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September 26th - Sierra Crestellina

I spent 2 hours looking at Crestellina from the roadside this morning whilst Dawn, my wife, went to the market in Sabinillas. It was dull and overcast, 18C with bouts of light rain. Not ideal conditions for raptor watching! My observations were as follows:

Griffon Vulture 20, many of them perched, looking miserable in the rain
Sparrowhawk 4 sightings
Common Kestrel 2
Short-toed Eagle 2,
Booted Eagle 4, both of these last two species were seen in the Genal Valley away from Crestellina
Blue Rock Thrush 2

There was no sign of the pair of Bonelli's Eagles but I did locate their eyrie for future reference!

September 21st - mid-afternon 2-3pm

An hour spent on my top terrace produced the following:

Booted Eagle 19
Short-toed Eagle 2
Honey Buzzard 6
Griffon Vulture 8

I haven't seen or heard a Bee-eater for the last week, so alas, it looks as though they have all gone, bring on the spring!


360 view from my terrace is shown in the video below

Monday 20 September, 1915hrs: 3 White stork flying fairly low over Gaucin castle. Not an unusual bird for the general area but we don't see many over the village.
Saturday 18 September, 1930hrs: Large flock of House martin, 150+, above the southern edge of the village. Also several Common swift and one Alpine swift.
Friday 17 September, Gaucin, 1815hrs: After a night and day of thunderstorms and heavy rain showers with little birding opportunities I glanced up above Calle Convento to see 5 Egyptian vulture heading South over the village (1 adult and 3 juveniles, plus a fifth that was too far away to get a clear view). 1930hrs: a group of 30 Bee-eater flying around south of the village - as we've seen with evening flocks before they then headed further inland presumably to roost for the night.
Wednesday 15 September: Didn't see much in the way of migration today, in fact just one Black kite! However, an early evening walk (18:30) on the SW edge of the village produced superb views of a juvenile Egyptian vulture; watched for several minutes it was at times at a height of no more than 10m directly overhead. Also a dark morph Booted eagle, a female Sparrowhawk and two Chiffchaff sp..

Wingspan Bird Tours - down by the river

September 14th - Rio Genal

Just a short, early evening, visit to the river below Gaucin produced a good mix of resident and migrant birds. You could be excused for mistaking this for an English list and it seemed just like any English babbling brook except for the good weather and a Griffon Vulture passing overhead.

Pied Flycatcher, Common Redstart, Blackcap, Robin, Long-tailed Tit (4), Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Serin, Cetti's Warbler, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Great spotted Woodpecker & Blackbird.
Tuesday 14 September, 1400-1430hrs, light SE wind. Good numbers of migrant raptors passing over Gaucin village: 102 Honey buzzard, 26 Black kite, 1 Red kite, 6 Common buzzard, 6 Booted eagle and 5 Short-toed eagle, also seen were a female Sparrowhawk, a group of four Common kestrel and several Common swift.
Monday 13 September, 1400hrs: 20 Honey buzzard over village.
Saturday 11 September, Gaucin - Rio Genal 1400-1700hrs. Several migrant warblers were seen feeding in the scrub along the river bank upriver from the bridge on the Casares road.
Common Redstart (male) bathing
Garden Warbler (2)
Chiffchaff (5)
Willow warbler (1)
Blackcap (6)
Spotted Flycatcher (3).

also, for all you dragonfly enthusiasts a 'Ringed Cascader' (Zygonyx torridus)


Spotted Flycatcher & Zygonyx torridus

Friday 10 September: Haven't seen much migration the past couple of days, perhaps due to the fresh westerly winds. Prepared to be proved wrong by other posters, though!

September 6th - late afternoon

Cloudless sky, light SE wind.

Not many migrants over today - at least not whilst I was watching. A short break from DIY at 3:15pm - 3:45pm found me on the terrace watching ..........you guessed.........Honey Buzzards (21)and a great sighting of 2 Red Kites my first from the village and an unusual bird for the area. There was also Booted Eagle 2, Griffon Vulture 4, Barn Swallow 1, Common Swift 2.
Sunday 05 September - afternoon update. Light SE wind.
Not much birding done today but..........whilst painting a door in my courtyard I heard Bee-eaters flying over, I looked skyward and saw a spiralling flock some 44 Honey Buzzards! This led to an unscheduled break from painting and from 1:30 to 3:30 this is what went over:

Honey Buzzard 331
Griffon Vulture 8
Egyptian Vulture 1
Marsh harrier 4
Common Buzzard 2
Booted Eagle 2 (probably locals and not passing migrants)

2 groups of Bee-eaters neither of which could I locate in the hazy sky.
Ah well back to painting!!!!

Also seen....
1800hrs: 81 Honey buzzard passing over centre of Gaucin (Paul)
1930hrs: 15 Black kite over village (Paul).
Saturday 04 September. Late afternoon, light wind from SE. An hour spent on my top terrace (eastern Gaucin) from 5pm - 6pm produced the following:

Honey Buzzard 125
Common Buzzard 4
Black Kite 1
Booted Eagle 4
Short-toed Eagle 1
Egyptian Vulture (ad) 1
Marsh Harrier 1
Griffon Vulture 6
Common Swift 2
Bee-eater 109 (flocks of 42 + 67) plus another 92 at 8:30am
Friday 03 September: six species of raptor seen above Calle Convento, Gaucin between 1600-1800hrs; Booted eagle (2), Short-toed eagle (4), Honey buzzard (40), Black kite (25), Sparrowhawk (1 female), Griffon vulture (group of 35 to SE of village). Steady passage of Bee-eaters including a group of 25 and, at 2030hrs a group of 65 heading North back over the village presumably looking for a roost for the night.
Thursday 02 September: Early passage of 25 Honey buzzards over Gaucin, 0900hrs.



Wednesday 01 September:

Guadalhorce nature reserve, Malaga, mostly sunny after early cloud, warm. 0800-1330hrs: Grey heron, Little egret, Cory's shearwater, Balearic shearwater, Yellow-legged gull, Lesser black-backed gull, Mediterranean gull, Audouin's gull (Juvenile), Little tern, Sandwich tern, Whimbrel, Common sandpiper, Wood sandpiper, Curlew sandpiper, Spoonbill, Avocet, Black-winged stilt, Black-tailed godwit, Greenshank, Dunlin, Turnstone, Sanderling, Ringed plover, Little-ringed plover, Kentish plover, Little stint, Booted eagle, Marsh harrier, Kingfisher, Hoopoe, Woodchat shrike, Reed warbler, Crested lark, Red-rumped swallow, Yellow wagtail, White-headed duck, Teal, Shoveler, Pochard, Little grebe, Great-crested grebe.

Montes de Malaga: 1500-1630. Booted eagle, Redstart (male), Pied flycatcher (female), Great-spotted woodpecker, Garden warbler, Serin, Coal tit, Chiffchaff sp., Blue rock thrush (juvenile, female).
Contributed by Paul and Wingspanner. Photos of Audouin's gull, Avocet and Blue rock thrush by Wingspanner.

ps Large migration movements reported over Gaucin today, no numbers or details!