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Friday 06 December 2013, Gaucin, sunny, light E-SE wind, 18C

This morning I visited the Rio Genal alongside the Casares-Secadero track from 0845-1045. Although the day turned out to be wonderfully warm it was a chilly 4C when I arrived and there was a light mist rising off the river; unfortunately the cold hadn't put off the hunters so there was a lot of gunfire nearby which no doubt spooked many birds. As I arrived a flock of 60+ Great Cormorant were heading upstream, presumably the same birds that I saw near Gaucin on Wednesday. Despite the shooting I did manage to see 3x Common Buzzard, Common Kestrel, 3x Grey Heron, Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Northern Lapwing, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Common Kingfisher, Song Thrush, Black Redstart, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Crested Lark, Stonechat, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Cirl Bunting and Corn Bunting. I thought I might see the Black-winged Kite that overwintered last year but they didn't show; hopefully they are around or will be back later.

On the drive back to Gaucin I stopped off to have a quick look at the southern end of Sierra Crestellina thinking I might catch an Egyptian Vulture. I didn't see the Egyptian but there were 40+ Griffon Vulture and it was better than that; as soon as I put my bins up I spotted a first winter Golden Eagle! Given the scarcity of this bird in the area I would imagine that this is the same bird that I saw in Gaucin nine days ago heading off towards the Genal/Sierra Bermeja area. I wonder if the adult was with it again.

Back in Gaucin village in the afternoon there was a Common Kestrel hovering close to the houses in Calle Convento; not a common sight these days.

Northern Lapwing

Rio Genal looking back towards Sierra El Hacho

A distant Gaucin from the Casares-Secadero track

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