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Thursday 5th January - morning walk to the El Colmenar junction along the Algeciras road

It was another superb, clear and crisp January morning, an easterly breeze made it feel cold at first but it soon warmed up.  Our house in Gaucin is over on the east side beneath the Castle so our proposed walk along the Algeciras road meant we has to walk the entire length of the village to start with.

Our street of oranges - Calle Canamaque
We set out at 10am noting a single Black Redstart in our Street which incidentally has several orange trees bearing masses of fruit (inedible I might add) along one side.
the view back to the village from the Algeciras road
Once out of the village the roadside verges of scrub and bushes hosted hordes of Blackcaps, I have never seen so many! Robins were quite plentiful too with White Wagtails, Cirl Bunting, Meadow Pipits, Song Thrushes and Sardinian Warblers appearing in much smaller numbers.

the view down to the coast with Gibraltar and Morocco to the right of Gib
Nineteen Griffon Vultures circled over the summit of El Hacho, a male Common Kestrel sat on a power line and I got a brief but obscured view of an accipitor, it flew away from me behind a clump of eucalyptus trees, probably a female Sparrowhawk.

Griffon Vultures
The bird of the morning appeared as we approached the El Colmenar turning when a light morph BOOTED EAGLE circled over to our left. This is a smashing winter sighting as 99% of this species migrate to Africa for the winter.

an Owl seen on the roof near Paul and Janys's house - do you know which species it is?

Another group of 7 Griffon Vultures drifted low over us as we were just about to walk back to the village. It was a lovely 2 hour stroll that finished back at the house where our very local Black Redstart sat on our roof.


  1. Is it an Eagle Owl?

  2. yes its supposed to be, but of course its made of clay and hasn't moved for years!

  3. Yes, eagle owls are occasionally seen in Gaucin as I'm sure you know. I don't know if this clay owl is meant to attract others or scare them away!

  4. ps...Greetings from cold cloudy and soon to be wet Somerset!