|Gibraltar Bird Observatory at the Jews Gate|
My first wonder took me in the direction of the Upper Rock for the Barbary Macaques, there doesn't seem to be much love lost between to islanders and the Macaques but the tourists love them and so did I.
Whilst wandering round the island, I didn't drive at all whilst I was there but there are some tough up hills, I added Spanish Festoon to the butterfly list plus some beautiful Moroccan Orange-tips (some books seem to call these Provence Orange-tips as a split from the Moroccan but that's beyond me).
I saw the local Peregrines and several Sparrowhawk but that was about it for my first afternoon.
The following morning I went to Europa Point, the most southerly point on the island. This is where migrants first make landfall and looking for them around the kids play area and local gardens is like birdwatching on Hartlepool Headland. It was quiet for migrants but I came across a nice male Subalpine Warbler, Woodchat Shrike, Blue-headed and White Wagtails plus several Chiffchaff and the resident Black Redstarts and Blue Rockthrush so wasn't complaining.
|Subalpine Warbler - male|
I particularly wanted to see Barbary Partridge and walked a long way looking for them, finally flushing two birds which shot in to the air and disappeared in seconds.
Heading back to the Obs there was some raptor passage underway, in about 4 hours Steve and I had the following;
Peregrine (local bird hunting finches as they crossed the straits)
Black Kite 18
Booted Eagle 13
Short-toed Eagle 2
Marsh Harrier 4
Montagu's Harrier 3
Plus at least 85 Bee-eater which were the first of the year and all from the door of the observatory! This was a fairly quiet day by Gibraltar standards but I thoroughly enjoyed myself.
|Montagu's Harrier - male|
This morning, the 28th, I had another go for the Barbary Partridge and struck lucky with three birds at Europa Point, two males calling at first light I had to wait for sunrise before I could get any photos.
|Booted Eagle - pale form|
I would thoroughly recommend a trip to Gibraltar there is a lot of information, including recent sightings on the Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society web site.
At mid-afternoon I set off for Ronda.