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Monday 31 October, sunny, warm, light E wind: Had to go to the coast this morning so managed a little diversion to the lagoon at Torreguadiaro/Puerto Sotogrande where sightings included Purple Swamp Hen, Little Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Grey Heron, Meadow Pipit, Crested Lark, Crag Martin, Spotless Starling, Stonechat, Cetti's Warbler (heard), Sardinian Warbler, Chiffchaff (including a 'flock' of about 8 in the reeds beside the boardwalk), Zitting Cisticola and, just offshore, several Northern Gannet.
Sunday 30 October, mostly sunny, light E wind: Another lovely day - warm enough to eat both breakfast and evening meal outside! A bit quiet on the bird front, though. This morning we walked from 'Estacion Cortes', more or less following the Rio Guadiaro towards El Colmenar, to El Puente de los Alemanes; this tranlates to 'The Bridge of the Germans' only it isn't a bridge, it's an aqueduct built to carry water to the hydro-electric power plant at El Colmenar, and it was actually built by Belgians! Along the way we saw lots of Black Redstart, including 4 plus 2 Stonechat in one small tree, 40+ Griffon Vulture, Common Kestrel, Green Woodpecker, Song Thrush, Grey Wagtail, Kingfisher, Sardinian Warbler, 3 Woodlark, 2 Crested Lark, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, small flocks of Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Pied wagtail.
Friday 28 October, Gaucin: What a difference a day makes - a beautifully clear, sunny and warm day today. Lots of finches and thrushes around to the south of the village including a small flock of about 6 Song Thrush that burst out from a lentiscus bush. Also a Serin in full song!
Thursday 27 October, Gaucin, NW wind, mostly cloudy, heavy rain showers: Some very heavy rain overnight and heavy showers on and off today. Interesting observation of at least 30 Crag Martin flying around up in the village for most of the afternoon. Probable Osprey passing over at about 1330hrs but it was quite high and I didn't have my binoculars with me....

welcome back Paul - Eagle Owl at the Castle

Thanks for bringing the rain back with you.

An Eagle Owl has been calling from the Castle again, reported yesterday morning at 8am by Jorrian (whilst walking his dog) he saw the bird perched on top of one of the trees near the entrance gate, viewed from the approach path. Worth checking out, I looked last night at dusk but no luck.
Wednesday 26 October, Gaucin, light SE wind, mostly cloudy: A late afternoon walk down the Camino de Gibraltar and around under the village...lots of Chiffchaff, Blackcap, wintering Robin and Blackbird also a Song Thrush and at least two Blue Rock Thrush and several Crag Martin on the steep cliffs below the castle.
Wednesday 26 October: Back in Gaucin after a couple of weeks in the UK. Fortunately I missed the heavy rain that fell here on Monday; today it's cloudy, 15C with a light SW wind and more rain forecast for later today/tomorrow. There are a couple of Black Redstarts flitting around the houses and a Chiffchaff and Blackcap calling from a nearby avocado tree, just heard a passing Raven, too.
Friday 14 October: Oxford, UK; sunny, warm. Plenty of Red Kite seen on the drive from Reading and even one flying around Oxford city centre above Magdalen college! As well as the large numbers of Red Kites I've been surprised by the number of Common Buzzard around, even in residential areas.
Monday 10 October, Gaucin, light SE wind, sunny, warm: Summer is refusing to end weather-wise with a temperature of 27C today and there were still a couple of Common Swift and several House Martin over the village this afternoon.
Saturday 08 October, West slope of El Hacho, light-fresh E wind, partly cloudy, warm, 1730-1900hrs: species seen included Griffon Vulture, Sparrowhawk, Southern Grey Shrike, Crag Martin, Cirl Bunting, lots of Stonechat and Sardinian Warbler, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, 1 female Common Redstart and 1 female Black Redstart (first of the autumn here). Also distant views of a female or juvenile Spanish Ibex (see photos).
Thursday 06 October, light SE wind, clear skies, warm, 0830-1000hrs: Another quick trip to my second home, the west slope of El Hacho! Most of the usual suspects were seen...Griffon Vulture (see photo), Red-legged Partridge, Southern Grey Shrike, Blue Rock Thrush, 2 male and 1 female Common Redstart, Cirl Bunting, Rock Bunting, Stonechat, Sardinian Warbler and Blackcap.
Tuesday 04 October, west slope of El Hacho, Gaucin, 1900-2000hrs, light SE wind, clear skies, warm: A quick visit to see if I could spot the suspected Ortolan Bunting but there was no sign of it! There was a rather nice sunset, though (see photos). There were still at least 2 female and 1 male Common Redstart, lots of Blackcap, Sardinian Warbler, Cirl Bunting, Stonechat (see male in photo), Griffon Vulture, Common Kestrel and House Martin. Red-legged Partridge were heard calling.



Yes, the dead tree at El Colmenar was our pre-breakfast destination this morning. It was just getting light at 8am as we left Gaucin for the 15 minute drive to El Colmenar. A small flock of up to 10 Hawfinches
Sunday 02 October, Gaucin, partly cloudy, light-fresh SE wind, warm: Still some summer visitors hanging on....a pair of Short-toed Eagle over the SW of the village along with a pale morph Booted Eagle during the morning; a flock of 50+ House Martin over Calle Convento at about 2000hrs along with a couple of Common Swift.
Friday 30 September, west slope of El Hacho, Gaucin, 0900-1000hrs, fresh SE wind, partly cloudy, warm: Still quite a few Common Redstart in the trees with at least 3 males (see photo) and 2 females present; also Raven, Sparrowhawk, Griffon Vulture, Red-legged Partridge, Southern Grey Shrike (see photo), Blue Rock Thrush, Stonechat, Cirl Bunting, Rock Bunting, Thekla Lark, Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap (including 12 in a single tree!) and Chiffchaff sp. Nice to see the shrike still around; hopefully it will stay for the winter. I also had a very brief view of what looked like a male Ortolan Bunting - blue/green head and orange underparts were what caught my eye as it flitted across the grass - unfortunately it disappeared before I could get a good look and I couldn't relocate it!
Thursday 29 September, Camino de Gibraltar, Gaucin, 1900-2000hrs, light-fresh SE wind, partly cloudy, cool: Not a great deal around...Short-toed Eagle, pale morph Booted Eagle, Sparrowhawk, Cetti's Warbler, Chiffchaff , Cirl Bunting and a small flock of Chaffinch. Still a few Common Swift and House Martin feeding over the valley.