domingo, 18 de mayo de 2008

Red-footed Falcon invasion in Spain [Invasión de Cernícalo Patirrojo en España]


During the last days of April and May to date, what has been considered to be an unprecedented invasion of Red-footed Falcons Falco vespertinus has been recorded in Spain. With groups peaking tens of birds altogether in Girona and Mallorca, largest numbers have been gathered in East Spain as expected for this rather eastern migrant.

The Avesforum mailing list has been the major area where the news have been broadcasted and British Malaga resident Andy Paterson is attempting a compilation of the whole set of records. He has commented to this blog what follows:

'While the Red-footed Falcon is a not uncommon spring migrant to eastern Spain, particularly to the Balearic islands and Catalunya with occasional records elsewhere, it is obvious that a fairly large movement took place in the last few days of April 2008, with unprecedented numbers turning up. This is only a partial overview, as there has been little time to collect information.

However, as far as can be ascertained at the moment, this was a refection of the very large numbers which came E (see reports by Georges Olioso from the south of France) with the heaviest numbers recorded in northern and eastern Spain (Catalunya c.100 and Valencia 12), with lesser numbers the further west and south one went. Mallorca had probably 9 birds between 26 and 28 April and in Menorca there were at least 20 birds seen. It is surprising that some ventured out into the Atlantic, reaching Madeira and the Canary Islands.

The relatively patchy distribution is probably more a reflection of observer distribution and the fact that I have not been able to get all the probable records in the very short time available.

In the meantime, larger numbers have been observed in Mallorca. An informal attempt to draw a map of the situation is below and several photos and pictures are available elsewhere in Spanish blogs and webs like the below video from Lalo Ventoso, taken in Mallorca on 16.5.2008 and posted in Avesforum.


When a definitive figure is obtained, we'll keep you posted.

Resumen. Invasión de Cernícalos Patirrojos en España. Entre los últimos dias de Abril y el mes de Mayo de 2008 se está produciendo una verdadera invasión de citas de Falco vespertinus en España, particularmente en su mitad Este. Aunque se trata de un migrante regular en Catalunya y Baleares, las cifras alcanzadas de momento (varios centenares) no tienen precedente. Andy Paterson, el ornitólogo británico-malagueño, está compilando las citas y por nuestra parte ofrecemos este esbozo de mapa de la distribución de citas.

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