John and Jenny Wainwright remained "Down South" and extra night so were able to make their way along that awful track above Algeciras to the the Algorrobo raptor watch point and in time to see the build up of birds waiting to make the short crossing to Africa. Fortunately, the wind had died down and, in addition to John's report below, I have just received an email form friend Andy Paterson to report the total numbers crossing yesterday to be 1600+ Booted Eagles and no less than 29,995 Honey Buzzards. (Shame that the MIGRES recorders could not have found the extra five birds!) Funny, everybody, including my Belgian friend Marieke, always keeps reminding me that 3 September is THE day for the Honey Buzzard migration.
Wind speed down drastically today, but still very humid
We left the hotel for Algorrobo viewpoint and arrived at about 9am, and already there were ten Migres persons there at the time and the skies were filling up with birds.
No sooner than we had set up when a huge swathe of Black Kites and Honey Buzzards came into view, but very high up. This was followed by Short-toed Eagles, then Egyptian and Griffon Vultures. Small flocks of Pallid and Common Swifts came over no more than 50metres off the ground as did good numbers of Barn Swallows and House Martins, then a group of Bee-eaters did the same.
|Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)|
Next in line came an assorted group of Booted Eagles, Egyptian Vultures and Short-toed Eagles.
A lull in the movement gave us time to look in the bushes and trees here where we located Spotted Flycatchers, a Dartford Warbler, Chaffinches, Linnets, Goldfinches, Great Tits, Crested Larks, Chiffchaffs and three Sardinian Warblers.
|Booted Eagle Hieraaetus pennatus (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)|
On the way home we noted a single Short-toed Eagle perched on a pylon, a Black Kite crossed over the autovia as did two Common Kestrels nearing the end of our journey.
A good time but pity about the strong winds at times, although Tarifa is renowned for them, I must admit, and thank you Frank for organising the trip.
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