I've spent the last few mornings at the Straits of Gibraltar Bird Obs and I was lucky to see this male Black Redstart in the hand
I've come over to Gibralter to observe the 1000's of raptors that cross the Straits of Gibraltar from Morocco at this time of year until the end of May. To get a good raptor passage you need westerlies to push them over towards the rock. Unfortunately the day I arrived the wind changed to east and as a result all of the raptors are crossing further west towards Taraifa. So the rest of my days are spent walking around Gibraltar and I there ain't much arrived yet. The highlights have all been at the Gibraltar Bird Observatory at Jews Gate, although I did have the first Pallid Swift of the year over town yesterday with small numbers of Swallow. At the ringing station I was looked after by Steve, Ian and Yvonne. Amazingly, Yvonne used to live five minutes from where I lived in Telford. If you don't know where that is, it's just up road from that mega gull site, Trench Pool! Well it was for a week or so. She also knew all my family from the Wockwardine/Walcot area. If that's not enough, she decided to become a ringer when she saw a demo done by my trainee who I used to ring with over 30 years ago! Yvonne and Ian now live in the Outer Hebrides on Lewis where Ian has found the only Serin and second record of American Robin for the islands!
2 female Sardinian Warbler were ringed
I was told that I lucky that they trapped a male Black Redstart as they're always immature birds
I was hoping that a Iberian Chiffchaff was going to be trapped, but instead I had to make do with this Chiffchaff
Male Sardinian Warbler
Iberian Wall Lizard are all over the shop as you walk the roads up towards the top of the rock
These Processionary Pine Caterpillars were also at the side of the road. There long hairs give out poison that when touched irritates the skin. Allerigic reactions are not unknown and if ingested the conquences can be serious. Any dust inhaled can cause lung damage.
Barbary Mocaques Monkey
Audouins Gull are just starting to come through and during a 30 minute seawatch off Europa Point, up to 4 birds passed through.
With 100's of Yellow-legged Gulls
Looking from half way down the rock over the SW side of Gibraltar. To the left of the pic, the land has been reclaimed to build more and more. Any space on Gibraltar is built on, if it hasn't yet, give it a few years and you will see a dramatic change for the worse.
However, there are some nice areas hidden away
The south end of the rock looking up from Europa Point
Christ! I got a shock for a few seconds when I thought this was Rolf Harris modeling. Whoever it is, it might be good idea if they changed there appearance.
I was listening to these guys on the plane over, She Keeps Bees is a rock and roll band from Brooklyn, New York, formed in 2006 and consisting of Jessica Larrabee on vocals and guitar and Andy LaPlant on drums. They have been compared to Patti Smith, the White Stripes, The Kills, PJ Harvey, and Cat Power.