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Monday 28 May, sunny am, cloudy with heavy outbursts of rain and some thunder late afternoon, 27C: Today we visited the mountainous area known as the Plataforma de Gredos and we caught up with some superb birds. On the drive up to the parking area we spotted a singing male Red-backed Shrike and Ortolan Bunting and on the 'heathland' further up we logged a singing male Rock Thrush, two male Bluethroat, Water Pipit, several singing Ortolan Bunting, Rock Bunting, Skylark and Northern Wheatear as well as at least three vividly-plumaged Dunnock. Back down in the 'alpine meadows' we saw Honey Buzzard, Red Kite, Booted Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, Goshawk, Green Woodpecker, Woodlark, Yellow Wagtail, Dipper, Melodious Warbler, Bonelli's Warbler, Firecrest, Mistle Thrush, Crested Tit, Common Crossbill, Cirl Bunting, Common Whitethroat, Sublapine Warbler and fairly distant views of the so-far elusive Citril Finch! During the morning two of our group told us that they had gone for a post-evening meal walk along the road outside the hotel and that they had heard European Nightjar - this seemed unlikely as it's breeding distribution is reported as finishing much further North (replaced here by the Red-necked Nightjar). Most likely nocturnal frogs, we thought. We were, however, persuaded to join them for a walk this evening and we were pleasantly surprised to hear not one but at least 3 'churring' males two of which flew past no more than 10m from us! Just goes to show that the guide books are not always correct!

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