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heavy rain and hail showers with some sunny breaks.

About 11am the rain stopped for a while and I took Tom & Stephanie out for a couple of hours birding during the dry spell.

We drove down to the Genal River and up to Sierra Crestellina where we stopped to look at the Bonelli's Eagle nest site. The nest was in good shape but no birds were in attendance. We did see many Black Redstarts, Stonechats, Crested Larks and Griffon Vultures. We also saw one or two Booted Eagles and a single Short-toed Eagle.

record shot of my first Woodchat shrike of the year

record shot of the Bonelli's Eagle

Black-winged Stilts in the river genal

A few kilometers further along the road to the coast we turned off on the single track road towards Secadura. It was along here that we saw the true numbers of migrating raptors that we'd expected during a dry sunny spell. Soon the sky was full of birds, over 100 Black kites were joined by 10's of Short-toed Eagles, Booted Eagles, Common Buzzards and one or two Marsh Harriers. On lower levels we found two WOODCHAT SHRIKES, Cirl Buntings, Serins, White Wagtails, Corn Buntings and a nice flock of 7 Lesser Kestrels were feeding over the hillside.

Black Kites
A single raptor caught our eye, at first it looked like Long-legged Buzzard but as it got closer to Common Buzzards the size difference was obvious, we had found a first winter Bonelli's Eagle, a nice find.

Short-toed Eagle

Lesser kestrel

We made it down to the river which was in flood and all we saw there was a flock of 17 Black-winged Stilts. It began to rain again, the fun was over, thick cloud came in so we retreated back to the house for shelter. A short but sweet birding excursion.


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