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Sunday 17 July 2016, Gaucin, sunny, fresh SE wind, 28C

In contrast to a large part of last summer, this year's temperatures remain bearable and most days are blessed (unless you are birding!) with a fresh, cooling levante breeze.
Post-breeding, pre-return migration indicators are appearing with Swift sp. numbers down significantly, maybe only 50-or-so south of the village, 10-15 European Bee-eater on aerial electricity cables in the valley just to the south and House Martin beginning to congregate in 20s and 30s on telegraph wires. Amongst the Common and Pallid Swift early yesterday evening was an Alpine Swift, which came quite low over our terrace several times.
Despite the winds, a couple of walks around La Umbria produced the usual woodland species, with Great-spotted Woodpecker, Firecrest, European Nuthatch, Short-toed Treecreeper and Bonelli's Warbler all showing.
The dark morph Booted Eagle continues to parade over Calle Convento/Del Pino and a Short-toed Eagle, perhaps released from crèche duty, has been see a couple of times, too. A pair of Eurasian Sparrowhawk were seen in the woods just to the north of the petrol station on Saturday morning.

There have been reports of a few raptors already heading south over the Straits of Gibraltar at Tarifa; these are presumably non-breeders but it won't be too long before the main migration begins.

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