Migrating Raptors on The Strait of Gibraltar

Migrating Raptors on The Strait of Gibraltar

It’s been a busy six weeks with almost non-stop birding here on The Strait and across Europe. I thought I’d quickly post some of the raptor shots I have managed to edit so far on the blog to show at least some of the autumn delights…

Black-winged Kites (old name is Black shouldered Kite) have been fewer in numbers this last few months and as nomads they tend to move where there’s good vole populations. Let’s see what winter brings as it’s usually a good time to catch up with this stunning small raptor

Black winged Kite r6170

Booted Eagle 1474

Here’s a selection of Europe’s smallest eagle, the Booted Eagle. The commonest form is the paler bird with an intermediate and a dark form passing through this area.

Booted Eagle r0764

Booted Eagle interm 6824

Booted Eagle dark form 1284

There has been no short supply of Short-toed Eagles and some came past our observation points very low indeed

Short toed Eagle 1334

Short toed Eagle 4958

Short toed Eagle turbine blade 8672

The trouble with wind turbine blades is that they simply kill birds

Egyptian Vulture juv 8587

A juvenile Egyptian Vulture passes by Tarifa

Honey Buzzard Sept rw0450

One or two late Honey Buzzards are passing through this week

Glossy Ibis Marsh Harrier w8156

Down in La Janda most Marsh Harriers go about hunting waders and other small birds and mammals but the Glossy Ibis always take to the air when one comes close

Montagu's Harrier Tanker Strait 7951

This was a juvenile Montagu’s Harrier crossing to Morocco

Sparrowhawk 7495

Migrating Sparrowhawk

Spanish Imperial Eagle juv 4994

Juvenile Spanish Imperial Eagle ove Cazalla watchpoint, Tarifa some weeks back

Riff Mountains from Spain 5

The coastline of Morocco from Cazalla

Griffon Vulture passing Tarifa 1262

A recent photo of a migrating juvenile Griffon Vulture with Tarifa in the background

Griffon Vultutre death 0240

A sad day with birding clients this week. After watching many young Griffons heading up and down the coastline of The Strait we watched powerless as one bird flew close to a wind turbine and was instantly killed by the rotating blades. Although these turbines look to some like lovely green energy producers the downside is that they constantly destroy birds. On a windy day the tip of a large windmill blade will travel at 265kmph. It looks slower than it really is and birds do not appreciate the danger. On reading this I bet that some humans will not have appreciated this speed too!More news and photos soon…

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Stephen Daly

Stephen Daly

Stephen Daly, has been birding since he was eight years old in his native Scotland. After living in Germany and France he established Andalucian Guides the successful birding and wildlife tour company on The Strait of Gibraltar in Spain and has been living here since 2001. Photographing birds in flight is one passion and his photos can be found in many books, magazines and journals. Studying bird behaviour and bird migration are two other positive aspects of being based on one of the busiest migration routes on Earth.

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