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Saturday 01 November 2014, Gaucin, mostly sunny, light-fresh E-SE wind, 25C

After a very warm and mostly sunny October, November started in much the same vein. Whilst walking near Castellar de la Frontera yesterday at least 120+ Griffon Vulture passed by the castle and one of our group spotted a Short-toed Eagle; on the drive down at 0730hrs a Tawny Owl drifted across in front of us between Gaucin and San Pablo de Buceite. There have been a couple of male/first winter Blue Rock Thrush entertaining us around Calle Convento the past couple of days, see photos below. Wood Pigeons are on the move with 70+ flying W-E across the valley below Gaucin early this morning.

This afternoon I visited the Utrera Gorge near Manilva; it was very windy up near the turbines and not much better down in the valley but there were a lot of birds around including:
25 Griffon Vulture, Short-toed Eagle, Common Kestrel, Black Whetear, 200+ Common Staling, at least 8 Black Redstart, 200+ White Wagtail, 50+ Meadow Pipit, several Corn Bunting, 50+ House Sparrow, 2 Rock Sparrow, 50+ Goldfinch and Crested Lark  in a recently-ploughed field, 6 Chiffchaff sp., Sardinian Warbler and Stonechat; Cetti's Warbler was heard.

Blue Rock Thrush

Blue Rock Thrush - large bill is diagnostic at some distance!

Utrera Gorge

One of the impressive linestone karst formations

Black Wheatear

Black Redstart

Mandrake - there are loads about this autumn

Common Starling - pre-roost gathering

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