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Tuesday 15 September 2015, Gaucin, mostly sunny, light W-NW wind, 26C

A change in the wind direction to westerlies has slowed the raptor sightings and brought about a change in the feel of the weather; it's still very warm in the sun but now a little more autumnal with cooler mornings (13C today) and evenings.

On Sunday morning there were at least 2 Black Wheatear on the west slope of El Hacho (when I went back there to look for, and find, the camera lens cap that I dropped on Friday). Yesterday there was an interesting sighting of a Hawfinch flying over Calle del Pino at 19:00hrs. This morning there were 100+ Griffon Vulture in the El Peso area behing Sierra del Hacho. In the village early evening were Short-toed and Booted Eagle, a few Swift sp., including one Alpine Swift, high over the Genal valley, plus a trickle of Barn Swallow heading south and 40+ House Martin over Callejon del Pino.

Observations from Tim, on holiday in Gaucin: Estacion de Gaucin: one grey heron, 50+ Griffon Vulture, two Booted Eagle, one Black Kite and a Eurasian Sparrowhawk. Over the village in the late afternoon: two Short-toed Eagle, one dark morph Booted Eagle, one unidentified harrier, three House Martin, and several raptors far too high to identify.

Some good news from the Vulture Conservation Foundation (VCF):
The VCF and Gobex surveyed Egyptian vultures wintering in the NW of the Caceres province - Extremadura during 2014 and 2015. Little was know about this atypical wintering population – possibly the only one in continental Europe. It had been first described in 1990, with the first observation of 15 individuals, and during the period 2006-2014 from 7 to 48 individuals were observed wintering in that Spanish region. During the winter 2014-2015 we made an effort to locate all the roosting sites in the area and performed simultaneous census in the period from December to March.

Two Egyptian Vultures, an adult female and a second calendar year female, were cannon-netted and fitted with GPS/GSM/radio tags. We identified three different roosting sites in the area (on of them located thanks to the tagged juvenile bird) and estimate that the wintering population ranges from 90 to 100 individuals. The Egyptian Vulture breeding population in Extremadura is estimated at 170 breeding pairs.

Full article here:
Wintering Egyptian Vultures - Extremadura 

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