Gibraltar Ringer 2

Much better day on the slopes of the Rock with 47 birds ringed and yet more nets added. Highlights were undoubtedly Subalpine Warbler, Redstart, Nightingale, Iberian Chiffchaff and all ages of Sardinian Warblers.  A rather pathetic attempt to dazzle Red-necked Nightjars and catch them with a hand net calls for further practice.  However, a little later, Charlie Perez was on hand to provide local knowledge, especially the peculiarities of local moult (Greenfinch juveniles apparently moult twice in the first year making aging a devil of a job). As for the Blackbirds, we have a constant flow but again they are just different from those in Somerset and each charcoal grey bird comes with its own aging characteristic.

There is no flat here and all nets are perched on rocks or along footpaths and firebreaks.  Fine while the weather is cool but tiring in the afternoon sun. Although ringing in the National Park where there are no casual walkers, the presence of Barbary Macaques means that little can be left out overnight.  It brings additional meaning to the phrase Poo Traps.

And while the ringing goes on, a constant stream of raptors passes overhead.  Today just casual glances identified over 60 Booted Eagles at a time, accompanied by Short-toed Eagles, Black Kites and up to a dozen Sparrowhawks. The latter paid close interest to the tape lure playing Blackcap calls and some low level passes just missed the nets.  Tomorrow?


Leave a Comment