Today I was joined by Simon Heffer, who is staying in the village with his family for a week, and by Paul my birding pal who lives in the village.
It was a lovely morning, clear blue sky with very little wind and yes, Paul forgot to put his clock back and got up an hour earlier than he needed to!
We drove the short distance up the hill to the chestnut woods about 1km along the Ronda road. It was very quiet and we hardly saw a bean, a Jay, some fly over Wood Pigeons and a single Hawfinch, a couple of Robins were singing, as was a Cirl Bunting. When we got back to the car birds started to appear more frequently: Eurasian Nuthatch (3), Crested Tit (2), Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker (2) and another Jay.
At the river Guadiaro there were many birds in the fields, adjacent to the water, which was in heavy flow after recent rains. Over the next hour we listed: Meadow Pipit, Rock Sparrow, Sardinian Warbler, Cetti's Warbler (heard), Blackcap, Serin, Goldfinch, Crag Martin, Grey Heron, White & Grey Wagtails, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Spotless Starling, Stonechat and some common species.
|Simon and Paul on the Llanos de Libar track|
|Three views of the valley at Llanos de Libar|
As we continued our walk we eventually found our main target bird; RING OUZEL. In fact we found half dozen, a couple of them gave great views, a great result. We returned to the car and sat on a concrete bench to eat our lunch.
|A couple of male Ring Ouzels sub-species Alpestris|
After a short walk in a cork oak forest we took a short coffee break then we headed to Ronda and beyond. Our next stop was about 10km along the Algeciras road back towards Gaucin. It was the Encinas Borraches track, but it has started raining. Boo Hoo! We sat in the car waiting for the rain to ease off then we went for short walk. There was a huge flock of Golfinches (150+), Serin, Greenfinches, Linnets and a few Stonechats, all were in close proximity to the entrance to the track. As we walked on we flushed a Green Sandpiper then we found a small flock of Rock Sparrows, with a couple of Skylarks. A few Thekla Larks we then located before a huge flock of Corn buntings flew over. Our last new species of the visit was Red-billed Chough as 3 flew over us - then the rain increased and we walked quickly back to the car.
As we drove south back to Gaucin the rain cleared and sky cleared to revel sunny spells and warmer air, because of this we decided to have a second walk in the chestnut woods near the village. It was fairly quiet but we did see Firecrest (3) and number of species recorded earlier. We then drove back into the village to conclude the trip.