with 15 Cory's Shearwaters, five Shags, two Cormorants and a Kestrel. A Woodchat Shrike was seen above the Mosque at Europa. The Jackdaw remained at the Moorish Castle.
26 Aug: Clear skies at dawn with some fog patches, but some levanter cloud forming mid morning becoming cloudier with moderate to light easterly winds. Cloud clearing in the afternoon. An hours watch at Europa Point was very poor with only 20 Cory's Shearwaters and two Shags. In the evening a Great Skua and two Grey Herons were seen from Europa Point.
25 Aug: Completely overcast in the morning with some light rain and levanter cloud over the Rock. Clearing in the Strait and around the Rock to give sunny spells in the afternoon. Winds light south-easterly.
Very quiet at the Observatory with few birds about. A Montagu's Harrier was seen soaring above the Observatory.
An Iberian Chiffchaff was seen by Transport Lane, and at the Europa foreshore a Common Sandpiper and an Audouin's Gull were observed. A Hoopoe was seen in the firebreak by Middle Hill.
By midday several Black Kites, Booted Eagles and Short-toed Eagles flew in towards the Rock.
24 Aug: Overcast skies with levanter cloud and cloud from the west bringing some light rain showers, but heavy drizzle mid morning until midday. Remaining cloudy during the afternoon with some sunny spells and a light south-easterly wind.
Approximately 130 Honey Buzzards, and 45 Black Kites were seen heading south in dense cloud over Europa Point, together with 70 Swallows, and 10 House Martins. In the afternoon, as cloud cover thinned and some sunny spells appeared at least 65 Booted Eagles, 8 Short-toed Eagles, 75 Honey Buzzards and 35 Black Kites flew in towards the Rock from across the Bay.
A poor ringing morning despite the overcast conditions.
There was a Melodious Warbler at Vineyards. In the evening a gathering of over 400 Swift sp. were congregating over the ridge of the Rock. There were five Cory's Shearwaters, 25 Black Terns and five Sandwich Terns in the Bay.
At North Front cemetery there were single Hoopoe and Woodchat Shrike.
23 Aug: Westerly cloud bringing some light rain in the morning, clearing by midday. Winds light variable then becoming light easterly. A Spotted Flycatcher was seen at North Front by the frontier fence.
22 Aug: Overcast with westerly cloud, and several light rain showers overnight and early in the morning with some thunder. First real rains for a few months now. Winds light variable turning to light to moderate easterly in the afternoon, with some sunny spells.
A Dunlin was photographed at the Europa foreshore. This is a species rarely seen at Gibraltar.
Dunlin at Europa foreshore. D. Curran.
A single Booted Eagle was seen in the early afternoon.
21 Aug: Some cloud from the west at dawn brought some light sprinkling of rain but soon cleared while easterly levanter cloud settled in during most of the morning clearing by midday. Winds light variable to light easterly.
Two Montagu's Harriers flew over the Observatory early in the morning. A Robin was seen by Wellington Front and a Kingfisher was present at Camp Bay. A Garden Warbler and a Willow Warbler were observed at North Front Cemetery, and six Ravens were seen at the North face of the Rock.
A Booted Eagle and a Swallow were seen over the Botanic Gardens.
20 Aug: Clear skies at dawn but levanter cloud increasing during the morning, clearing by midday with just some slight levanter cloud over the town. Winds light to moderate easterly.
A Melodious Warbler and four Iberian Chiffchaffs were seen at the Botanic Gardens.
19 Aug: Heavy fog again in the morning clearing mid morning to clear skies. Winds light easterly. A early morning visit to Jacob's Ladder did not produce the migrants seen yesterday evening, and only six Barbary Partridges, a Wren, four Sardinian Warblers, a Blue Tit and two Greenfinches were present.
At midday a mixed flock approximately 12 Short-toed and Booted Eagles were seen soaring over Europort.
18 Aug: Heavy fog in the morning with low levanter cloud over the Rock in light easterly winds. Sunny spells in the afternoon. A few Booted Eagles flew in towards the Rock at midday before returning across the Bay.
A Melodious Warbler was seen at Vineyards and a Hoopoe was reported from Trafalgar Buildings at Europa.
An evening walk along Jacob's ladder produced two Melodious Warblers, three Spotted Flycatchers including a juvenile, and a Woodchat Shrike.
At Europa Point Cory's Shearwaters coming to feed in the Strait, two Mediterranean Gulls and a Common Sandpiper.
17 Aug: Levanter cloud over the Rock with some sunny spells in the afternoon. In the early morning, at least 350 Black Kites flew towards the Rock and soared over the southern end of the Rock in the levanter cloud.
A Night Heron was heard at dawn along Westview Promenade. A watch from Sandy Bay in the afternoon produced 154 Cory's Shearwaters, five Balearic Shearwaters, 15 Gannets, a Shag, three Oystercatchers, and seven Audouin's Gulls.
16 Aug: Clear skies with a light variable to light westerly wind. The Europa foreshore held two Oystercatcher, seven Common Sandpipers, four Turnstones and a Whimbrel. Offshore there were four Shags, three Audouin's Gulls, a Mediterranean Gull, a Lesser Black-backed Gull and a Black-headed Gull, seven Swallows also flew overhead.
A late evening watch at Europa Point produced 70 Cory's Shearwaters, 13 Shags, five Gannets, two Mediterranean Gulls, 13 Audouin's Gulls, two Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 26 Common Swifts and 20 Swallows.
15 Aug: Clear skies with a light easterly wind. An afternoon watch from Europa Point produced 20 Cory's Shearwaters, three Shags, a Great Skua, four Audouin's Gulls and a Lesser Black-backed Gull. Six Common Sandpipers were present at Europa foreshore.
In the evening a flock of over 200 Black Kites flew in towards the Rock.
14 Aug: Clear skies at dawn but mist and fog half an hour later enveloped the Rock. Winds light easterly. Around 15:00hrs 40 Booted Eagles, 28 Short-toed Eagles and an Egyptian Vulture were seen over the Rock.
A two hour watch at Europa Point produced 15 Cory's Shearwaters, two Gannets, eight Shags, eight Audouin's Gulls, three Sandwich Terns and a Swallow. Two Common Sandpipers were present at Europa foreshore.
A Reed Warbler and a Woodchat Shrike were seen at North Front Cemetery.
13 Aug: Overcast skies with a low levanter cloud and fog in the morning, lifting somewhat after midday to include sunny spells. Winds light easterly. A very calm day at Europa Point with only a Zitting Cisticola in tamarix and two Oystercatchers on the rocks at the foreshore. A Scops Owl was found injured but later died. This is an early record for the species that turns up in mid September through October.
Spotted Flycatchers were heard along Green Lane, a pair was seen by Tovey Cottage feeding young, with another pair by the reservoir at Signal Station. A Bonelli's Warbler was present at Governor's Lookout, with an Eleonora's Falcon seen there too.
An hours watch at Europa Point produced 14 Cory's Shearwaters, three Shags, a Gannet, an Oystercatcher heading west, a Common Sandpiper, a Black-headed Gull and two Audouin's Gulls.
12 Aug: Clear skies with a light variable to light easterly wind. A light phase Booted Eagle was seen hunting in various places around the Rock including the east side of the Rock, including the east side of the Rock, dropping in on pigeons near the waterworks, and over Rock Gun and Middle Hill and Brympton Flats.
11 Aug: Levanter cloud over the Rock clearing to give sunny spells in the afternoon. Winds moderate easterly. An Eleonora's Falcon was seen heading east over Windmill Hill in the afternoon..
10 Aug: Cloudy with levanter cloud over the Rock in moderate easterly winds. A Bonelli's Warbler was observed at the Botanic Gardens. A ringing session at the Observatory produced a Nightingale, two Melodious Warblers and an Iberian Chiffchaff among other resident birds ringed. Some Black Kites turned up over the Rock in the early afternoon as clouds begun to dissipate, but soon returned north.
08 Aug: Clear skies with a fresh to moderate westerly wind. Approximately 50 Black Kites were seen over the Rock in the morning, but no others were seen throughout the rest of the day, indicating the arrival of easterlies the following day. Two Griffon Vultures arrived across the Strait and headed north over the Rock ; both very late migrants mobbed by the Ravens.
Seabird passage in the morning was also slow at Europa Point, with eight Cory's Shearwaters, two Gannets, a Mediterranean Gull and 16 Audouin's Gulls in an hour. In the afternoon a further 20 Cory's Shearwaters, three Gannets, five Shags, a Black-headed Gulls, 16 Audouin's Gulls a Lesser Black-backed Gull and two Common Sandpipers. Also seen were a flock of 18 Common Swifts.
07 Aug: Clear skies with a fresh to strong westerly wind. Black Kites were having a problem with strong winds this morning. Many were forced around the east side of the Rock, and some were aborting the crossing and returning north over Europa Point. Eventually some crossed the Bay towards Pta. Carnero that was shrouded in cloud in the early morning. Around 400 birds were involved in the morning. Later in the afternoon hundreds of Black Kites attempted the crossing, with most returning low over Europa Point and heading north. Approximately 2800 birds were involved.
A morning watch at Europa Point produced two Cory's Shearwaters, three Shags west, a Common Sandpiper, a Black-headed Gull and 18 Audouin's Gulls. Also seen were three Swallows and two Common Swifts. In the afternoon 10 Cory's Shearwaters feeding, a Gannet, a Common Sandpiper, four Whimbrels, an Oystercatcher, two Shags, a Mediterranean Gull, 34 Audouin's Gulls, a Lesser Kestrel and three Kestrels.
There were two adult Woodchat Shrikes at North Front Cemetery.
06 Aug: Clear skies and a moderate to fresh westerly wind. Black Kites headed north over the Rock at midday, but passage stopped soon after resuming at 16:00hrs when a couple of thousand birds flew in over the Rock, and then headed west towards Pta. Carnero. Total for the day 3800 Black Kites, an Egyptian Vulture, and a Short-toed Eagle.
One of many Black Kites crossing the Strait today. C. Perez
A watch at Europa Point produced Cory's Shearwaters heading into the Strait to feed in the evening with well over 100 birds, 90 Cory's Shearwaters, 15 Gannets, seven Shags, 11 Oystercatchers, a Whimbrel, two Gull-billed Terns, 11 Black-headed Gulls, 10 Mediterranean Gulls, 19 Audouin's Gulls, 20 Common Swifts, a Short-toed Eagle and a Kestrel.
Gull-billed Tern C. Perez
Gull-billed Tern C. Perez
05 Aug: Clear skies with a moderate to fresh westerly wind. In the afternoon a watch at Europa Point produced 34 Cory's Shearwaters, 13 Shags, two Black-headed Gulls, 11 Mediterranean Gulls, 71 Audouin's Gulls and two Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Also seen were seven Common Swifts and a Kestrel. In the late evening some 120 Black Kites flew in over the Rock.
04 Aug: Clear skies with a light and variable wind becoming westerly by midday and freshening to south westerly in the afternoon. A watch from Europa point produced 70 Cory's Shearwaters, a Gannet, a Whimbrel, five Mediterranean Gulls, eight Audouin's Gulls, and a Lesser Black-backed Gull. Also seen from there were 148 Black Kites, a Montagu's Harrier and a Kestrel.
03 Aug: Mainly clear skies with some levanter cloud over the Rock. Winds light to moderate easterly. An Iberian Chiffchaff was heard calling around the Observatory at Jews' Gate. two juvenile Audouin's Gulls with colour rings were seen on rocks at Sandy Bay. A Puffin was seen 1.5 miles out from the east side of the Rock. Also seen from the boat were a Whimbrel and a Cory's Shearwater.
02 Aug: Mainly clear skies but with some high cloud, Winds moderate becoming light westerly and variable by mid morning, then turning to light north-easterly. Some flocks of Black Kites headed south over the Rock in the early morning, but continued to coast up the Bay in light winds. Approximately 100 birds involved.
At Europa Point the sea was calm and some seabirds were seen in a half-hour watch with single Cory's Shearwater, three Gannets, single Black-headed and Mediterranean Gulls, and 11 Audouin's Gulls including six juveniles.
01 Aug: Clear skies with a moderate south-westerly in the Strait but light westerly inland in the morning, picking up by midday. An early rush of 500 Black Kites in the morning presumably were roosting individuals nearby. Later from 11:00am more Black Kites headed south with another 370 birds.
Offshore at Europa Point 15 Cory's Shearwaters, a Balearic Shearwater, two Gannets, four Black-headed Gulls, two Mediterranean Gulls, a Shag, and 24 Audouin's Gulls.
A juvenile Black-headed Gull heading west past Europa Point. R. Perez.
The afternoon watch from Europa Point was very productive with 25 Cory's Shearwaters, a Balearic Shearwater, six Gannets, nine Whimbrels, five Black-headed Gulls, six Mediterranean Gulls, 81 Audouin's Gulls and two Lesser Black-backed Gulls and two Serins.
Flock of eight of the nine Whimbrels seen at Europa Point. R. Perez.
Black Kites again crossed south over the Rock after 17:00hrs till late evening for a total of 1850 birds. Also seen was a Short-toed Eagle, three Kestrels, and several flocks of Common Swifts with a few Pallid Swifts among them.
A Hoopoe was seen at Governor's Lookout, and the Jackdaw was perched at Moorish Castle.
Jackdaw at Moorish Castle. S Morgan.