A very busy day today in 3 stages - 1. a 2 hour walk 8am - 10am below the village 2. Afternoon by the river 3pm - 6pm and 3. A sunset walk to a mountain peak above Benalauria 7 - 10pm
At 8am I set off alone to walk down the track into the Genal Valley below the village. It was a beautiful sunny morning with a nice cooling breeze. The best of my sightings were: 50+ European Bea-eaters (one flock of 37 on the wires near the Camino Gibraltar), 3 Golden Orioles, Iberian Green Woodpecker, Booted Eagle and lots of common species.
freshly cut cork from the oak trees
Common Goldenring (Cordulegaster boltonii)
At 3pm just after a late lunch Dawn, Sophie and John joined me for our afternoon chill-session at the river where we sat beneath my favourite tree and watched the world drift by. Small flocks of Rock Sparrows came to drink with Serin, Goldfinch, Cirl Bunting and Greenfinch. A Cetti's Warbler was very noisy as were a pair of Little Ringed Plover as they chased one another around. During the course of the afternoon we talked, walked a little, slept a lot (me) and read some.
At 6pm we drove into the village of Estacion Cortes for a quick cuppa before driving up the hill to Algatocin to meet a few more friends at 7pm. John and Mary, Alice and Jim and their son Ben arrived on time and so we set off in 3 cars to climb a very steep track to the mountain peaks. At the top Jim got a puncture so we were delayed by 30 minutes whilst, first we tried ro repair it, without success, and then second we resorted to changing the wheel.
The climb to the top of the mountain ridge was tough-going in places, the limestone hard been weathered into hundreds of very sharp shards with all sorts of nooks, crannies and holes in which you could twist an ankle. We all arrived at the top safely where the views were absolutely stunning.
The climb over the 'sharp and angled' limestone
We ate our picnic on a flat clearing as we watched a most beautiful and colourful sunset, it was magical. A few Alpine Swifts and Crag Martins flew below us!! I also saw Black Wheatear, Common Kestrel and a distant eagle sp.
Now we had to descend in semi-darkness a little bit daunting but we all made it down safely. To celebrate we all drove back to Gaucin and had a nice cold drink at our local bar, we talked until midnight before retiring after a long day.