Friday 30 November, Gaucin, partly cloudy, light N-NW wind, light rain showers, 7C: A visit to the tracks around Marchenilla/La Barca at 1600hrs was cut short due to the rain but I did manage to see: 1 White Stork, Cattle Egret, Little Egret, Griffon Vulture, Common Buzzard, female Sparrowhawk, Common Kestrel, Crested Lark, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail (50+ in one field), Black Redstart, Spotless Starling, Stonechat, Chaffinch (flocks up to 30+ but no Brambling) and Goldfinch.
Thursday 29 November, Gaucin, sunny, light-fresh N-NW wind, 10C: A proper cool, sunny winter day; just 5C at 1000hrs and feeling colder in the fresh breeze. A quick look around El Hacho and the fields nearby produced the usual winter species: Griffon Vulture, Southern Grey Shrike, Blue Rock Thrush, Thekla Lark, Spotless Starling, White Wagtail, Stonechat, Robin, Nuthatch, and lots of Black Redstart and Sardinian Warbler.
Sunday 25 November, Gaucin, mostly cloudy, light E-SE wind, 14C: Not much to report as I've been doing a lot of walking rather than birding! There's been a Tawny Owl calling most nights just south of the village. I was told that an Eagle Owl was heard near the castle on Friday evening so I went up there at dusk today; after a 30min wait it duly called a couple of times at about 1900hrs but didn't appear. It's good to know that they are still around despite the fact that the rocks below the castle are now a favoured climbing area.
Thursday 22 November, Gaucin, partly cloudy, light E-NE breeze, 14C: Not much to report...a couple of Common Raven below Sierra Crestellina this morning. On the drive down to the coast on Monday spotted both Southern Grey Shrike and Blue Rock Thrush just off the road opposite Sierra Crestellina. In Malaga city centre there were several Black Redstart, also a Blackbird in full song on top of the christmas tree of lights (unlit!) in Plaza de la Constitucion and a Tawny Owl calling just below the Gibralfaro; other species seen around the centre were Yellow-legged Gull, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Monk Parakeet, Collared Dove, Crag Martin, Chiffchaff sp., Serin and Goldfinch.
Friday 16 November, Gaucin, mostly sunny, light-fresh E-SE wind, 16C: A bonus day as the forecast was poor but it turned out to be good! 1630hrs: a cycle ride to the Mirador de Genal above Algatocin was rewarded with a fly-past by a Peregrine and a quick stop at the Salto de Cura (where the old 'bull ring' was) produced a female Common Crossbill at the top of a cork oak tree. There were a few Crag Martin around the southern end of the village during early afternoon.
Thursday 15 November, Gaucin, mostly sunny, light E-SE wind, 19C: Another lovely warm day although the next wet weather system is due tonight and will last for two or three days. Woke to a Blackbird in full song then spent a couple of hours from 1000-1200hrs checking the fields along the Gaucin-El Colmenar road hoping for some Brambling with the Chaffinch; there weren't any but I did see 30+ Griffon Vulture, Common Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Song Thrush, a group of 40+ Crag Martin, amongst which was a late House Martin, Thekla Lark, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, Stonechat, Black Redstart, Sardinian Warbler, 20+ Blackcap, Greenfinch and Chaffinch. Heard both Green Woodpecker and Great-spotted Woodpecker with the latter also drumming. On the drive back to Gaucin the Southern Grey Shrike was showing well on top of a tree below El Hacho.
Wednesday 14 November, Gaucin, mostly sunny, calm air-light SW wind, 18C: After the run of 20 days with rain a welcome return to sun yesterday and today. It was great to be out even if I only managed an hour and a half's birding! From 1200-1330hrs I had a walk along the west slope of El Hacho - nothing special there just the usual winter birds: 20+ Griffon Vulture, a displaying pair of Common Kestrel, Red-legged Partridge, Southern Grey Shrike (ok, quite special), Thekla Lark, Blue Rock Thrush (female in photo), 12 Song Thrush, Crag Martin, 15+ Black Redstart, White Wagtail, 3 pairs of Stonechat, Cirl Bunting, Blackcap, Sardinian Warbler, 25+ Goldfinch and a handful of Chaffinch and Robin. Also a couple of distant Spanish Ibex (see photo).
Saturday 10 November, Gaucin, mostly sunny, light W wind, 15C: We are now up to 19 consecutive days where it has rained, often heavily, for at least some part of the day; at least today it was only early morning and late evening. A walk along the Camino de Gibraltar from 1530-1730hrs produced the following: Griffon Vulture, Common Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Woodpigeon, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Eurasian Nuthatch, Spotless Starling, 4 Song Thrush, Blackbird, Crag Martin, 10+ Black Redstart, White Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Stonechat, Firecrest, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Sardinian Warbler, Chiffchaff sp., Blackcap, House Sparrow, Greenfinch and several small flocks of Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Serin.
Thursday 08 November, Gaucin, cloudy, intermittent light rain, fresh-strong E-SE wind, 13C: Yesterday morning there were 50+ Griffon Vulture to the N-W of El Hacho and today at 0845hrs a Goshawk flew out of a tree at the side of the road just above the bridge over the Rio Genal.
Tuesday 06 November, Gaucin, cloudy, rain, light E-SE wind, 12C: Another wet day walking with some Russians (they want to walk very quickly so no birding opportunities - not that you'd see much through the rain) but I did hear a couple of Red-billed Chough at the northern end of Sierra Crestellina. Yesterday was cloudy and damp though it didn't rain until about 1600hr then rained heavily most of last night; at 0845hrs there was a very tame Firecrest in an oak tree opposite the Bodeguita Chapparo bar - it was quite happily gleaning the leaves not much more than 1m from where I was standing; in the valley to the south of Gaucin at about 1030hrs there were at least 10 Black Redstart; also 2 Song Thrush and a singing Mistle Thrush.
Sunday 04 November, Gaucin, light rain showers, light-fresh W wind, 18C: Three more days of rain, some of it very heavy, has prevented any birding; anyone who has been here during a 'whiteout' will know what it's like. Today was better, there were a few Black Redstart on the village roofs, the winter House Sparrow flock in the garden has built up to a noisy 20+, there were 30+ Starling sp. roosting on a tower crane oppposite the petrol station and I saw a Sparrowhawk from the terrace! The forecast for the coming week is not very encouraging; after the spring/summer drought let's hope we don't have another very wet winter like 2009.....
Wednesday 31 October, Gaucin, mostly cloudy, light W wind, 13C: After two more rainy days, thankfully not as torrential as the previous downpour, today was at least dry. A short early morning walk along Camino de Avedin produced Great-spotted Woodpecker, Eurasian Nuthatch, Short-toed Treecreeper, Black Redstart, Chiffchaff sp., and Firecrest. At about 1330hrs there were no fewer than 5 Black Redstart (1 male, 4 female) in the 'paddock' at the top of the track along with small flocks of both Chaffinch and Goldfinch.