Birds migration in southern Spain

Dear reader,

from where I am living to the Strait of Gibraltar it is not too far. And what is going on there twice a year is a highlight for each and every bird-watcher!

The eastern route of the migrating birds goes via Bosporus, the western via the Strait of Gibraltar to the African continent. There is a simple reason for it, because the birds don´t want to cross the open sea on their flight to the winter habitat in Africa and when flying home to their breeding area. Its the same with the gliders, they also depend on thermal bubbles which only generate above the land. These thermal bubbles they use to be carried on the warm up winds and so they don´t have to use their wings too much. Would they happen to fly above the open sea, where no thermal bubbles are avilable they would have to fly with their own power, without climatic support. The danger not to make the crossing is a very big one and so the gliders, like storks, black kites, vultures etc. are crossing these Straits.

I definitely do not want to bore with dry numbers, but to realize that every year about 80.000 white storks, 93.000 black kites, 80.000 honey buzzards, 4.000 Egyptian vultures, 35.000 booted eagles and about 3.500 black storks are flying across the Strait of Gibraltar it is possible to get an idea of what is going on there during migration times!

But the birds migration is in Andalusia not only taking place at the Strait of Gibraltar, there are are other resting places of the migrating birds. Some bird species also decide to spend the winter months in the mild climate of southern Spain. From July on it´s always very fascinating and exciting here!

About all this will be the talk on these pages. Written and in photos! But I do not think that these pages can provide the emotions which are felt at the scenes, when restlessness is coming into a stork troup of several thousand animals on the ground, the first are carried up with the warm air and soon hundreds of birds are following, turning one round above our heads to move higher and higher carried in the thermal bubbles and soon are only to be recognized as tiny little points in the sky on their way to Afrika! Those are always moments of big emotions, mixed with some melancholy and the wish to do it same as they do. Moments which no photo can show!

And now have fun and hopefully lots of emotions on these pages!


All photos ©copyright by Birgit Kremer
webmaster Sabine Börsch
translation by Brit Haagna