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Tuesday 26 November 2013, Gaucin, sunny, calm air-light SE wind, 16C

This morning at 0320hrs I woke to hear the unmistakeable song of a male Eagle Owl somewhere below Calle Convento/Calle del Pino. I had a quick look through the window but it didn't show. It was singing again at about 0600hrs.

A visit to the west slope of El Hacho from 1015-1130hrs produced a good sighting in the form of at least one, possibly two, Dartford Warbler. Also seen were Blue Rock Thrush, 8 Song Thrush, a minimum of 20 Black Redstart, Meadow Pipit, Thekla Lark, Stonechat, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch and Rock Bunting but there was no sign of the wintering Southern Grey Shrike.

On the way home I had a look in the cork oak woodland at Salto de Cura, just outside the village on the Ronda road, where I heard both Firecrest and Crested Tit and saw 20+ Griffon Vulture, Chiffchaff sp., and Eurasian Nuthatch. As I was scanning the treetops in the direction of Benarraba I picked up a large bird of prey heading towards me and as it got nearer the diagnostic white underwing patches and terminal tail band of a first-winter Golden Eagle were seen clearly. I watched this powerful, majestic bird for a good 5 minutes as it wheeled away above me, before things got even better and it was joined by a second individual, this time an adult! Both birds circled for a minute or so before picking up speed and heading SE towards the Genal valley. Fantastic birding!

View from El Hacho towards the Alcornocales
One of the many Black Redstart

I've been spotted!

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