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Thursday 23 December: It's going to be quiet over the holiday period....not much time for birding. I was hoping to catch up with Ferruginous Duck and Glaucous Gull back in the UK near Reading but, having hung around for some time, they both seem to have disappeared!
Friday 16 December, mostly sunny, cool start, then warm, 17C: Another trip to Estepona, another chance to look at the gulls...only there weren't very many, too many people out enjoying a walk along the beach. Only about 100 Yellow-legged and 30 Black-headed, but plenty of Northern Gannet offshore high-diving for fish. On the way to Estepona stopped at Sabinillas where there were about 150 Yellow-legged and a couple of Lesser black-backed also two dolphin heading west along the straits. Back in Gaucin at dusk I saw about 10 White Wagtail heading towards the roof of the old convent so presumably there must be a roost thereabouts - will have a close look another day.


Monday 12 December, sunny but feeling cool in a light-fresh NW wind, 14C: A late afternoon walk along the tracks to the south of Gaucin produced the following....15 Griffon Vulture, Song Thrush, lots of Black Redstart (see male in photo), White Wagtail, small groups of Meadow Pipit (see photo), Stonechat, small flocks of mixed finches including Chaffinch, Greenfinch, 25+ Goldfinch and Serin; Crested Tit, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Sardinian Warbler. Still no sign of last winter's Common Buzzards.
Sunday 11 December, sunny, 15C, light-fresh NW wind, 1100-1230hrs: Popped down to have a look around the fields near San Pablo de Buciete - mainly to try and catch up with a harrier that I saw briefly late yesterday afternoon whilst I was driving up to Gaucin. Although I didn't see anything in the immediate area I did manage to see a female Hen Harrier, albeit at some distance, off to the SW towards Castellar de la Frontier. Also seen were 3 Common Buzzard, 4 Common Kestrel, 30+ Griffon Vulture, 12 Cattle Egret, Meadow Pipit, Song Thrush, Stonechat, White Wagtail, House Sparrow, Black Redstart, Chiffchaff, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap and Cetti's Warbler (heard at two locations).
Friday 09 December, fresh W wind, partly cloudy: An late afternoon appointment in Estepona meant an excuse to check the gull flock on the beach. Unfortunately walkers and their dogs kept the birds a bit jumpy and the flock was a bit unexciting with 250-300 Yellow-legged Gull and 100+ Black-headed Gull whilst in amongst them was a group of 12 Sanderling. To see there were several Northern Gannet and a Great Cormorant.
Thursday 08 December, mostly sunny, little or no wind, 15C: Late yesterday afternoon I went for a walk down the Camino de Gibraltar to see if the wintering Buzzards had turned up in the valley, as they over-wintered there last year, but there was no sign of them. Saw Grey Wagtail, Crag Martin, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Goldfinch, Black Redstart and heard Cetti's Warbler. Today walked around La Umbria in the morning - there were a lot of birds around especially large numbers of Blackcap, Robin and Blackbird; also seen were Griffon Vulture, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Jay, Eurasian Nuthatch, Firecrest, Chiffchaff, Sardinian Warbler, Cirl Bunting, Meadow Pipit and 4 Song Thrush. Having spoken to other birders I'm withdrawing my Pied Wagtail record from Tuesday as it was more likely to have been a darker-backed White Wagtail.


Tuesday 06 December, sunny, light-fresh NE wind, 14C: A mid-morning walk around the Peñon de Benadalid, see photo of the rock and the view towards Cortes de la Frontera from the shoulder. The rock is popular with climbers - there were a few around this morning - which might explain the absence of the expected Blue Rock Thrush and Black Wheater! Did see 15 Griffon Vulture, Cirl Bunting, Rock Bunting, Iberian and Common Chiffchaff, Meadow Pipit, Thekla Lark, 40+ Crag Martin, White Wagtail, Dunnock, Stonechat, Song Thrush, Blackbird and Robin.



Monday 05 December, 1530-1700hrs, west slope of El Hacho, fresh NW wind, sunny, 16C. Another superb sunny day even though the fresh NW wind took the edge off a bit! This warm, dry late autumn weather is very similar to last year - will we get the same long spells of rain later? Before going to El Hacho I had a quick look down the Los Ranosos track opposite La Almuna - lots of bird activity mainly Blackcap, Black Redstart, Goldfinch, also Chiffchaff, a pair of Raven, Sparrowhawk and a group of 9 Griffon Vulture. At El Hacho the Southern Grey Shrike was still there (couldn't resist another photo!) and in full song! Also seen were 15 Griffon Vulture, Common Kestrel, 2x Raven (same pair as earlier?), Black Redstart (not quite so many as last month), Stonechat, Cirl Bunting, Corn Bunting (see photo), Sardinian Warbler and Blackcap. It's a bit quieter now that the passage birds have gone - there are especially noticeably fewer Chiffchaff. Also a photo of the moon rising over the summit of El Hacho.
Thursday 01 December: 2300hrs - Nice to hear a couple of Tawny Owl duetting in the valley below Calle del Pino. Don't hear them here as often as you might expect.
Wednesday 30 November, mostly sunny, warm: Two bird-call reports....firstly, whilst cutting logs in the cork oaks I managed to call over an Iberian Chiffchaff by mimicking its call. It came from two trees away and eventually got to within 1.5m of me, wonderful. It soon disappeared - I guess once it realised I was neither a threat nor a potential mate! Late afternoon I went up to Gaucin castle to try and hear the Eagle Owl; at 1830hrs, just as it got dark, I heard the soft, 'oo-hu' call of a male but couldn't locate it as it seemed to move N-S below the castle. Will have another look soon.


Tuesday 29 November, Torreguadiaro and Sotogrande, sunny, light SE wind, 22C: As it was such a fantastic day I overcame the 'man flu' and dragged myself to the coast managing to visit the Torreguadiaro lagoon and the Guadiaro estuary whilst shopping for light fittings.... A quick stop at the lagoon produced 2 Purple Swamp Hen, Little Egret, Grey Heron, 14 Little Grebe (see photo), Great Cormorant, lots of Chiffchaff plus Meadow Pipit, Black Redstart, Crag Martin and Stonechat. At the estuary the best bird was a female Marsh Harrier (thanks to Janys for pointing it out!) that, unfortunately, flushed a large gull flock before I could check it out - as they flew past it looked like they were mostly Yellow-legged and Black-headed. Out to sea were a few Northern Gannet and a single Lesser-black Backed Gull. Also seen were Little Grebe, Great-crested Grebe, two more Purple Swamp Hen (see photo), Coot, Moorhen and lots more Chiffchaff.
Monday 28 November, Gaucin, sunny, light E wind, very warm, 19C: Unable to take advantage of the lovely weather due to a nasty case of 'man flu'! Did, however, manage to see a group of 25 Griffon Vulture catching the thermals to the south of the village.


Sunday 27 November, mostly sunny, warm, light E-SE wind: Mid-morning walk to the 'Vulture Gorge' at Estacion Gaucin, see photos of the Rio Guadiaro and the gorge. The highlight was a Hawfinch in the productive dead tree near the hydro-electric plant, also 60+ Griffon Vulture, 30 Crag Martin on a telegraph wire, Black Redstart everywhere you looked, Blue Rock Thrush, Grey Heron, Great Cormorant, Rock Dove, Blackcap and Sardinian Warbler.
Saturday 26 November, Sierra Espartina, Gaucin, mostly sunny, warm: A quick afternoon walk along the 'smuggler's ridge but there was very little about other than Griffon Vulture, Raven, Black Redstart, Crag Martin, Robin, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Crested Tit, Blue Tit and Blackcap many of which were enjoying the autumn sunshine and singing their subsong from deep cover.
Thursday 24 November, partly cloudy, some showers, 18C: After a couple of nice dry days today was spoilt by some afternoon showers - but we need the rain! A trip to the coast so checked through the gull flock on the beach at Estepona - there were 250+ Yellow-legged Gull, 150 mixed Black-headed and Mediterranean Gull plus 2 Sandwich Tern and a Little Gull; at sea several Northern Gannet and Great Cormorant.
Monday 21 November, partly cloudy, light NW wind, 17C: Much nicer weather after the last couple of days. Good deed for the day was rescuing a female Blue Rock Thrush that was trapped inside someone's house this morning. 1600-1700hrs: went down to the Rio Genal and was lucky to see a female Merlin; at first it was feeding on the ground beside the river after which it flew into a nearby tree before gliding off upstream. Other than that it was pretty quiet - 40+ Griffon Vulture around the northern peak of Sierra Crestellina, Grey Heron, Grey, White and Pied Wagtail, Stonechat, Black Redstart, Blackcap, Goldfinch, Chaffinch and Cetti's Warbler (heard).
Sunday 20 November, Gaucin: Yesterday was extremely wet and cold and today is worse. There was also a nasty electrical storm yesterday during which one lightning strike managed to kill our router so I'm currently working on someone's unsecured network until we can get to the shop tomorrow and get a new one! Still, the forecast for the coming week looks quite promising so may get some birding opportunities.
Friday 18 November, west slope of El Hacho, 1600-1730hrs, mostly sunny, light SW wind: Despite a dire weather forecast today was actually quite pleasant so popped out late afternoon - nothing too exciting but the Southern Grey Shrike was still around, also lots of Black Redstart, a couple of Common Kestrel, Griffon Vulture, Stonechat, Meadow Pipit, Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap, Chaffinch, Greenfinch and a flock of 25-30 Goldfinch. Had a look in the fields 2km further on towards El Colmenar where there were lots of White Wagtail, a single Common Kestrel, 6 Spotless Starling and small flocks of Meadow Pipit and mixed finches.


Thursday 17 November, Ronda El Tajo area, 1300-1330hrs, light SE wind, sunny: Whilst in Ronda I took the opportunity to see what was around the Tajo and enjoy the lovely weather. There were lots of Serin and Goldfinch in amongst the Almond trees as well as Chaffinch, Chiffchaff and Rock Bunting. Also seen were 25 Griffon Vulture, a dozen or so Crag Martin, Black Redstart, Blackcap, Sardinian Warbler and the star bird a male Common Crossbill heard, and subsequently seen, in pine trees along the Paseo de los Ingleses. Interestingly, no Red-billed Chough nor Common Kestrel! Photos of El Tajo and the sheer cliffs that the Crag Martin favour.

Wednesday 16 November, Camino de Gibraltar, Gaucin, light N wind, sunny and warm: A great improvement after Monday's storm (lots of rain, wind, thunder, lightning, no electricity, etc) and yesterday's partial recovery. Usual array of birds for the camino but logged Firecrest again in the cork oaks at the village end; also seen were Griffon Vulture, Meadow Pipit, Stonechat (see photo), lots of Black Redstart, 4x Song Thrush, 5x Blackbird, Crag Martin, Chiffchaff, Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap, small flocks of Serin and Goldfinch, Chaffinch and Greenfinch.
Sunday 13 November, 1130hrs, sunny intervals, warm: A gentle walk from Algatocin to Benarraba and back. Not many birds to report, a few Griffon Vulture and Chiffchaff, lots of singing Robin, but some great scenery, see photo of autumnal trees, mostly Sweet Chestnut. Also saw a Ladder Snake, see below.
Saturday 12 November, west slope of El Hacho, 0830-1000hrs, mostly cloudy, light SW wind: Pretty quiet here this morning but good to see the Southern Grey Shrike was still around, also lots of Black Redstart plus a single Griffon Vulture, Thekla Lark, Meadow pipit, Stonechat, Sardinian Warbler and Cirl Bunting; Red-legged Partridge was heard.
Friday 11 November, 1000-1130hrs, mixed woods at Salto de Cura, near Gaucin, light SE wind, sunny, warm: Spent some time cutting firewood (chestnut) and whilst out saw a couple of Red-billed Chough, Raven, Griffon Vulture, Eurasian Jay, European Nuthatch and small mixed flocks of Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Serin and Goldfinch. At about 1400hrs a Common Buzzard and a flock of 40+ Griffon Vulture flew North-South over the Mirador de la Sierra venta on the Ronda road just outside Gaucin.
Wednesday 10 November, Las Mesas de Chullera and Rio Guadiaro estuary, very light E-SE wind, clear, warm: A visit to the coast in such fantastic weather just had to be combined with a couple of birding opportunities. First I had a quick look at the heathland 1-2km in from the coast near La Duquesa - I have to confess it was my first visit here - it's classic heathland with sandy soil and rare for this area. Whilst there I saw a groupl of 6 Red-legged Partridge, Common Kestrel, Crested Lark (see photo), Sardinian Warbler, Stonechat, Black Redstart, Song Thrush, Common Starling (a couple of flocks of 250-300), Blue Rock Thrush, Serin, Blackcap and Chiffchaff.
Next I went on to the Rio Guadiaro estuary at Puerto Sotogrande and saw the following... Great Cormorant, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Coot, Moorhen, Mallard, Wigeon (male in eclipse plumage), Ringed Plover, Snipe (see resting bird, below)
Curlew Sandpiper (see below), Black Redstart, Zitting Cisticola, Blackcap and Chiffchaff. On the non-bird front there was a lovely Monarch butterfly to finish off, see below. A gratuitous photo of the Serrania de Ronda yesterday, with Alpandiere and Farajan in the background, below. It's burning season, hence the fires.
Tuesday 08 November, Camino de Gibraltar, Gaucin, 1530-1630hrs, partly cloudy, light N-NW wind: From Calle del Pino to the water treatment plant the following birds were seen...Griffon Vulture, Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Spotless Starling, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Black Redstart, Firecrest, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Sardinian Warbler, Stonechat, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch and Chaffinch.
Monday 07 November, fresh NW wind, sunny, 0930-1100hrs: Went to have a look at the west slope of El Hacho and it was a bit of a shock to the system to find it was only 6C; fleece and woolly hat required! There was plenty of birdlife around, though, including 30+ Griffon Vulture (checked them all but no Ruppell's!), Raven, Thekla Lark, 4x Meadow Pipit, Cirl Bunting, Stonechat, flock of 15 Wood Pigeon, Chiffchaff, Sardinian Warbler, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch and Chaffinch. It was lovely to hear several birds still in full song including Blue Rock Thrush and Black Redstart of which there were more than 30 in the area. Bird of the morning was a male Dartford Warbler that was, unusually, in the bushes right next to the road.
Sunday 06 November, light NW wind, sunny, 16C: Took advantage of the lovely weather to walk along the Pescaderos route that starts along the road to El Colmenar; it started well but I forgot about the local hunters so ended up taking a different route before someone got shot! Anyway, despite the gunshots there were still lots of Black Redstart, Chiffchaff, Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap, Stonechat; also Griffon Vulture, Blue Rock Thrush, Song Thrush, Serin, Linnet, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Spotless Starling and Cirl Bunting.
Saturday 05 November, after a couple of days of heavy rain today was partly cloudy, light-fresh NW wind, cool: On the way back from Ronda stopped at the entrance to the Encinas Borrachas track and saw Griffon Vulture, Red-billed Chough, Green Sandpiper (see photo), Thekla Lark, Meadow Pipit, Black Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush and a mixed flock of more than 60 Serin, Linnet and Goldfinch.

Wednesday 02 November, 0700hrs, Gaucin, mostly cloudy, light-fresh S-SE wind: Had an early morning look for the Eagle Owl at Gaucin castle but the was no sign of it, just a few Crag Martin, Sardinian Warbler, Chiffchaff, Song Thrush and the inevitable posse of Black Redstart! Nice sunrise; see not very good photo, but it gives the general idea! This afternoon went to the west slope of El Hacho but the rain started before I could get out of the car so only managed Griffon Vulture, Southern Grey Shrike, Stonechat, Black Redstart, Corn Bunting, Greenfinch, Blackcap and Sardinian Warbler.
Monday 31 October, sunny, warm, light E wind: Had to go to the coast this morning so managed a little diversion to the lagoon at Torreguadiaro/Puerto Sotogrande where sightings included Purple Swamp Hen, Little Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Grey Heron, Meadow Pipit, Crested Lark, Crag Martin, Spotless Starling, Stonechat, Cetti's Warbler (heard), Sardinian Warbler, Chiffchaff (including a 'flock' of about 8 in the reeds beside the boardwalk), Zitting Cisticola and, just offshore, several Northern Gannet.
Sunday 30 October, mostly sunny, light E wind: Another lovely day - warm enough to eat both breakfast and evening meal outside! A bit quiet on the bird front, though. This morning we walked from 'Estacion Cortes', more or less following the Rio Guadiaro towards El Colmenar, to El Puente de los Alemanes; this tranlates to 'The Bridge of the Germans' only it isn't a bridge, it's an aqueduct built to carry water to the hydro-electric power plant at El Colmenar, and it was actually built by Belgians! Along the way we saw lots of Black Redstart, including 4 plus 2 Stonechat in one small tree, 40+ Griffon Vulture, Common Kestrel, Green Woodpecker, Song Thrush, Grey Wagtail, Kingfisher, Sardinian Warbler, 3 Woodlark, 2 Crested Lark, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, small flocks of Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Pied wagtail.
Friday 28 October, Gaucin: What a difference a day makes - a beautifully clear, sunny and warm day today. Lots of finches and thrushes around to the south of the village including a small flock of about 6 Song Thrush that burst out from a lentiscus bush. Also a Serin in full song!
Thursday 27 October, Gaucin, NW wind, mostly cloudy, heavy rain showers: Some very heavy rain overnight and heavy showers on and off today. Interesting observation of at least 30 Crag Martin flying around up in the village for most of the afternoon. Probable Osprey passing over at about 1330hrs but it was quite high and I didn't have my binoculars with me....

welcome back Paul - Eagle Owl at the Castle

Thanks for bringing the rain back with you.

An Eagle Owl has been calling from the Castle again, reported yesterday morning at 8am by Jorrian (whilst walking his dog) he saw the bird perched on top of one of the trees near the entrance gate, viewed from the approach path. Worth checking out, I looked last night at dusk but no luck.
Wednesday 26 October, Gaucin, light SE wind, mostly cloudy: A late afternoon walk down the Camino de Gibraltar and around under the village...lots of Chiffchaff, Blackcap, wintering Robin and Blackbird also a Song Thrush and at least two Blue Rock Thrush and several Crag Martin on the steep cliffs below the castle.
Wednesday 26 October: Back in Gaucin after a couple of weeks in the UK. Fortunately I missed the heavy rain that fell here on Monday; today it's cloudy, 15C with a light SW wind and more rain forecast for later today/tomorrow. There are a couple of Black Redstarts flitting around the houses and a Chiffchaff and Blackcap calling from a nearby avocado tree, just heard a passing Raven, too.
Friday 14 October: Oxford, UK; sunny, warm. Plenty of Red Kite seen on the drive from Reading and even one flying around Oxford city centre above Magdalen college! As well as the large numbers of Red Kites I've been surprised by the number of Common Buzzard around, even in residential areas.
Monday 10 October, Gaucin, light SE wind, sunny, warm: Summer is refusing to end weather-wise with a temperature of 27C today and there were still a couple of Common Swift and several House Martin over the village this afternoon.
Saturday 08 October, West slope of El Hacho, light-fresh E wind, partly cloudy, warm, 1730-1900hrs: species seen included Griffon Vulture, Sparrowhawk, Southern Grey Shrike, Crag Martin, Cirl Bunting, lots of Stonechat and Sardinian Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, 1 female Common Redstart and 1 female Black Redstart (first of the autumn here). Also distant views of a female or juvenile Spanish Ibex (see photos).
Thursday 06 October, light SE wind, clear skies, warm, 0830-1000hrs: Another quick trip to my second home, the west slope of El Hacho! Most of the usual suspects were seen...Griffon Vulture (see photo), Red-legged Partridge, Southern Grey Shrike, Blue Rock Thrush, 2 male and 1 female Common Redstart, Cirl Bunting, Rock Bunting, Stonechat, Sardinian Warbler and Blackcap.
Tuesday 04 October, west slope of El Hacho, Gaucin, 1900-2000hrs, light SE wind, clear skies, warm: A quick visit to see if I could spot the suspected Ortolan Bunting but there was no sign of it! There was a rather nice sunset, though (see photos). There were still at least 2 female and 1 male Common Redstart, lots of Blackcap, Sardinian Warbler, Cirl Bunting, Stonechat (see male in photo), Griffon Vulture, Common Kestrel and House Martin. Red-legged Partridge were heard calling.

OCTOBER 3RD - EL COLMENAR

THE DEAD TREE

Yes, the dead tree at El Colmenar was our pre-breakfast destination this morning. It was just getting light at 8am as we left Gaucin for the 15 minute drive to El Colmenar. A small flock of up to 10 Hawfinches
Sunday 02 October, Gaucin, partly cloudy, light-fresh SE wind, warm: Still some summer visitors hanging on....a pair of Short-toed Eagle over the SW of the village along with a pale morph Booted Eagle during the morning; a flock of 50+ House Martin over Calle Convento at about 2000hrs along with a couple of Common Swift.
Friday 30 September, west slope of El Hacho, Gaucin, 0900-1000hrs, fresh SE wind, partly cloudy, warm: Still quite a few Common Redstart in the trees with at least 3 males (see photo) and 2 females present; also Raven, Sparrowhawk, Griffon Vulture, Red-legged Partridge, Southern Grey Shrike (see photo), Blue Rock Thrush, Stonechat, Cirl Bunting, Rock Bunting, Thekla Lark, Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap (including 12 in a single tree!) and Chiffchaff sp. Nice to see the shrike still around; hopefully it will stay for the winter. I also had a very brief view of what looked like a male Ortolan Bunting - blue/green head and orange underparts were what caught my eye as it flitted across the grass - unfortunately it disappeared before I could get a good look and I couldn't relocate it!
Thursday 29 September, Camino de Gibraltar, Gaucin, 1900-2000hrs, light-fresh SE wind, partly cloudy, cool: Not a great deal around...Short-toed Eagle, pale morph Booted Eagle, Sparrowhawk, Cetti's Warbler, Chiffchaff , Cirl Bunting and a small flock of Chaffinch. Still a few Common Swift and House Martin feeding over the valley.
Monday 26 September: The local Blue Rock Thrushes are getting bolder! On Saturday at 12noon there was a male singing from a chimney opposite bar Paco Pepe and yesterday afternoon there was a pair hanging around the roofs and terraces of Calle Convento and Callejon del Pino - at one point the female landed on the terrace just 2m from where I was sitting.
Sunday 25 September, Gaucin, light SE wind, partly cloudy, warm, 0900-1030hrs. A morning visit to a rather quiet El Hacho produced the following: Griffon Vulture, Short-toed Eagle, Raven, Red-legged Partridge, Blue Rock Thrush, 2 male and 3 female Common Redstart, Stonechat, Cirl Bunting, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff sp., Blackcap and Sardinian Warbler. I'm always hopeful that this area will have a passing Whinchat or Northern Wheatear but so far, no luck!
Thursday 22 September, partly cloudy, little or no wind, warm: Walking around the base of El Hacho mountain at 0930hrs this morning with friends and we saw the following of note: adult Egyptian Vulture, 2x Short-toed Eagle, Sparrowhawk, Common Kestrel, Southern Grey Shrike and Common Redstart. Also two harrier-like raptors that we just couldn't manage to ID, shame!
Wednesday 21 September, West side of El Hacho, Gaucin, light SE wind, sunny and warm, 1900-2015hrs: A quick early evening visit was quite productive. I saw Griffon Vulture, a pair of Short-toed Eagle, one pale morph and one dark morph Booted Eagle, Raven, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Blue Rock Thrush, Thekla Lark, House Martin, Crag Martin, 2x Red-rumped Swallow, Stonechat, 2 male and 1 female Common Redstart, Cirl Bunting, Sardinian Warbler and Iberian Chiffchaff. Also saw a Barn Swallow over the Sierra Espartina at 1200hrs.
Tuesday 20 September, Camino Monteros and the west side of El Hacho, Gaucin, light to fresh E wind, sunny and warm: Having walked along the Camino Monteros (behind the petrol station) yesterday with some friends I thought I'd go back and have a good look as there seemed to be quite a few birds there. It was all a bit quiet at 0830hrs but I did see a couple of Raven , a Sparrowhawk and a female Common Redstart. Decided to go over to El Hacho from 0930-1030hrs where there was a lot more activity. Along with the usual Stonechat and Sardinian Warbler on every other bush I saw Short-toed Eagle, Griffon Vulture, Peregrine, 2 Raven (presumably the same pair as earlier), male and female Common Redstart, Cirl Bunting, Rock Bunting (see distant photo!), Chiffchaff sp., several House Martin and a Southern Grey Shrike (see photo).
Sunday 18 September, Gaucin, light W wind, mostly sunny, warm: With a change to a Poniente, westerly wind, it's all gone a bit hazy but between 1900 and 1930hrs I did manage to see 10 Honey Buzzard passing to the East of the village and 3 Bonelli's Eagle over the Rio Genal. Still a handful of Common Swift and House Martin around the village.
Saturday 17 September, Gaucin, light SE wind, mostly sunny, warm: The bulk of the Honey Buzzard/Black Kite migration appears to be over. There were a couple of adult Bonelli's Eagle soaring to the East of the village over the Rio Genal at 1900hrs along with a female Sparrowhawk and there were 4 Alpine Swift amongst about a dozen Common Swift heading North behind the castle around the same time. A Blue Rock Thrush was making the occasional sortie from the large flat rock below the castle and at various times during the day there were Booted Eagle over the South of the village, including at least one dark morph.
Friday 16 September, Camino de Gibraltar, Gauin: A short walk down the Camino de Gibraltar this morning produced a 'village tick' for me in the shape of a Wryneck, it was an adult bird seen perched in a cyprus tree in the garden of Finca Alboran at 10:30am.
Thursday 15 September, Gaucin, sunny, warm, fresh E wind: A nice-looking Short-toed Eagle and a dark morph Booted Eagle over the village at 1900hrs. More Blackcaps turning up in the garden along with a couple of squabling Blackbirds.
Tuesday 13 September, sunny, warm, light SE wind: Watching from the terrace at 1900hrs I saw 4 Honey Buzzard, Blue Rock Thrush on top of the castle bell-tower, Cirl Bunting and Willow Warbler down in the valley. As well as several Common Swift there's also at least one Pallid Swift still around and again lots of House Martin.
Monday 12 September, Gaucin, light-fresh E-NE wind, partly cloudy, very warm (33C): Not much opportunity to watch the skies today but did see 35 Honey Buzzard circling just to the west of Sierra Crestellina at 2000hrs and several Barn Swallow passing through. The House Martins are congregating, too with lots around early morning and late afternoon along with a handful of Common Swift.

Sunday 11 September, 0900-1030hrs, West slope of El Hacho along Gaucin-El Colmenar road, light-fresh NW wind, sunny: 1 juvenile Egyptian Vulture, Griffon Vulture, Southern Grey Shrike (see photo), European Bee-eater, Eurasian Jay, Red-legged Partridge, 3 Common Redstart, Stonechat, Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap, 1 Common Whitethroat, Iberian Chiffchaff, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch, Corn Bunting and Cirl Bunting.
Saturday 10 September, Gaucin, light-fresh NW wind, sunny and warm: A couple of 'terrace watches' yielded the following: 1600-1700hrs, 40 Honey Buzzard, 2 adult and 1 juvenile Short-toed Eagle, 2 Black Kite, 4 adult Egyptian Vulture, 6 Barn Swallow and one unidentified medium-sized falcon! 1830-1900hrs, 32 Honey Buzzard and 1 Alpine Swift. Raptors were passing mainly NE-SW.

Friday 09 September, Camino de Gibraltar, Gaucin, 1800-1900hrs, light SE wind, sunny, warm: Summer continues with afternoon shade temperatures of 33C. A short walk down the camino produced Cirl Bunting, Firecrest, Spotted Flycatcher, 2x Pied Flycatcher see photo, Blackcap, Chiffchaff sp., Sardinian Warbler and 18 Honey Buzzard passing N-S overhead. The Firecrest and probable juvenile Pied Flycatcher were the first I've seen along the camino.
Thursday 08 September: A quick visit to the estuary at Los Palmones wasn't too rewarding; the tide was in and there were quite a few people in the water around the sand banks. There were a few Grey Heron in the reedbed, along the water's edge were Little Egret, Dunlin, Sanderling, Kentish Plover, Ringed Plover, Curlew Sandpiper, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel and Redshank. No gulls, terns or raptors!
Wednesday 07 September, Gaucin, sunny, very warm, light SE wind: 48 Honey Buzzard NE-SW over the village between 1750 and 1810hrs, also 6 Barn Swallow and 20 European Bee-eater. A further 58 Honey Buzzard NE-SW at 1900hrs and 44 European Bee-eater at 2000hrs. A few more Common Swift around this afternoon and a good number of House Martin early this morning. Pretty sure I heard a small snatch of Black Redstart song but couldn't locate it!
Tuesday 06 September, Rio Genal, Gaucin, 0830-1000hrs, sunny, light E wind: Fairly quiet down by the river but did see several Honey Buzzard, Common Buzzard, Short-toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, juvenile Bonelli's Eagle, Griffon Vulture, 5 Cattle Egret, Green Sandpiper, Kingfisher, Spotted Flycatcher, Cetti's Warbler, White Wagtail and Grey Wagtail. Also 40 Honey Buzzard passing NE-SW over Benarraba at 1900hrs.
Monday 05 September, Gaucin: 20 Honey Buzzard passing E-W way down towards Gibraltar at 20:45hrs.
Sunday 04 September - Winter is on its way!!!!

The first wintering Black Redstart of the Autumn was seen today in Calle Cananmaque and it was a cold morning! ps Blue Rock Thrush checking out its wintering grounds in Barrio Alto, too! (Paul)
Saturday 03 September, 1600-1700hrs, Gaucin, partly cloudy, light W-SW wind: After yesterday's heavy rain a brighter day cooler than of late. An early afternoon walk along the top section of the Camino de Gibraltar yielded the following: 15 Honey Buzzard and two groups of 10 European Bee-eater passing N-S, one Short-toed Eagle, lots of juvenile Goldfinch, a few Chaffinch, Melodious Warbler (see photo), Cetti's Warbler, Blackcap and Stonechat. There were still a few Common Swift and House Martin around, too. A little later there was a Sparrowhawk swooping low over our terrace in Calle Convento and an Iberian Chiffchaff in the garden below.

Thursday 01 September: The new month arrived with fresh SW winds and by late afternoon, rain! No time for migrant raptor watching but did see an Osprey whilst down near San Roque golf club. The rain cleared at about 20:30hrs which was a bit late for any birding but did make for a lovely sky - see photo.
Wednesday 31 August, Gaucin: The weather remained the same with a light westerly breeze and lovely clear skies with excellent visibility down to the coast:

A 30 minute watch at 4:30pm from my top terrace produced:

97 Honey Buzzards
2 Short-toed Eagles
1 Booted Eagle

A second watch from 6pm to 7pm produced a lot more:

526 Honey Buzzards
2 Black kites
3 Egyptian Vultures
19 Griffon Vultures
3 Booted Eagles
10 Pallid Swift
19 Bee-eaters

Most of these birds passed over very high up and I needed to scope them for ID's. they all passed over the Castle and flew down the Genal Valley towards Crestellina.

Later I counted 40 Honey Buzards forming a 'kettle' on the thermals at the southern end of Crestellina but they wee probably counted earlier.

To this I can add 192 Honey Buzzard passing behind the castle to the East between 2015-2030hrs - mostly fairly high up but a few visible to the naked eye - Paul
Tuesday 30 August: The light westerly/southwesterly wind continued which produced clear skies and nice fresh air. An hour watch from my top terrace at 4;30pm produced the following:

56 Honey buzzards
63 Bee-eaters
2 Marsh Harriers
2 Egyptian Vultures
4 black kites
50+ Swift sp.
2 Booted Eagles (local pale morphs)
6 Griffon Vultures
1 Blue Rock Thrush

Most of the birds were very high up heading towards the Genal Valley over the Castle, especially the Honey Buzzards.
Tuesday 30 August, Gaucin, very warm, light SW wind: After yesterday's passage of Honey Buzzard low to the East of the village I spent 45min from 1700hrs looking over the Genal valley from the footpath at the end of Calle Arrabalete hoping for a repeat - no such luck, 'just' half-a-dozen Black Kite, 25 European Bee-eater a couple of pale morph Booted Eagle and an Alpine Swift! However, watching from our terrace from 2020-2035hrs I saw 225 Honey Buzzard passing to the East of the village and a distant Blue Rock Thrush on the large rock below the castle.
Monday 29 August, Gaucin, mostly sunny, warm, light SW wind: I didn't have much time to do a concerted 'raptor watch' today but whenever I looked up there didn't seem to be much activity over the village - perhaps due to the change in wind direction? Later in the afternoon there were quite a few Honey Buzzard passing through, mostly low to the east of Gaucin, passing just in front of Sierra Crestelina, 10 at 1700hrs, 8 at 1830hrs then more with approx. 150 between 1930 and 1950hrs. Interestingly during the heavier passage to the east there were 2 moving very low NW-SE over the village and a group of 4 moving NE-SW - presumably these originated from somewhere different than the main flock?
Sunday 28 August: reported by Wingspanner.....

Most of my sightings concur with Pauls:

Between 17:30 and 19:30 4 of us sat on my top terrace on the eastern side of the village,

we recorded the following:

1250 Honey Buzzards

22 Black kites

5 Booted Eagles (4 pale)

1 Short-toed Eagle

25 Griffon Vultures

110 Bee-eaters

2 Pallid Swifts

2 Common Swifts

1 Blue Rock Thrush
Sunday 28 August, Gaucin, a few clouds, warm, light SE wind: There was a large Honey Buzzard passage this afternoon. Most of the birds seemed to be following the river Genal then gaining height on thermals between Gaucin and Benarraba before taking a roughly N-S route over the village. I watched from 1615-1645hrs from a terrace in Calle Convento and recorded 315 Honey Buzzard, 3 Black Kite and 1 Common Buzzard. I then went down the road to watch from opposite Venta Socorro on the Gaucin-Ronda road hoping for better views - I wasn't disappointed! Between 1700-1745hrs I saw 898 Honey Buzzard, 18 Black Kite, 2 Common Buzzard and 1 Harrier sp. (most likely Montagu's). At times it was quite awe-inspiring as yet more birds appeared out of the heat haze to drift up and join one of the 'kettles' taking advantage of the thermal lift. In total 1213 Honey Buzzard recorded in a little over an hour!

In addition there were a few 'local' birds; 3x Booted Eagle (all Pale Morph), 1x Short-toed Eagle and 20 or so Griffon Vulture.

Back on the terrace from 1925-1940hrs I saw a further 525 Honey Buzzard and 3 Black Kite.
Thursday 25 August, Guadiaro River, Cortes de la Frontera, 0800-1030hrs, clear, warm, light SE wind: Wingspanner and I had a short trip out to the river at Cortes and recorded a good range of species. It wasn't long before we had brief glimpses of a Kingfisher and better views of Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail and Cetti's Warbler. There were plenty of other warblers around including Melodious Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Iberian Chiffchaff and a Common Whitethroat. In the dried fields and surrounding trees and bushes we saw a juvenile Woodchat Shrike, a good flock of 25 Rock Sparrow, Jay, Spotless Starling, several Spotted Flycatcher, Serin, Cirl Bunting, Greenfinch, Goldfinch and Chaffinch. Along the gravelly riverside there were Grey Heron, Common Sandpiper and Little Ringed Plover and a Sparrowhawk swooped down giving them all a fright. On the hills to the north there was a flock of 55 European Bee-eater, Short-toed Eagle and a restless Peregrine that made a couple of sorties in search of food. In the skies there were still a few Common and Pallid Swifts, several Barn Swallow, a couple of Red-rumped Swallow, small flocks of House Martin and one or two Crag Martin. We had very good views of a party of Golden Oriole; a male, a female and three juveniles - see not very good photo of the still brightly-coloured male!
Interestingly, despite similar weather conditions to previous days, there was no sign of raptor migration neither during this trip nor during the afternoon in Gaucin. Presumably thr weather conditions at the point of departure, or en-route, are of more significance.
Wednesday 24 August, Gaucin, sunny, very warm, light E-SE wind: Lots more Black Kite and Honey Buzzard passing through. Numbers from 1600hrs to 1745hrs as follows:
1600hrs: 120 Black Kite moving N-S over village and rising on the thermals to the west of Sierra Crestellina.
1615hrs: 15 Black Kite, movement as above.
1630hrs: 28 Honey Buzzard kettling to N-E of El Hacho.
1645hrs: 64 Black Kite and 3 Honey Buzzard moving N-S over centre of village.
1700hrs: 44 Black Kite and 37 Honey Buzzard moving N-S over centre of village.
1715hrs: 7 Black Kite and 40 European Bee-eater moving NE-SW to the NE of El Hacho.
1730hrs: 60 Black Kite, 20 Honey Buzzard and 65 European Bee-eater moving NE-SW to the NE of El Hacho.
1745hrs: 15 Black Kite and 50 Honey Buzzard moving NE-SW to the NE of El Hacho.

Throughout this time there was a steady passage of Barn Swallow, a couple of pale morph Booted Eagle and just half-a-dozen or so Common Swift flying around the village.
Tuesday 23 August, Gaucin, sunny, warm, light SE wind: Significant passage of Black Kite and Honey Buzzard this afternoon; counts as follows: 16:15hrs, 120 Black Kite and 25 Honey Buzzard east of the village presumably following the river Genal; 16:30hrs, 250 Black Kite and 100 Honey Buzzard moving N-S over the centre of the village; 17:15hrs, 250 Black Kite and 150 Honey Buzzard moving N-S over the centre of the village; 1930hrs, 6 Honey Buzzard moving E-W over the village; 1945hrs, 60 Honey Buzzard east of village. These numbers are likely to be underestimates as the birds were mostly invisible to the naked eye and those heading N-S were spread over quite a wide front; in view of this there could have been many others that went undetected. There were times between 16:30hrs and 17:30hrs when the sky was alive with birds and I didn't know where to look to start counting!
Also a flock of 70 European Bee-eater over Calle Convento at 18:30.
Sunday 21 August, Gaucin, mostly cloudy, warm: Strange cloudy, thundery day, always threatening rain but only a few drops fell. 23 Black Kite over the west of the village at 1700hrs then a further 98 following the river Genal to the east of the village at 1800hrs. Also 3 pale morph Booted Eagle hanging around most of the afternoon and a group of 10-15 European Bee-eater wheeling across the valley and up to the village and back for most of the day; they are so noisy it always sounds like there are hundreds of them!
Friday 19 August, mostly sunny, very warm with a few high white clouds, little or no wind - welcome weather after the big thunderstorm around 0100hrs last night! No evidence of raptor migration today with just the occasional Booted Eagle and Sparrowhawk drifting around. Here are some photos of the Red-rumped Swallow nest along the Los Ranosos track, showing its proximity to the dining table and the red rump of the adult clearly showing as it enters the nest to feed the young. It will be interesting to see when the young migrate as they will have quite a task to feed themselves up to 'migration weight'.



Thursday 18 August, sunny but humid, 34C: Two Honey Buzzard seen soaring high over Cerro de Joven opposite the petrol staion in Gaucin then heading off SW at 1930hrs. Presumably early reverse migration?
Wednesday 17 August, Gaucin, clear, warm, very light SE wind: Flock of 30 European Bee-eater over the south of the village at 1800hrs.
Tuesday 16 August, Gaucin, light SE wind, 35C: 95 Black Kite passing NW-SW over Gaucin village, passing to the east of Sierra del Hacho from 1810-1820hrs. After this I watched from our terrace for another hour, or so, and despite not seeing any more Black Kite, I did see Common Buzzard, Booted Eagle, Short-toed Eagle and a pair of Bonelli's Eagle in the valley to the south of the village.
Monday 15 August, Gaucin, light SE wind, 37C: 16:15hrs 100 Black Kite moving NW-SW, kettling on the thermals above the Sierra del Hacho; 16:30hrs 23 Black Kite moving NW-SW further to the south of the village then drifting slightly north before following the path the previous group took.
Sunday 14 August, Gaucin, clear skies, 34C, light S-E wind: Surprised to see 4 Black Kite heading due west over the village at 1800hrs - must have come from further east somewhere. I continued to watch for the next hour but didn't see any more, just one Common Buzzard heading north! There was an Alpine Swift low over Calle Convento in amongst the Common Swifts from 1815-1830hrs.
Saturday 13 August: I can confirm that the Red-rumped Swallows have bred just along the Los Ranosos track opposite the entrance to La Almuna; when I was there today the adults were taking food into the chicks in a nest under a beamed terrace roof, right above a regularly-used dining table and about 2m from four cats! Presumably this is a second brood. Also in the garden of the house were a juvenile Woodchat Shrike and a Spotted Flycatcher.
Friday 12 August, Camino de Gibraltar, Gaucin, 0815-0945hrs, clear skies, light SE wind: A morning stroll along the camino brought the following...Common Buzzard, Griffon Vulture, European Bee-eater (see photo), Woodchat Shrike, Spotless Starling (see photo), Common Swift, House Martin, Barn Swallow, Cirl Bunting (juvenile), small flocks of Goldfinch and House Sparrow, Short-toed Treecreeper, Eurasian Nuthatch, Bonelli's Warbler, Melodious Warbler, Sardinian Warbler and Stonechat (see photo).


Thursday 11 August: Continuing fresh E-NE winds have curtailed visible migration here in Gaucin but al least the air is a bit cooler! Here are a couple of photos of an Eagle Owl, presumably not too well (or exhausted?) given that it didn't make much of an attempt to fly away, that was seen in the late afternoon just down river from the Venta de San Juan on the Algatocin-Jubrique road at the weekend. Probably a juvenile as it has, relatively, small ear tufts. (photo courtesy of Joaquin Marquez).

Tuesday 09 August, Gaucin: After yesterday's heat, shade temp of 39C, back to a more bearable 33C today. Two days of moderate S-SE winds has meant not much migration over the village. Loads of Swifts around yesterday evening after a couple of quiet days - mostly, or all, Common Swift suggesting that the Pallids have already left? A few Short-toed Eagle around - two over Camino de Avedin this morning, seeming to be flying purposefully southwards, were joined for a moment by a 'local' bird that seemed to check them out before resuming its gentle meandering above La Umbria.
Sunday 07 August, Gaucin, sunny, hot, 37C, light W-NW wind: Lots of Black Kite migration today...15:15hrs a 'kettle' of 100+ climbing the thermals over the river Genal to the south-east of Gaucin; 17:15hrs 2 birds low over the centre of the village; 18:45hrs 250+ kettling to the south-west towards Algeciras; 19:15hrs 85 kettling just beyond the southern end of Sierra Crestellina. Most of these birds appeared to be following the river Genal then 'turning right' towards Algeciras/Tarifa. Also seen several Griffon Vulture, Short-toed Eagle, Common Kestrel and a few European Bee-eater. Interestingly, no Booted Eagles seen today.
Friday 05 August, Gaucin, mostly sunny, very warm, light S-SW wind: Despite apparent good conditions for raptor migration over the village there's been nothing to report over the last 2-3 days. Occasional local Booted Eagle, Sparrowhawk, Common Kestrel and a few Griffon Vulture and European Bee-eater. There's been an interesting build up in House Sparrow numbers with a flock of about 20 flying around the Calle Convento gardens yesterday and also the first Great Tit and Blackbird for a while.
Tuesday 02 August: Weather back to 'normal' today, very warm, mostly clear skies, light SW wind. There was a kettle of 85 Black Kite over the Genal valley to the east of Gaucin at 1630hrs and just below them the now almost daily Alpine Swift!
Monday 01 August: We took a walk down the Camino Gibraltar and then onto the road which climbs up from the Rio Genal. A large flock of Griffon Vultures numbering 75+ was the highest count of vultures in the area all summer! We also saw a couple of Melodious Warblers and a flock of some 20 Bee-eaters. A single Black Kite drifted over us at a very high altitude and a good passage of swifts was seen also very high up (posted by Wingspanner).
Monday 01 August, Gaucin: A strange start to the month with a brisk, gusty SW wind bringing unseasonal cloud and even a few spots of rain! No Black Kite seen today but Short-toed Eagle, Booted Eagle, Griffon Vulture, Common Kestrel, Sparrowhawk and plenty of Common and Pallid Swift were all seen battling against the wind over the south of the village.
Sunday 31 July, sunny, hot, variable E-SE wind: More Black Kite migration with 180 passing North-South directly over Gaucin between 1600-1605 and another 45 at 1630. These birds were very high, most not visible to the naked eye, and some only just visible with 10x binoculars. Interestingly there also appeared to be a large passage of Swifts along the same route, albeit at a slightly lower altitude. Also an Alpine Swift over Camino de Avedin - they seem to be everywhere at the moment. A flock of 50 European Bee-eater flew over the village at 1830.
Saturday 30 July: Another warm day but with a change of wind direction to N-NW. Personally I didn't see any Black Kite today despite looking to the skies at every opportunity! I suspect any passage was further to the east given the wind direction and other observers appear to support this with reports of over 1000 passing down the Genal valley towards Casares this afternoon. I did see a couple of juvenile Red-rumped Swallow along the Los Ranosos track almost opposite the entrance to La Almuna on the Gaucin-Jimena de la Frontera road; they were chasing in and out of a covered terrace where Barn Swallows have nested previously so I'm hopeful that we may get some breeding nearby next year. Also 25-30 European Bee-eaters on the wires opposite the Brenaverde restaurant just outside Gaucin on the same road.
Saturday 30 July: Huge numbers of Black Kites drifted down the Genal Valley on Saturday evening (30th). Between 6pm - 8pm at least 1,000 birds were seen with more pouring through before then. (per John & Penny Hale - Casares).

Gibraltar will be the place to be on Sunday 31st July to watch them cross the Strait of Gibraltar! (posted by Wingspanner).
Friday 29 July, Gaucin, clear skies, very warm, variable E-SE wind: There was an impressive passage of Black Kite today with reports of 150 passing by the north-west of the village during the morning (per Jorrian van de Schaaf) and another 150, and a single female Marsh Harrier, during early afternoon (per Wingspanner). These birds were mostly flying along the Genal valley then 'turning right' in front of Sierra Crestellina before heading SW towards Tarifa. These reports inspired me to brave the heat and have a concerted look which was rewarded with a further 225, most of these birds passed directly over the centre of the village, in a 10-minute period between 1720 and 1730! The Black Kite were joined on the thermals by the occasional, presumably local, Booted Eagle (one pale morph and one moulting dark morph) and Short-toed Eagle.
Thursday 28 July: Very quiet; since the small party of Black Kite seen by Wingspanner last weekend there's been no sign of returning migrant raptors. Still plenty of Swift activity including another Alpine Swift over Calle Convento at 1915hrs today.
Tuesday 26 July, clear skies, hot: A couple of Short-toed Eagle displaying over the valley below Gaucin during the late afternoon and an Alpine Swift low over Calle Convento at 1830. Wingspanner reported a couple of White-rumped Swift over the river Guadiaro in Cortes on Sunday afternoon.
Tuesday 26 July: Another report of an Eagle Owl in Gaucin village; at 01:30hrs this morning one was seen low over the rooftops in C/Lorenzo Garcia - thanks to Tony Bays. This is the third record of a bird within the Gaucin urban area since January this year.
Monday 25 July: Wingspanner reported 15-20 Black Kite over the village on Saturday afternoon so the 'reverse' migration has begun!
Saturday 23 July: I've been scanning the skies for the first sign of returning migrant raptors but so far there's just the occasional 'local' Booted Eagle and Short-toed Eagle. Bee-eater numbers around the village are beginning to build up so it won't be long before the first Black Kite drifts over towards Morocco.
Tuesday 19 July, Rio Guadiaro, Cortes de la Frontera, 0730-1000hrs, cool at first, mostly sunny: Another early start for Wingspanner and me as we headed down to the river at Cortes de la Frontera. We soon saw several warbler species in the trees and dead branches along the river; Melodious Warbler, Cetti's Warbler, Iberian Chiffchaff, Blackcap but best of all a scarce Sedge Warbler. Down on the shingle were several White Wagtail and Grey Wagtail, including several juveniles, and Little Ringed Plover (see photos, the bright yellow eye showing nicely in the second one!).



Also seen were Kingfisher, Booted Eagle (2 pale morphs), Short-toed Eagle, Griffon Vulture, Grey Heron, Spotted Flycatcher, Stonechat, Woodchat Shrike, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, large numbers of Common Swift, a few Pallid Swift and a couple of Alpine Swift. There were large groups of, mainly juvenile, House Martin on the electricity pylon wires (see photos) although we did spot one Sand Martin in amongst them.


Finally, we saw a couple of Rock Sparrow (see photos in the second one the yellow throat spot is just visible if you zoom in!).