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Friday 18 November 2016, Gaucin, sunny, calm air-light NW wind, 19C

A morning walk along footpaths to the north side of the village produced a good selection of woodland species including:
Common Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Jay, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker, Eurasian Nuthatch, Meadow Pipit, 5+ Song Thrush, Black Redstart, Firecrest, Crested Tit, Hawfinch, Serin and Cirl Bunting.

Just as I arrived back in the village around mid-day there were 100+ Griffon Vulture climbing the thermals just to the south of Calle Convento; they then peeled off one-by-one and headed SW. Also 15+ Crag Martin close to the village below Calle del Pino.

Sierra Bermeja, Gaucin castle and Sierra Crestellina
An afternoon visit to the west slope of El Hacho was relatively uneventful though highlights were good views of Griffon Vulture, also Common Kestrel, Blue Rock Thrush, 25+ Crag Martin, 10+ Black Redstart, 5+ Stonechat, 5+ Song Thrush, 10+ Sardinian Warbler and Corn Bunting.

female Stonechat

Wednesday 16 November 2016, Gaucin, sunny, light SE wind, 18C

The settled, dry and relatively warm weather continues....

On the afternoon of Saturday 12 November there were 60 Wood Pigeon over La Umbria.

On Sunday 13 November an afternoon walk along the top section of the Camino de Gibraltar produced Griffon Vulture, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Grey Heron, 5 Crag Martin with which was a single House Martin, 5 Song Thrush, European Robin, White Wagtail, Common Chiffchaff, 10+ Blackcap and Serin.

There was yet another Monarch butterfly, just behind the petrol station on Monday morning.

My first visit to the Rio Genal below the village in some time was pretty uneventful, not helped by heavy machinery digging out gravel from the river; just Grey Heron, Little Egret and a Common Buzzard of note.
A 'trainee' shepherd toils up the Camino de Gibraltar

The 'belltower' of Gaucin's Convento de los Carmelitas and Sierra Crestellina

Friday 11 November 2016, Gaucin, mostly sunny, light-fresh W-NW wind,18C

The weather continues to be fairly settled, with daytime temperatures holding up despite the occasional bit of light drizzle and a cool north/west wind - it has dropped to 4C on a couple of mornings.
Fairly quiet bird-wise but over Calle Convento/Calle del Pino in the last few days there's been Common Buzzard, Common Kestrel, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, a couple of duelling young Blue Rock Thrush, a Spotless Starling mimicking a Golden Oriole, Black Redstart and several Common Chiffchaff.
A visit to the west slope of El Hacho on Wednesday morning was curtailed by a strong north-westerly that kept most birds out of sight, apart from a few Black Redstart, a couple of Song Thrush and a brave Red-legged Partridge (there were hunters in the area!). A couple of Spanish Ibex were showing well, though.
On Thursday there were at least 5 Common Crossbill in the pines on the north edge of the village, with both male and female/imm singing. Also a Monarch butterfly over the Calle Convento/Calle del Pino gardens at mid-day and another, or the same one, 30 min later at La Cruz.

male Spanish Ibex
male and female Spanish Ibex
Showing off.....
A Spotless Starling that thinks it's a Golden Oriole (amongst other species)
Some poor shots of Common Crossbill in the gloomy late afternoon light......


Sunday 06 November 2016, Gaucin, sunny, light-fresh W-NW wind, 18C

After a soaking yesterday when 29mm of rain fell (13mm of it during a wild, windy 30min late evening), today was sunny and warm, if you were out of the cooling breeze.
A morning walk along the Las Pilas track above Algatocin afforded crisp, clear views in all directions though bird sightings of note were restricted to a couple of Red-billed Chough and Common Raven.
The Camino de Gibraltar from 15:30-17:00hrs produced no fewer than 22 Black Redstart (19 female/imm and 3 male), also Common Kestrel, 5+ Meadow Pipit, 5+ Common Chiffchaff, 3 Hawfinch and a couple of overflying Common Crossbill.
On Friday at 09:30hrs there was a Common Crossbill singing from the top of a pine tree opposite the petrol station and around mid-day there was a pale morph Booted Eagle in Santiponce (on the outskirts of Sevilla) where we had driven to visit the Italica Roman ruins only to find then closed for a month whilst Games of Thrones is being filmed. So much for the info on the official web page which failed to mention the closure! We commiserated ourselves with a visit to Acinipo near Ronda....also closed, but where there's a will......
Acinipo - the Roman amphitheatre near Ronda la Vieja

male Black Redstart

Tuesday 01 November 2016, Gaucin, partly cloudy, light rain am, light SE wind, 20C

In Salitre on Sunday there were many Chiffchaff around with a group of at least 6 (presumably all Common) frequenting a small patch of chumbo (prickly pear).
In Gaucin on Monday morning there were 100+ Griffon Vulture just SE of Sierra del Hacho (also per M Bennett). As a sure sign of Autumn, several Black Redstart have been seen in the village in the last couple of days and a Meadow Pipit was over Calle Convento on Monday.
There was a little light rain this morning (just 1mm) but an afternoon stroll along the Camino de Gibraltar was made in warm sunshine with the following seen:
Griffon Vulture, Peregrine (in a very steep, very fast dive behind the castle), Eurasian Sparrowhawk, 3 Song Thrush, Spotless Starling, Eurasian Jay, Great-spotted Woodpecker, 20+ Black Redstart (at least 10 in just one small almond grove), Stonechat, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap, 10+ Chiffchaff sp., and Cirl Bunting.

Sunset from Salitre

The Roman settlement of Vesci (foreground), Cortes de la Frontera and Sierra de Libar
Sierra Crestellina under cloud - from Camino de Gibraltar

One of several smart male Black Redstart
Some of the 100+ Griffon Vulture over El Hacho (per M. Bennett)

Skulking (Common) Chiffchaff