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Wednesday 13 March, Gaucin, mostly sunny, light-fresh NW wind, 10C: At last, a day without rain! It was only 6C when I ventured out towards Jimena/San Pablo but just seeing the sun made it feel like a summer's day. Just outside the village on the Gaucin-Jimena road there were 23 Black Kite and 1 Red Kite then as I drove through San Pablo another 50+ Black Kite before I had to pull in to the petrol station to check out a distant 'kettle' of birds; it turned out they were White Stork, at least 300 of them joined by several Black Kite and a couple of both Short-toed Eagle and Booted Eagle - and I hadn't even reached my birding destination! Arriving at the track between Barca Moreno and Marchenilla at 1000hrs I soon picked up a male Marsh Harrier and an adult Egyptian Vulture plus a few more Black Kite, 3 Common Buzzard, Lesser Kestrel and 2 Short-toed Eagle as well as 30+ Griffon Vulture. Passerines included Common Swift, Red-rumped Swallow, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Stonechat (I just love their haunting tinkling song) and Crested Lark. Looking back in the direction of San Martin, and Sierra Crestellina beyond, there were 50+ White Stork and a constant stream of Black Kite piling up the Guadiaro river valley. All of this in just an hour, and this included heeding the advice of a local farmer to take refuge in the car as he drove an angry-looking bull to it's new pasture. On the drive back up the hill there were several more Black Kite, 4 Short-toed Eagle and, just to the west of El Hacho, 3 Booted Eagle. Good birding!

Today's terrace view - a great improvement!

Not much of the Gaucin-Jimena road left after the rain.

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