6 September 2023
The migration spectacle at the Strait of Gibraltar is still underway as thousands of birds stretch their wings and fly to Africa. They can see their goal from the European side but sometimes the wind is a brutal wall that prevents their crossing. On 4 September the wind was right and they didn’t have to flap. Thousands glided south to Morocco.
I’m not crying you’re crying!
Moving power of #FlywayBirding y´day
569 White Stork cruised out to Africa just above us! 570 European Honey Buzzards, as 222 Booted Eagles, increasing numbers of Short-toed Eagles & 274 European Bee-eaters dodged migrating Pallid & Common Swifts! pic.twitter.com/OxrulL3BZ2
— Inglorious Bustards (@Otis_inglorius) September 5, 2023
The storks making the crossing had nested in Western Europe and are heading for Sub-Saharan Africa for the winter.
Fifty years ago white storks were extinct in most of Western Europe and this spectacle at the Straits died with the absent birds. Reintroduction programs in the late 20th century brought them back to a growing population of now 224,000 to 247,000 European white storks.
For those who lived through the lean years, their tears at the Straits are tears of joy.
(credits are in the captions including links to the sources)
Autor Kate St. John