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Thursday 03 October 2013, Gaucin, partly cloudy, calm air-light W-SW wind, 26C

After 2.5Lm2 of rain overnight, accompanied by a bit of thunder and lightning, today was mostly clear and bright. On the way to the coast at 1000hrs there were 3 Black Kite heading West over the A-7P toll road between Manilva and Estepona. Back in the village at 1700hrs there was a Common Crossbill singing at the top of a Cypress tree in Calle Convento and at 1800hrs there were 250+ House Martin, the majority being juveniles, in 2-3 groups between Calle Convento and Calle del Pino with many landing in turn on both a Palm tree and the ledge of an unoccupied building, see photo and video.

House Martins heading for the building ledge

The following sightings were made by Tim Birkhead whilst staying in Gaucin during September - thanks Tim:

16 Sep: 150 House Martins over Gaucin; 50 Bee-eaters; 1 Mistle Thrush; Blue Rock Thrush singing in village; several swifts (including Pallid) visiting nest sites; Booted Eagle over Gaucin; Great-spotted Woodpecker over village; Common Buzzard and Peregrine at Buciete; several Booted Eagles (very vocal) at Jimena, and Short-toed Eagle.

17 Sep:  About 50 Alpine Swifts on road to Estacion de Gaucin. Kingfisher at Estacion de Gaucin; and Short-toed Eagle and Common Redstart (female/juv) on road to Estacion de Gaucin. Swifts still going under tiles at convent.

18 Sep: Red Kite near Manilva; two Eurasian Sparrowhawks on Manilva-Gaucin road; two Booted Eagles. Two Grey Herons over the sea at Torreguadiaro. 

23 Sep: we had a juv Black Stork in the valley below Gaucin (Casares-Secadero track).

24 Sep: we had a stunning visit to Tarifa with hundreds of raptors (mainly Booted Eagle, Short-toed Eagle, but also Black Kite, Sparrowhawks) and Black and White storks seen from the mountain viewing place including flocks of storks over the town.

25 Sep: a single Honey Buzzard over Gaucin.

27 Sep: Peregrine over the village as it was getting dark.

28 Sep: Less good today, but this afternoon we drove to the 'Barca Moreno-Marchenilla' track where there were big flocks (100s)  of finches etc: Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Serin, Cirl Bunting, Corn Bunting, House Sparrows and Crested Larks. Two groups of 20-40 Ravens. One Black Kite. Many Phylloscopus warblers, mainly Willow Warblers, along edge of the track.

29 Sep: we went back to Tarifa. It was still raining when we arrived at the migration watching place, but within 10 minutes the rain stopped, the sun came out and so did the migrants. Nothing we hadn't seen before and small numbers: raptors and Black Storks. We went off to La Janda, and saw Montagu's and Hen Harriers, lots of White Storks, Common Snipe, Greenshank, Lapwings (20) and a pair of Jackdaws.

30 Sep: we ducked under the cloud this afternoon into intermittent sunshine along the Barca Moreno-Marchenilla track and had great views of a mongoose along the road plus about 100 Corn Buntings with a similar number of Linnets. We then walked along the track from the Jimena metal bridge towards Los Lobos, and saw a Wryneck - fabulous views, we watched it for about ten minutes on the ground and on fence posts. On our way back we had 200-300 Alpine Swifts very high overhead - spectacular.

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