Thursday, March 4, 2010

When migration comes to a halt

Monday was a warm and calm day and many soaring birds made the most of it to cross the Strait. Most did very well on the thermals that the mid-morning sun produced and flew high. The main species were Short-toed Eagle, Egyptian Vulture, Black Kite and Black Stork. The warmth seems to have brought in some new arrivals from the south, most notably Yellow Wagtails back on territories in La Janda and an early Willow Warbler, flycatching from an olive it was sharing with a Cetti's Warbler. Storms returned from the Atlantic on Tuesday. They got some birds moving, especially Common Scoters that were migrating north along the coast.

Storm clouds over the Atlantic at sunset on Tuesday

The storm got much worse on Wednesday with high winds lifting up rollers along the Strait. A few Gannets struggled with the wind but most movement came to a halt. At Europa Point tonight around 20 Audouin's Gulls, joined a roost of Yellow-legged Gulls on a cricket pitch giving ample opportunities for photographs in spite of the grey cloud and the very strong winds. These lovely gulls are now moving into the Mediterranean in large numbers but the wind was too strong even for them.

waves in the Strait today

First winter Gannet struggling into the wind today. Below, Audouin's Gulls resting in strong winds.

This bird has a ring AP7F. If anyone has a contact please pass on this information.


  1. Clive - you can submit the ring details to this website....

  2. thanks Bryan, will do! Hope things are well with you guys. Clive

  3. Hi Clive,

    Your bird is probably from this scheme.

    "White ring with black code (4 alphanumeric code) [from 2000 onwards].

    Oficina de Anillamiento, Estación Biológica de Doñana, Apdo. Correos nr4, SP-21760 Matalascañas (Almonte), Huelva, Spain.

    tel. : +34-959-44.00.32. ; fax.: +34-959-44.00.33



    Ian Fisher