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

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

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

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

A juvenile passes by Tarifa

One or two late Honey Buzzards are passing through this week

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

This was a juvenile Montagu’s Harrier crossing to Morocco

Migrating Sparrowhawk

Juvenile Spanish ove Cazalla watchpoint, Tarifa some weeks back

The coastline of Morocco from Cazalla

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

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…

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 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.

Vanished - Megascops Choliba by Jose Garcia Allievi

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