Articles in ‘Birds’

What do Barcelona’s parakeets eat in autumn?

Migration of Cranes autumn 2012

The autumnal migration of cranes (Grus grus) into Spain usually takes place inland, over the Pyrenees.  On the last weekend of October there was an abrupt change in the weather, with temperatures plummeting and an extremely strong north wind.  On Ornitho.cat, someone in Sant Andreu de la Barca (near Barcelona) recorded hearing cranes passing at 3 in the morning. This was only the beginning. While walking in Collserola on Sunday morning, an unmistakable trumpeting made me look up to see a group of 22 cranes, circling and orienting themselves in a SW direction. The observations on Ornitho.cat came thick and fast during the day. One entry from the Delta del Ebro recorded 1,300, the observer noting the whole sky covered with skeins. The map from Ornitho.cat (yellow= 28th Oct, red = 29th) reflects this remarkable event, when the weather conditions forced the cranes into an intense coastal passage, well to the east of their usual route, much to the delight of ground witnesses.  

Close encounter on Montjuïc: Peregrine falcons

When winter turns to spring

Birds on Migration in Barcelona

Unusual bird sightings: migration

It’s the time of year for unusual sightings in unexpected places. Recent observations recorded on Ornitho.cat include 28 Booted Eagles heading northwest and 2 Ospreys southwest, seen by an observer on a roof in the middle of Barcelona. In Sallent a goshawk was seen eating a mallard and a Black Stork was wheeling over Tordera.  And someone snapped this Griffon vulture on a structure over a busy road near Montserrat.  

Peregrine falcon chicks on Montjuic get ringed

Peregrine Falcon chicks stolen from Sagrada Familia

Shortly after being born, this year’s brood of Peregrine falcon chicks were stolen from their nest in one of the Sagrada Familia towers.  The robbery took place out of range of the web cam installed. Visitors have no access to this tower, but there are always plenty of workers milling around, since the Sagrada Familia is still under construction. Eduard Durany, responsible for monitoring Barcelona’s Peregrine falcons, emphasises the need for better security.  Last year suspicious individuals were spotted trying to take food up to the falcons, who fetch a high price on the black market. After the theft, two chicks born in a wildlife recuperation centre were placed in the nest, but sadly the intended foster parents rejected them.  See also the report on the ringing of Montjuic’s young falcons.

A walk on the edge: spring

Zooming in on Montjuic (iv): early insects