Friday, June 4, 2010

June on the cliffs of Gibraltar

A brief interlude from wetlands to paint the picture closer to home. Sitting on Gibraltar's cliffs and observing what goes on around me is one of my favourite pastimes at this time of the year. Migrant raptors continue to come in - these are largely immature Black Kites, Griffon Vultures, Booted and Short-toed Eagles with the tail end of the Honey Buzzards. The stretch of sea between Africa and Europe (below) seems really short here but it remains a challenge for the soaring birds.

Africa in background with Europa Point lighthouse, Gibraltar, Europe, in the foreground (above). A Booted Eagle just makes it (below).

But when passage is slow, the spectacular cliffs still reveal their own secrets (below).

Little Owls breed amidst beautiful flowers

Peregrines patrol the skies

Blue Rock Thrushes (female above and male below) use the warm roads between the cliffs to catch insects for their nestlings.
But when the south-westerly breeze picks up back come the Black Kites and Honey Buzzards (below).

But sometimes something happens that just leaves you speechless. Luckily today I had the camera with me as an exhausted Booted Eagle came in and landed, beak open gasping for air, 10 metres away from me! Here are the photos:

too close to get the whole bird in!

1 comment:

  1. Very groovy, I had no idea Africa could be seen so clearly from there. The photo of the Booted Eagle with upturned wings would have to be my favourite, what a stunner.