August 2017 Sightings


26 Aug:  A Hoopoe and a Common Redstart were seen at the North Front Cemetery.

21 Aug:  Several Iberian Chiffchaffs and a Robin are stopping over at the Botanic Gardens.  The birds are feeding and bathing at the fountain at the Dell.

Iberian Chiffchaff

Iberian Chiffchaff

Iberian Chiffchaffs                                                                                                                                             Photos:  FJ Odinius

20 Aug: Heavy levanter cloud over the Rock.  Fresh easterly winds.  Iberian Chiffchaffs and two Robins are present in the Botanic Gardens.  A Hoopoe was filmed resting on a branch in the Nature Reserve.  A Black Stork was observed over the Bay.

19 Aug:  A moderate easterly wind with cloudy conditions over the Strait and levanter cloud beginning to form over the rock at midday.  A Roller and a Hoopoe were present on Windmill Hill.  These birds must have been grounded due to the heavy levanter and strong winds we have been experiencing over the last few weeks.  A juvenile Flamingo was seen close off Europa Point flying east and then turning and heading into the Bay.

18 Aug:  Cloudy start to the day with heavy levanter cloud over the Rock.  Sunny spells after midday.  A Hoopoe was seen flying around Harbour Views Road early this morning.  It flew towards the direction of the Nature Reserve.

17 Aug:  Cloudy and overcast with a moderate easterly wind.  Two Hoopoes were seen on the Upper Rock roads in the morning.  The birds must have been grounded due to the cloudy weather.conditions  at the moment

15 Aug:  A flock of at least 300 Black Kites were seen wheeling high over Europa Point early this morning, with a further 23 birds later.  The birds, grounded in the prevailing strong levanter winds and cloudy conditions , fly down wind along the Strait coastline waiting for the weather to improve.  This morning, winds had become lighter, and the birds must have been encouraged by this and arrived at the southern end of the Rock.  At midday raptors headed over the Bay towards the Rock, arriving in their hundreds, and involving Black Kites, Honey Buzzards and Booted Eagles.  By early afternoon several Booted Eagles were seen soaring in the levanter cloud, and as is usual, returned north with the other raptors to try again when the weather improved.

Several Iberian Chiffchaffs have also been grounded and a few were heard in the Nature Reserve and in the Botanic Gardens this morning. 

10 Aug:  Clear skies early in the morning with several hundred Black Kites low over town circling and gaining height.  By mid morning raptor passage had stopped and the first wisps of a levanter cloud and a change in wind direction to easterly was noticed.  By midday the whole sky was overcast with a blanket of levanter cloud as winds freshened.

09 Aug:  Clear skies with a light south westerly sea breeze becoming moderate and fresh in the Strait.  A Robin was heard in the Botanic Gardens.  Several thousands of Black Kites flew south over the Rock in the afternoon.

A watch at Europa Point produced several Audouin's Gulls heading out of the Mediterranean, including some juvenile birds.  Also seen were 8 adult Mediterranean Gulls, with 2 juvenile birds.  Two of the adults landed at the foreshore and stayed there resting for several minutes.  Offshore a couple of Cory's Shearwaters were feeding, and a pair of Oystercatchers flew west past the Point.  Overhead hundreds of Black Kites could be seen high and heading south across the Strait in the direction of Ceuta.

08 Aug:  Clear skies with a light to moderate west to south-westerly wind.  At least several hundred Black Kites flew south over the Rock in the morning.  With several flocks in the late afternoon and evening numbering over 560 birds.

07 Aug:  A Bonelli's Warbler, was again heard calling at the Botanic gardens.

05 Aug:  A Melodious Warbler, and early migrant, was seen and photographed in the Botanic Gardens.

Melodious Warbler

Melodious Warbler in the Botanic Gardens.                                                                                                                      Photo: F.J. Odinius

04 Aug:  A Bonelli's Warbler was heard and seen feeding on insects around a Stone Pine in the Botanic Gardens.

01 Aug:  Cloudy skies with a light to moderate westerly wind.  Approximately over 1000 Black Kites headed south over the Rock throughout the day.


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