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.
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.
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.