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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Birds of rock - Birds of prey - Gibraltar

22-9-2010 -  4.50 PM

Gibraltar has long been known as a key location for observing birds. The ‘Birds of the Rock’ Definitive focuses on some of the beautiful birds that grace Gibraltar’s skies. Featured birds are:

Eagle Owl: A pair settled in Gibraltar to breed on the Rock’s cliffs during the mid 2000s and has remained in Gibraltar since. Our resident pair is present all year round.

Mediterranean Shag - A small breeding colony of 5-8 pairs of this threatened seabird breeds in sea caves along the east side of Rock. The Gibraltar colony is possibly the only one left on mainland Iberia.

European Bee-eater - These very colourful, tropical-looking birds migrate past Gibraltar in some numbers during the spring and late summer. They breed mainly around the Mediterranean but also in central Europe.

Hoopoe - The Hoopoe breeds throughout the Mediterranean and is known to many locals as ‘Gallito de Marzo’. They are particularly noticeable around the Alameda Gardens in March during its main migration period every spring.

Bonelli’s Eagle - Formally resident in Gibraltar, it still breeds in Spain and young birds are sometimes seen on the Rock. It bred in here until the early 20th Century, its disappearance probably a result of the disturbance caused during the runway construction.

Honey Buzzard: A very numerous passage migrant at Gibraltar during the late spring and late summer. Among the most numerous of birds of prey past Gibraltar during migration periods.

Lesser Kestrel: This small, endangered falcon breeds in Gibraltar and also migrates past the Rock, to and from its African wintering quarters. Ten to fifteen pairs breed on the cliffs at North Front. Their traditional feeding grounds in nearby Spain have all but disappeared and the Rock’s population is threatened with extinction.

Razorbill: A succession of flocks of these migrants can often be seen from Europa Point, the birds passing in tight groups low over the water. The whirring flight is distinctive. A few individuals are often seen fishing inshore in winter, even in the harbour.

Woodchat Shrike: a common migrant through Gibraltar, particularly during the spring when birds are often observed sitting on tombstones at North Front Cemetery.

Blue Rock Thrush: An attractive, large, bluish songbird which is a fairly common species on cliffs around Gibraltar throughout the whole year. It is sometimes also found on buildings and rooftops in town, especially during the winter.

Balearic Shearwater: This scarce bird only nests in the Balearic islands but regularly migrates past Gibraltar to and from the Atlantic. Some are nearly always to be seen off Europa Point and large movements sometimes occur. As with other shearwaters, the rapid wave-skimming flight is distinctive.

My thanks to Gibraltar Philatelic Bureau Limited.. I am posting two FDICs along with the stamps in loose and the stamp portion cut of from the FDIC.  comments welcome.



  1. Dear Sir,

    some places you mentioned FDIC. Is that different from FDC? Just curious to know.

    Thanks. Gibraltar stamps are really nice.


  2. dear kasinath generally the FDC is a term commonly used. in india, FDC is issued in the bureax along with the relevant pictorial cancellation that is brought out for provision on the date of release of stamps. When the FDC and the stamp are got cancelled outside the bureau, first day of issue post mark is provided without any picture.
    This is the difference. Most of the countries use the term FDC. but some of the countries specifically show the term FDIC in their covers which may be taken as FDC also in their own terms.