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Tuesday 31 January 2017, Gaucin, partly cloudy, light SE wind, 15C

A walk through the mixed woods of La Umbria in lovely afternoon sunshine was a great way to spend a couple of hours; the distant, rhythmic thud of a campesino's hoe cleaving the soil, occasionally punctuated by a metallic 'chink' as iron struck stone, was the only sound other than birdsong (well, there was a particularly noisy podenco dog giving it large at one point but poetic licence and all that.....). The walk produced a good range of typical species for the area including Griffon Vulture, Common Buzzard (heard), Peregrine, Eurasian Jay, Wood Pigeon, Great-spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker (heard), Crag Martin, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Blackbird, European Robin, Eurasian Wren, Black Redstart, Eurasian Nuthatch, Short-toed Treecreeper, Firecrest, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Crested Tit, Sardinian Warbler, Blackcap, Chiffchaff sp., Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch and Cirl Bunting. After seeing just one Dunnock around the village in more than 10 years today I saw my fourth in a couple of weeks with one below the bridge on the Gaucin-Ronda road!

In the village at about 18:00hrs I was surprised by the sight of 2 House Martin circling around over the ferreteria shop - amazing to think that they are back already having only left towards the end of October.

What do you do after a back-breaking algorrobo (carob) harvest? Make a bed of it and have a lie down, of course!

female Black Redstart

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