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|