MARCHENILLA TRACK - RIO HOZGARGANTE
WEATHER: ALL DAY SUNSHINE, LIGHT WINDS, TOP TEMP 25C
Today I collected Michael, Ingrid and Sarah from the centre of town at 8am. They are from Belgium and are regular visitors to Gaucin. We drove straight down the Guadiaro valley to San Pablo and then onto the Marchenilla Track, we noted large flocks of Starlings on the power lines, a pair of Little Owls on a derelict building and Common Stonechats on the wire fences.
The first part of the track held the usual flocks of sparrows, finches, doves and warblers,I noted an increase in all of them since my last visit. Both Common Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler flitted about in the track-side scrub, feeding on tiny flies attached to the wild fennel, we also noted Blackcap and many Sardinian Warblers.
Two views of the Marchenilla track, above looking up to the top and below looking from the top
As we walked into the open hilly section of the track we saw many Common Stonechats, lots of Crested Larks, a Common Buzzard but no raptors above the hillsides. Further walking produced Corn Buntings and a couple of distant Short-toed Eagles.
Sarah, Michael and Ingrid
At the Rio Hozgargante we stood and watched warblers coming down to the pools to drink and bathe, we also had excellent views of Firecrest and during a walk along the track we added Spotted Flycatcher, Jay, Common Chaffinch, European Robin, House Martin, Barn and Red-rumped Swallows. On the skyline we 'scoped Common Raven and Griffon Vulture and high above us several raptors circled on the thermals, including Honey Buzzard, Griffon Vulture, Short-toed Eagle and we had excellent views of a pale morph Booted Eagle which circled low above us calling all the time.
Our return journey along the Marchenilla Track produced better views of Iberian Grey Shrike, Common Kestrel and both Common and Spotless Starlings. We arrived back in Gaucin at 1pm to complete our planned half-day birding trip.