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Friday 16 January 2015, Gaucin, mostly sunny, fresh NW wind, 11C

Back in Spain after a few days in the birding there but I was treated to the wonderful sight of a group of 15+ Red Kite just above my parents' home on the outskirts of Reading - an unthinkable occurrance only 10 years ago, such has been the successs of this species following the Chiltern reintroduction scheme of the early 1990s.

Today saw the first rain of 2015 in Gaucin as 11mm fell overnight; as the rain cleared the day felt a good deal cooler, in the northerly wind, than the high of 11C. Just 4 Common Crossbill, flying over the old convent at 1730hrs, to report.

On the way to Malaga airport last Saturday we had great views of a male Merlin that flew along just in front of the car as we drove below Sierra Crestellina.

There are signs of early Spring with some of the small white-flowered cistus already in bloom and there are almond trees covered in blossom, too.

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