Migrating Raptors on The Strait of Gibraltar

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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 Egyptian 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 always take to the air when one comes close

This was a juvenile Montagu’s Harrier crossing to

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 Vulture 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.

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Lorenzo Demetrio-Jara
Lorenzo Demetrio-Jara

Como bien las Normativas ISO 14.001 y otras son frenos para las nuevos proyectos eólico de evitar daño, se puede presentar evidencias objetivas de las muertes de los Rapaces como esta. La cuestión es saber cuáles, cómo y en donde pondrían sensores y/o cortinas físicas para evitar tales desastres en evitar que las rapaces no corran riesgo de muerte?. Alguien conoce y/o a visto estos sistemas de protección para que los presente y muestre, con el fin de exigir tales requisitos para los sistemas eólicos?. Gracias.

Carrie McLaughlin
Carrie McLaughlin

Stephen, thank you so very much for including the photo and eye-witness testimony about the death-by-turbine. Everyone but the fossil fuel industry wants green energy, but in the rush to be the first in and the first to make the most money from it, wind energy proponents have wreaked havoc on the environment in no less critical ways than oil, gas and coal have. In some ways, more so due to the purposeful siting of these “farms” in the mainstream migratory routes. You may be aware of the American Bird Conservancy’s steadfast work on educating the North American continent on… Read more »