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Saturday 28 May 2016, Gaucin, partly cloudy, light rain showers, light NW wind, 18C

On what turned out to be a cool, occasionally damp (2mm of rain), late Spring day, Paul, Claire and I set off for a morning's birding along tracks to the west of Casares, down to the Rio Genal. The best bird of the trip was Western Olivaceous Warbler, with two singing and showing quite well in the tamarisk along the riverbank. Also seen were Griffon Vulture, Short-toed Eagle, several Booted Eagle, Common Buzzard, a single low Honey Buzzard, Common Kestrel, 6 White Stork in the river, Mallard, Grey Heron, 5+ Little-ringed Plover, 5+ Turtle Dove, good views of European Bee-eater, Blue Rock Thrush, Blackbird, Spotless Starling, 5+ Woodchat Shrike, Spotted Flycatcher, European Robin, Golden Oriole (heard), Crested Lark, Common Swift, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, White Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Stonechat, Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap, (Cettis Warbler and Common Nightingale were heard), Blue Tit, Great Tit, House Sparrow, Linnet, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Cirl Bunting and Serin.

We checked on the old Bonelli's Eagle nest on Sierra Crestellina and, as others have reported, the site now seems to be occupied by Griffon Vulture; as yet there are no clues as to where the eagles have gone.

In the village over the past couple of days there have been a scattering of Honey Buzzard, most notably around mid-day on Thursday when 20+ flew very low over Plaza del Santo Niño. There were two juvenile Blue Rock Thrush and an adult male on a ruin in Calle Convento, suggesting that they most probably bred there this year - a good record for the centre of the pueblo following breeding in 2015 in a ruin adjacent to cafe/bar El Puente.

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