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Sunday 29 August: Migrants over Gaucin dwindled to nothing over the last 3 days despite identical weather conditions, although perhaps the 40C+ temperatures put them off! Friday saw a morning passage of a dozen Honey Buzzards and 4 Booted Eagles. Saturday no raptors were recorded at all but 3 parties of Bee-eaters passed in the afternoon, 10, 12 and 26 were noted. Today, Sunday, after a cloudy start, produced nothing at all at my end of the village!! Funny old world - because Paul reported many raptors drifting south, very high up in the afternoon. Just shows you the length people go to find birds...I heard that Paul was lying prostrate on the terrace with his binnoculars, I don't know how many glasses of wine he had had! Yes, it's true, the terrace bit, not the wine! From 1730-1800 there were 75 Honey buzzard and 25 Black kite and from 1830-1900 there were 65 Black kite with a handful of Honey buzzards mixed in. Interestingly, in the earlier passage the Honey buzzards seemed to be heading South-West and the Black kites more due South. Also seen were a Booted eagle, Sparrowhawk and a single Alpine swift.
Thursday 26 August - late afternoon update. An incredible number of Honey Buzzards drifted over the village during late afternoon. Paul reported over 120 at his end of the village and I saw 257 in 30mins (17:30 - 18:00). They were joined by 19 Common Buzzards, 45 Black Kites, 5 Booted Eagles and a small flock of Bee-eaters.
Southerly migration is starting to get exciting, watch this space!!!!

More on this....another 110 Honey buzzard plus 35 Black kite from 18:30, the last going over at approx. 19:30 (Paul).

Thursday 26 August, Rio Palmones, Los Barrios, 0800-1100hrs, mostly clear and very warm. A morning visit to the estuary at Palmones, (just behind the Los Barrios shopping complex!) brought a good list of waders: Redshank, Greenshank, Ringed plover, Kentish plover, Grey plover, Common sandpiper, Green sandpiper, Dunlin, Sanderling, Knot, Little stint, Turnstone, Whimbrel. As well as the waders other birds seen included: White stork, Grey heron, Common tern, Sandwich tern, Little tern, Kingfisher, Montagu's harrier (juvenile). Flying towards the coast from Los Barrios direction were two groups of Honey buzzard, totalling approx. 25. It's quite early for their return migration to be underway but it was confirmed by a flock of 50 seen near Jimera de la Frontera on the way home. Here we also saw 40+ Griffon vulture, several Black kite amongst the buzzards, Montagu's harrier (1cy male?), Common buzzard, several Booted eagle, a couple of Short-toed eagle, Little owl, Red-rumped swallow and a Lesser kestrel. There were still a few Swift around but numbers are dwindling rapidly. Photos of Whimbrel, Turnstone and Knot by Wingspanner.
Monday 23 August: Several small flocks of Bee-eaters and a count of 5 Booted and 4 Short-toed Eagles over the village between 3 & 4pm this afternoon in bright, clear sky.
Sunday 22 August, Calle Convento, 1500hrs, mostly sunny, light wind from SE: more than 100 Black kite passed over the village in 1 minute, heading SW.
Sunday 22 August, Upper section of Camino de Gibraltar, 1100-1200, mostly sunny, warm: Booted eagle, Cetti's warbler, Spotted flycatcher, Grey wagtail, Chiffchaff sp., Sardinian warbler.
Saturday 21 August, Rio Guadario - Estacion de Cortes 11am -1pm

A bright sunny morning but quite windy. Sitting riverside for a relaxing couple of hours I notched the usual river suspects: Kingfisher, Common Sandpiper, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Serin, Cetti's Warbler & lots of finches coming to drink. Pallid and Common Swifts were conspicuous by their absence and the number of swallows and House Martins was well down, a sure sign that migration is well under way. Several Griffon Vultures drifted over and a trickle of Black Kites passed overhead, a Sparrowhawk dashed through the tree line and a couple of Bee-eaters completed the list.
Thursday 19 August, partly cloudy, 1600-1800hrs: Small groups (5-10) of Black kite passing southwards over the village; most of them very high in the sky and not visible to the naked eye.

Wednesday 18 August, warm, mostly sunny. San Pablo track, 0800-1030: Coming from Gaucin on A-405 go through San Pablo de Buceite, turn left approx. 300m after petrol station, go past garden centre and carry on for approx. 6km then turn right at Venta del Fuente onto rough track. Birds included: 110 Bee-eaters perched on two telephone wires, Montagu's harrier x3, Black kite, Common buzzard, Little owl, Woodchat shrike, Southern grey shrike, Tawny pipit, Melodious warbler, Crested lark, Black-eared wheatear, Common kestrel, Lesser kestrel, Raven, Hoopoe, Serin, Turtle dove, Collared dove,
Jimena track, 1100-1200: Coming from Gaucin, take the right turn, C-3331, before Jimena de la Frontera, after approx. 300m take right turn up track signed Parque Natural, park here. Birds included: Egyptian vulture (1adult 1juvenile) great to see these birds so close to Gaucin, Tawny pipit, Crested lark, Short-toed eagle x6 (several were perched in trees, presumably waiting to start their migration flight), Booted eagle x3. Observations by Paul and Wingspanner. Tawny pipit photo by Wingspanner.
Tuesday 17 August, Cork oak wood just off road to El Colmenar (Gaucin station) opposite the track to El Peso, 1100-1200hrs, cloudy with occasional light rain: Despite the unseasonal weather there were great views of a very smart Bonelli's warbler, with an almost pure white belly and prominent yellow wing flashes, also Firecrest, Cirl bunting, families of Woodchat shrike, Spotted flycatcher and Stonechat, Chiffchaff, a flock of 20+ Goldfinches, flock of 35+ Bee-eaters, Short-toed treecreeper and European nuthatch.
Monday 16 August: The last couple of days has seen a handful of Black kite passing over the village. Today there were two heading slowly south-west as they battled against a strong headwind!
Friday 13 August, partly cloudy, warm: 1830hrs, juvenile Montagu's harrier drifting southwards over Calle Convento. 2030-2100hrs, pair of Alpine swifts over the southern edge of the village.
Tuesday 10 August, Gaucin, 0930hrs: Flock of 40+ Bee-eaters over Calle Convento and a Bonelli's warbler in an avocado tree in the garden. 1800hrs: Small group of Black kite flying SW from the village.
Sunday 08 August, Camino de Avedin, 1030hrs, warm and mostly cloudy: Booted eagle (2x pale morph, 1x dark morph), Short-toed eagle, Bonelli's warbler, Cirl bunting.
Thursday 05 August, 1000-1300hrs, hot and sunny: On the way to the lagoons at La Zorilla near Espera, north of Arcos de la Frontera, stopped off at the Embalse de Bornos reservoir; birds included Stone curlew, Black-winged stilt, Ringed plover, Little-ringed plover, Grey heron, Spoonbill x10, White stork, Common sandpiper, Green sandpiper, Wood sandpiper, Bonelli's warbler, Woodlark, Yellow wagtail (juveniles), Cormorant. En-route saw a flock of 30+ Black kite that had just flown up from a wood, presumably where they roosted the night, ready to start their return migration. At Laguna Salada de Zorrilla we saw: White-headed duck, Great-crested grebe, Black-necked grebe, Little grebe, Gadwall (with young), Red-crested pochard. At Laguna La Dulce Zorrilla we saw: Squacco heron, Purple heron, Purple swamp-hen, Hoopoe, Marsh harrier, Black kite, Booted eagle, Yellow wagtail (stunning blue-headed male). Then we drove to the 'lagunas de Lebrija', the first one Laguna Galiana is a small laguna but with a good flock of Greater flamingo. A little further on at Laguna Cigarrera we saw Zitting cistcola, a possible Olivaceous warbler and a definite family party of Great Reed Warbler. Lastly we stopped at Laguna Pilon where there were many Coot (but no Red-knobbed coot) and lots of Black-winged stilt including several juveniles. Posted by Paul and Wingspanner.
Monday 02 August, 20:30hrs: Great views of an adult Short-toed eagle low over Calle Convento.
Sunday 01 August: been away in UK for a while, hence the lack of entries....anyone else seen anything interesting recently? The bee-eaters are starting to congregate in bigger groups so autumn migration is not far away!