September 2017 Sightings

30 Sep:  Cloudy skies with a fresh and gusty levanter cloud over the Rock, but sunny spells in the afternoon as winds died down.    A total of 107 new birds were ringed at the Observatory and included a Wryneck, 4 Robins, a Common Redstart, 2 Stonechats, a Ring Ouzel, 8 Blackbirds, a Reed Warbler, 19 Sardinian Warblers, 57 Blackcaps, a Chiffchaff, 4 Willow Warblers, 6 Pied Flycatchers and 2 Blue Tits.

At Middle Hill, windy conditions did not deter the catch, with 90 birds ringed and included 4 Robins, a Nightingale, 7 Common Redstarts, 2 Blackbirds, 7 Sardinian Warblers, 2 Garden Warblers, 61 Blackcaps, an Iberian Chiffchaff, 3 Pied Flycatchers and 2 Blue Tits.


29 Sep:  Cloudy skies in the morning with some sunny spells in the afternoon. Winds moderate easterly. The Observatory is now running at full capacity and processed 68 new birds that included 2 Robins, a Nightingale, 2 Common Redstarts, a Stonechat, 4 Blackbirds, 23 Sardinian Warblers, a Garden Warbler, 28 Blackcaps, a Willow Warbler, 2 Pied Flycatchers, 2 Blue Tits and a Greenfinch.

The Middle Hill team processed a total of 57 new birds with 4 retraps, and included single Red-necked Nightjar, Robin, Nightingale, Common Redstart, Blackbird, Reed Warbler, 4 Sardinian Warblers, an Orphean Warbler, 4 Garden Warblers, 32 Blackcaps, 2 Iberian Chiffchaffs, 2 Willow Warblers, a Pied Flycatcher, 4 Blue Tits and a Greenfinch.

The two Ravens were seen flying around the top Cable car Station.


28 Sep:  Overcast skies with levanter cloud over the Rock.  Some drizzle overnight. The Middle Hill ringing site was very successful with 144 new birds processed,  and included a Red-necked Nightjar, a Tree Pipit, a Wren, 2 Robins, 3 Common Redstarts, a Ring Ouzel, 6 Blackbirds, 5 Reed Warblers, 5 Subalpine Warblers, 12 Sardinian Warblers, 2 Orphean Warblers, a Whitethroat, 15 Garden Warblers, 54 Blackcaps, a Chiffchaff, an Iberian Chiffchaff, 12 Willow Warblers, 2 Spotted Flycatchers, 17 Pied Flycatchers, a Blue Tit and a Great Tit. Pied Flycatchers, Willow Warblers, Iberian ChiffchaffsOrphean Warblers, Subalpine Warblers, and a very early Ring Ouzel.  Totals will be on this site tomorrow.

The  Bird Observatory at Jews Gate will be operational as from tomorrow with the first nets up this afternoon.  Two Nightingales were calling above the Observatory in the afternoon.  In the evening a total of 9 birds were ringed and included single Wren, Nightingale, Reed Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, 3 Blackcaps, and 2 Pied Flycatchers.

A Northern Wheatear was observed at Westview park.


27 Sep:  Overcast with a heavy levanter cloud in the morning with some rain showers.  Winds moderate easterly.  Some migrants were observed around the Botanic gardens after the rains, and included a Bee-eater, a Short-toed Lark, several Blackcaps, an Iberian Chiffchaff, 3 Common Redstarts, 4 Pied Flycatchers, a Spotted Flycatcher and a Grey Wagtail.

The Joint services Ringing Group begun setting the net rides at the Middle Hill site, and although the weather was wet in the early morning, they managed to catch a Bonelli's Warbler, 4 Sardinian Warblers a Pied Flycatcher and a Wren.

An evening drive around the Upper Rock roads found 2 Scops Owls near the top of the Rock, but no Nightjars, as there was light drizzle and the roadways were wet. 

A pair of Whinchats were observed on the rocks at Westview Park.

Several hundred Crag Martins were seen over Windmill Hill in the morning; the first arrival of this species that winters in the caves on the east side of the Rock.

26 Sep:  Clear skies with some high cloud in the afternoon and evening.  A morning and early afternoon watch from the top Cable Car Station produced 21 Black Storks, 50 Honey Buzzards and 4 Black Kites, 16 Short-toed Eagles, a 6 Booted eagles and 7 Sparrowhawks.  A Spotted Flycatcher was seen further down the Rock, and to the east, just off Sandy Bay large numbers of Cory's Shearwaters were feeding on the flying fish, whilst Blue Fin Tuna could be seen just under the surface chasing the shoals.

25 Sep:  Foggy at dawn, with a light westerly wind.  Some high cloud.  Booted Eagles approached and soared over the Rock, with about 70 in total by mid morning, together with a juvenile Egyptian Vulture and a Sparrowhawk.

A Spotted and Pied Flycatchers present at the Botanic gardens.

A Common Redstart and 2 Whinchats were present at the North Front Cemetery.

An adult and a juvenile Audouin's Gull were resting on Catalan Bay beach in the company of Yellow-legged Gulls.


24 Sep;  Levanter cloud over the Rock in fresh easterly winds beginning to clear somewhat in the afternoon as winds became lighter.  At least over 100 Booted Eagles over the Rock in the morning over the Rock, with another 60 over Windmill Hill.  A Northern Wheatear observed on Windmill Hill.

A visit to Europa Point in the afternoon produced a Cormorant, a Gannet, Great Skua mobbing Cory's Shearwaters, about 100 Cory's Shearwaters heading east with others feeding on flying fish, 5 Black-headed Gulls, a Lesser Black-backed Gull and a Common Sandpiper.

The two Ravens were observed perched on a balcony at the Watergardens residential area.




The pair of Ravens perched on a balcony at Watergardens.                                                      Photos: J. Sanchez 


23 Sep:  Heavy levanter cloud over the Rock with overcast skies elsewhere.  Clearing mid afternoon to give sunny spells.  Small numbers of Booted Eagles flew in from the Bay and over the Rock in the late morning and early afternoon.  A Cormorant was seen sitting on the Western end of the runway.

Nine Black-headed Gulls were feeding below Europa Point in the afternoon, and small numbers of Cory's Shearwaters were flying east over the easterly swell.


22 Sep:  Heavy levanter cloud throughout most of the day.  Winds moderate easterly.  Several Pied Flycatchers in the Botanic Gardens this morning, with a Grey Wagtail heard overhead.  The Spotted Flycatchers are still around, with the juvenile birds now fending for themselves.

Pied Flycatcher
Pied Flycatcher
Pied Flycatcher
Pied Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatcher
Spotted Flycatchers
Spotted Flycatcher

 All Photos courtesy of Franz-Josep Odinius

Some Booted Eagles flew in over the Rock in the morning.


20 Sep:  Clear skies.  Light variable winds. A Common Buzzard was chased north over the Botanic Gardens, by the Apes Den Peregrine pair.


19 Sep:  Clear skies with a moderate to fresh south-westerly wind.  A Spotted Flycatcher was seen at North Front Cemetery.


18 Sep:  Clear skies with a moderate westerly wind.  Small numbers of Honey Buzzards flew south over the Rock.  A flock of approximately 50 Flamingoes also flew over the Rock.

A Robin was heard at the Piccadilly Gardens.

 A flock of four Spoonbills flew south past Little bay just after midday.


17 Sep:  Clear skies with a moderate south-westerly turning to easterly after midday but returning to a moderate south-westerly in the afternoon.  A watch at Europa Point produced seven Audouin's Gulls and a Lesser-Black-backed Gull heading west,  a Black-headed Gull feeding below the Point, and a feeding frenzy of Yellow-legged Gulls, a Balearic Shearwater and Cory's Shearwaters, numbering several hundred, just off Europa Point, where there were shoals of flying fish.   The fish were being preyed upon by Blue-fin Tuna, with some very large specimens jumping out of the water.  A spectacular sight.


16 Sep:  The two Ravens were seen again over O'Hara's battery in the late afternoon.


15 Sep:  The Spotted Flycatchers can still be found at the Botanic Gardens.  Normally they leave by the end of July but this year they have stayed around.  At Europa Point Cory's Shearwaters, 6 adult Gannets and Yellow-legged Gulls feeding on flying fish, and 2 Black-headed Gulls below the Point.


 14 Sep:  A morning visit to the Botanic Gardens produced a Spotted Flycatcher, 6 Pied Flycatchers and  3 Iberian Chiffchaffs


13 Sep: A Night Heron was heard flying over Waterport at night.  Two Wrynecks were seen on Windmill Hill.  A visit to the Botanic Gardens in the morning produced 20 Blackcaps, 4 Pied Flycatchers and a Garden Warbler.  In the afternoon a further 3 Spotted Flycatchers, 6 Pied Flycatchers, a Common Redstart, 2 Iberian Chiffchaffs, 5 Blackcaps and a Melodious Warbler were seen.  A Whimbrel was seen off Europa Point.


12 Sep:  The Spotted Flycatchers are still present in the Botanic gardens.  In the past few years the species has disappeared by the end of July and early August, after breeding. 1


11 Sep:  Clear skies with a light westerly wind becoming easterly by midday.  A Grey Heron was observed on the rocks by Westview Promenade.  Two Pied Flycatchers were present at the Botanic Gardens.  A dark phase Booted Eagle was seen over the Rock.

There was a juvenile Kentish Plover at the western end of the runway in the afternoon in the company of two Ringed Plovers and a Common Sandpiper.  This is the first recent record of Kentish Plover in Gibraltar in two decades.  Also seen there was a Northern Wheatear.

The Ravens were again seen and photographed by Tommy Finlayson.  They were seen around the Devil's Gap Battery.

There was a flock of 6 Ruddy Turnstones on the feeding along the rocks at Europa foreshore.


10 Sep:  Clear skies with a moderate to fresh south-westerly wind.  A steady passage of Honey Buzzards flew south , specially in the late afternoon, and were accompanied by a Marsh Harrier, Montagu's Harrier and a Booted Eagle. A watch was kept from the top of the Rock and produced 2 Black Storks, 70 Honey Buzzards, 10 Black Kites, 7 Booted Eagles, 9 Sparrowhawks and an Osprey.  And in the afternoon a further 6 Black Storks and 55 Honey Buzzards were counted.  At Europa Point a feeding movement of Cory's Shearwaters were seen entering the Strait, steady passage west of Yellow-legged Gulls including one adult Lesser Black-backed Gull.  Three juvenile Yellow Wagtails were resting on the ground at the Point.

Two Iberian Chiffchaffs, a Spotted Flycatcher and a Pied Flycatcher were observed in the same tree at the top of Mediterranean Steps.

A flock of 15 Flamingoes were seen of the east side of the Rock heading south.

A Storm Petrel was found in a suburban area of the South District of Gibraltar.  The bird had obviously hit an object and was slightly injured with a graze on the head above the left eye.  It was taken to the Gibraltar Veterinary Clinic, where it was fed with a syringe and kept in care, until its release.


Storm Petrel

Storm Petrel

Storm Petrel showing light underwing pattern

Storm Petrel showing light underwing pattern

Storm Petrel showing bill and rump.  Note its two old brownish outer primaries.

Storm Petrel showing bill and rump. Note its two old brownish outer primaries.


09 Sep:  Clear skies with some high cloud at midday from the north.  Winds a moderate south-westerly winds becoming moderate to fresh north-westerly.  A morning watch from the top of the Rock produced 2 Black Storks, 215 Honey Buzzards, a Black Kite, a juvenile Egyptian Vulture, a Short-toed Eagle, 2 Marsh Harriers, a Montagu's Harrier, 22 Sparrowhawks and 2 Common Kestrels.  Also seen was a Tawny Pipit.

A Robin was singing from the Botanic Gardens.


8 Sep: Flock of c. 40 Bee-eaters flying over Commonwealth Park 10:30am. A Hoopoe was seen flying over the Botanic Gardens. 5 Booted Eagles over Admiral's Place and a Dartford Warbler heard calling.

The two Ravens were photographed on a tree close to Bruce's farm.


5 Sep:  Two Ravens were seen around Devil's Gap battery.


3 Sep:  Three Ravens were filmed on the roof of the GBC repeater station at the top of the Rock.  


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