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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.