Trip Report – Raptor Migration at Cabo de Gata, September 16

Many people will know of or may have seen the raptor migration spectacle in the Straits of Gibraltar. What you may not know is that Almeria has its own version.

Every autumn raptors pass over the province in big numbers on their way south. We visited the raptor watchpoint on the Cabo de Gata peninsula with two of our friends on 22nd September. The morning was sunny with hardly any wind and started well with two Short-toed Eagles as soon as we arrived. In just four hours we recorded the following totals;

Lesser Kestrel 1. Black Kite 1. Short-toed Eagle 3. Booted Eagle 9. Sparrowhawk 16. Honey Buzzard 13. Peregrine 1. Marsh Harrier 3. Egyptian Vulture 2.

On another day there might also have been Black Stork and Black and Griffon Vulture over. Other migrants recorded in the area that morning were Osprey at Cabo de Gata reserve and Marbled Teal. And just for good measure one of our team had two Golden Eagles over Rambla Morales on his way home!

Two weeks later a second session at the watchpoint gave the following totals, again in clear sunny conditions with light winds; Booted Eagle 38, Honey Buzzard 10, Short-toed Eagle 3, Sparrowhawk 21,Marsh Harrier 8 and 1 Griffon Vulture. Other birds recorded at a second location included 2 Osprey and 2 Hobby.

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