Saturday, 23 February, 2019


Ellis Copeland | 18 October, 2017, 07:35

As seen in previous entries during September, October and November 2016, I spent several days observing the birds that fly over Barcelona on their journey southwards during the autumn migration, a journey that will take them to more areas southern regions of the Iberian peninsula and in most cases to Africa.

In previous years I also did this follow-up but the effort was much lower, but with interesting results too.

This is a compilation of all these observations, paying special attention to the year 2016, in which the effort was more serious (not much more ... but at least I tried). I spent a total of 47.5 hours counting the birds, distributed as follows:

September: 31 hours
October: 5 hours
November: 11.5 hours

Due to this poor distribution of time, no great conclusions can be drawn about the migration of raptors in Barcelona. Nor did the different schedules, with different stripes varying between 7.30 (the earliest start time) and 17.50 (the later end time), helped. But in any case there is no doubt that, year after year, there is an interesting step on the city.

Pernis apivorus - aligot vesper - European honeybee surrounded by royal swifts (Apus melba) / p>

Pernis apivorus : 64

Circus aeruginosus : 12
Falco tinnunculus : 11
Aquila pennata ​​i>: 7
Accipiter nisus : 5
Pandion haliaetus : 3
Buteo buteo : 1
Circaetus gallicus : 1
Falco eleonorae Falci columbarius : 1
Accipiter gentilis : 1
Unidentified boy: 2

Falco peregrinus - peregrine falcon - peregrine falcon


Hirundo rustica : 2078
Sturnus vulgaris :> 1432
Phalacrocorax carbo : 94
Merops apiaster : 50
Turdus philomelos : 31
Ardea cinerea : 21
Delichon urbicum : & gt; 20
Carduelis spinus : 17
Riparia riparia : 12> Columba palumbus > Anthus pratentis : 8
Motacilla cinerea : 6
Motacilla alba : 5
Fringilla coelebs : < 5
Ficedula hypoleuca : 2
Upupa epops : 1
Alauda arvensis : 1 - Carduelis carduelis : 1

The red dot on the map below indicates the place of observation (source: Google Maps). To the northwest is the Collserola mountain range. To the southeast the port of Barcelona. The vast majority of birds (raptors and non-raptors) entered the northeast and left the city on the southwest, following a route parallel to the central Catalan coast.

I will then comment on each species separately. I added some information from previous years, but the effort was minimal within the same period (September to November): a few dates in 2015 and 2014, and even less in 2013 and 2012 (just a few hours). In addition the sample is somewhat disfigured by what happened on September 23, 2014, a wonderful day in which there was a spectacular step and left these numbers in just a few hours:

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Phalacrocorax carbo: 5
Ciconia Nigra: 1
Ciconia ciconia: 1
Pernis apivorus: 249
Circaetus gallicus: 3 - Circus aeruginosus 13 - Circus sp .: 1 - Pandion haliaetus: 1 - Falco sp .: 16
Falco tinnunculus: 39
Falco subbuteo: 4
Falco eleonorae: 4
Falco peregrinus: 9

It is still the best migration day I have ever had in this place.


Pernis apivorus - Aligot vesper - European honeybee:
The most abundant raptor. Of the total of 64 specimens, 63 were observed in September (first 2 birds on day 17) and 1 in November (day 3). But his absence in October is due safely within a few hours of the census. The same thing happens with other species. The day with more copies was 22 of September (25). Observed 35 in 2015 and 302 in 2014 (most of that famous September 23 mentioned above).

Circus aeruginosus - arpella vulgar - total of 12 specimens, all observed in September. It was the first raptor observed during the migration, on day 4, when they passed 2 copies. The last lagoon passed on day 26. The maximum number of individuals in a day was 4 (days 17 and 25). Falco tinnunculus - xoriguer comú - kestrel vulgar:
Of the 11 observed specimens of this species 10 were seen in September (first date on day 6, with 1 bird) and 1 in October (day 4). This is the only species (along with Falco peregrinus, which nevertheless did not appear in migration) nesting in the area, and therefore susceptible of confusion between local specimens and specimens in step. Particular attention was paid to the correct separation of the two groups, and the 11 individuals surveyed are undoubtedly migrants. In 2015 there were 10 copies and 40 in 2014.

Accipiter nisus - esparver vulgar - common hawk:
Only 5 specimens. The first appeared on September 25. On November 2 a copy appeared and two the next day. The latter was observed on November 14. One was seen in 2015 and five in 2014.

Pandion haliaetus - osprey - osprey:
Three specimens were observed: one on September 4 and two on the 17th of the same month. In 2015 one and four copies passed in 2014. One of the most spectacular birds and also more regular, and therefore long awaited.

Buteo buteo - aligot comú - busardo ratonero:
A single issue on November 8th against the five that were observed in 2015. Had more hours been allocated in November, the number of appointments may have increased. This unique specimen, as seen in the photo, is a bit special: adult plumage with no terminal band in the tail ... I'm still spinning.

Circaetus gallicus - Aiguila marcenca - European Short-toed:
A copy on 3 October. One also in 2015 and four in 2014. Another awesome regular bird about the city. Falco eleonorae - falcon of the queen - falcon of Eleonora:
One of the most pleasant surprises of the migration.

A copy on 13 September. None in 2015 and four in 2014.

Falco columbarius - esmerla - merlin:
One of the two "premieres" of the season. The bird observed on November 2 was the first of its kind from the roof. No copies in previous years. There are therefore four species of hawks observed during 2016: kestrels vulgaris, peregrine falcon (this one as resident, not in migration), falcon of Eleonora and merlin. It has failed the alcotan, which was observed in 2015 (one copy) and in 2014 (six copies).


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