Friday, May 06, 2005

Rare Bird for Europe

28 April 2005: A Male Seebohm's Wheatear was at Windmill Hill Flats, Gibraltar - Seen clearly and photographed by Keith Bensusan. This North African bird was in the company of Northern Wheatears and even got to sing some phrases of song.
Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society (GONHS) has announced the observation last week of the first Iberian, and probably European record of the North African Seebohm’s Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe seebohmi.

A spokesman for GONHS said:

“This bird, which is native to the mountains of Morocco, was seen and photographed in the company of a number of Northern Wheatears, by Keith Bensusan on Windmill Hill Flats.

Northern wheatears are regular migrants calling at Gibraltar and it is likely that the north African individual overshot its migratory destination in the company of the others. It was a male bird, and was even heard singing a few phrases of song during its brief stay on the Rock.

This “first” has attracted a great deal of attention abroad, having been featured in a number of ornithological websites.

The record has to be formally accepted by the Gibraltar Rarities Committee, but in view of the photographic evidence such acceptance is guaranteed.”

Gibraltar Ornithological & Natural History Society (GONHS) Press Release - 05 May 2005


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