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Wednesday 02 September 2015, Gaucin, sunny, fresh-gusting strong W wind, 29C

A visit to the dried bed of the Rio Genal from 09:30-10:30hrs produced some early migration with 50+ Honey Buzzard and a couple of Booted Eagle passing through. Also seen were 100+ Griffon Vulture (split over 3-4 groups), Short-toed Eagle, European Bee-eater, Grey Heron, Grey Wagtail, female Pied Flycatcher (first of the autumn), Stonechat, Sardinian Warbler, Cetti's Warbler and Willow Warbler (including one stunning individual in fresh, clean autumn plumage with an incredibly bright lemon-yellow eye-stripe). 

Back in the village there was some major raptor passage this afternoon as follows:

16:15-17:00hrs: 450+ birds. Mostly (80%?) Honey Buzzard, plus Black Kite, a few Booted Eagle, one adult Egyptian Vulture and a Peregrine that joined in for fun! Also a few Barn Swallow and Common/Pallid Swift, and one Alpine Swift. These individuals were moving NE-SW but there were also 200+ to the east of the village moving along the Genal Valley.

17:30-18:00hrs: Another 400+ birds NE-SW, again mostly Honey Buzzard with a proportion (15%?) of Black Kite.

18:00-18:30hrs: 300+ As above, mostly Honey Buzzard with some Black Kite and a few Booted Eagle; also one adult Egyptian Vulture.

The majority of the birds were at some altitude, invisible to the naked eye, moving quickly and spread over quite a wide area; for these reasons they were difficult to count with any certainty, hence the estimated totals. There were almost certainly other species involved (Common Buzzard, Marsh Harrier, Short-toed Eagle?) but the height and speed of passage made positive ID impossible (for me, anyway!).

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