It’s not just tourists that flock to Gibraltar. Springtime sees a huge influx of feathered visitors too.
The Straits of Gibraltar happen to be the narrowest crossing point for birds migrating to and from Europe and Africa. For bird watchers, spring in Gibraltar offers an unrivalled opportunity to spot some of the world’s most beautiful species of birds as they pause on the Rock for rest and to feed.
Migrating birds undertake their long and arduous journeys; birds often spend days on the wing and fly for thousands of miles. Gibraltar’s dizzying crags and peaks, relatively inaccessible to human traffic, can provide useful perches to some of the most majestic species of birds – birds of prey. Species known to visit the Rock include Black Kites, Egyptian Vultures, Short-Toed Eagles, buzzards, harriers and ospreys. And this list names just a tiny proportion of our regular avian visitors.
It is no wonder that so many of Gibraltar’s human visitors include keen nature lovers and bird watchers. Even those who are not familiar with the many species to be spotted here will be entranced at the incredible acrobatic displays by the sea-birds darting about the tips of the waves and then soaring to the clouds high above Europa Point. This is a regular stopping point for the many tours available on the Rock and a wonderful place for tourists to stretch their legs and take in superb views and a bit of bird-spotting.
Enthusiastic ornithologists can include visits to some key points of particular interest. Jews’ Gate, by the Pillars of Hercules monument, is home of the bird observatory and ringing station run by the Gibraltar Ornithology and Natural History Society. The Gibraltar Botanic Gardens is a particularly beautiful and tranquil venue for observing some of the smaller visiting species.
Being surrounded by the sea, Gibraltar is a natural attraction to many sea birds. It is also a wonderful vantage point for the observation of migratory whales, dolphins, sea turtles and other sea-life. With regular boat trips around the Bay and Straits available to tourists, the wildlife in the sea proves a fascinating attraction to visitors.
And when the appetite for bird-watching or dolphin-spotting is sated, Gibraltar happens to also be alive with myriad activities: duty-free shops in a bustling town centre; fine restaurants in luxurious sea-front locations, theatres, art galleries, bars, clubs, casinos and splendid hotels. For the nature-loving tourist, a tour of Gibraltar is ideal.