Strait of Gibraltar Birding Tour cover: Booted Eagle in migration over Tarifa. Photography of Yeray Seminario, Birding The Strait.

Birding in Tarifa and the Strait of Gibraltar in June

In English, Field Notes by Yeray Seminario

In June, when the bulk of the spring raptor migration is coming to its end, the birding opportunities around Tarifa, far from decreasing, are excellent. This time, hundreds of Griffons return to Spain after their quest in Africa. Among them, Rüppell’s Vultures arrive. Indeed, this week four of them have been observed at a carcass in the Moroccan side, just ready to cross to Europe.

The sea is full of life, including the Sperm Whales that visit the area in June looking for squid. The passage of Balearic Shearwater peaks in early June. Nonetheless, the counts carried out from Tarifa in previous years has unveiled that the global population of these endangered species is significantly larger than previously estimated.

The famous Bulbuls from Tarifa, the only known pair in the continent, have bred for the third year in a row and the noisy family group is well visible around. Besides, the reintroduced breeding colony of Northern Bald Ibis is full of live. The first chicks of 2015 have already fledged and a new (third) breeding area is being consolidated.

This week has turned out to be excellent for finding Long-legged Buzzards, with no less than 3 different adults in the area, some of them are “Gibraltar Buzzard” types, while others show apparently pure cirtensis phenotype. Will they breed here again? Besides, we are having plenty of fun seeking for dragonflies. Many of the most interesting species of the continent are now on the wing, including: Western Spectre, Pronged Clubtail, Green Hooktail, Orange-spotted Emerald and Splendid Cruiser.

All this and a lot more birding in Tarifa in June!