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Saturday 13 June 2015, Gaucin, partly cloudy, light W wind, 21C

A succession of fronts moving across from the west has brought cooler, damper weather to Gaucin. Thursday was rather drizzly (1mm of rain) and Friday saw the first 'proper' rain (4mm) since 20 May, though today it was dry.

Dodging the showers yesterday a short visit to the Cueva del Gato near Benaoján produced some good sightings, including: Griffon Vulture, Short-toed Eagle, Peregrine, Common Kestrel, Blue Rock Thrush, Golden Oriole (heard), Alpine Swift, Pallid Swift, Common Swift, Barn Swallow, Crag Martin, Common Nightingale (heard), Zitting Cisticola and Olivaceous Warbler; high on the cliffs above the cave were a couple of Spanish Ibex.

This evening I went searching for Eagle Owl on the outskirts of Gaucin, following a tip-off from a couple of local 13-year olds! I had begun to think that maybe they had moved on as I hadn't heard one around the village for over a year. Having had the location explained to me in full, pinpoint Andaluz detail, I set out at 21:15hrs for the site. I arrived a bit early as the clear skies meant that dusk didn't arrive until 21:55hrs but, just as I was about to give up and wander back home, I thought I heard a faint call. I decided to wait a little longer and, as I'd hoped, a much louder, unmistakably Eagle Owl, call boomed out from high on a rock face. Try as I might I couldn't locate the bird but after a few minutes I caught sight of it as it flew from a tree, where presumably it had been roosting, to a small rocky outcrop. It sat there calling for about 5 minutes before, at 22:15hrs, it launched itself off and headed west, almost directly overhead. What a great sight and many thanks to Paquito and Manuel! On the way home a Tawny Owl called, too.

Blue Rock Thrush - currently active around Calle del Pino

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