MONTEJAQUE - LLANOS DE LIBAR
WEATHER: a perfectly still morning, such a contrast to yesterday, the sun rose into a clear orange sky as we left the village and then it turned into a beautiful blue as we entered the mountains.
This was our last day and we only had the morning hours in which to go birding. It took 45 minutes to drive to the 'hidden valley' behind the beautiful white village of Montejaque. The weather was perfect for birding and the birding was perfect for us! We quickly found Blue Rock Thrush, Rock Sparrow and Black Redstart. Many Griffon Vultures drifted over the high peaks in a clear blue sky, the light was magical at this time.
on the track in the Llanos de Libar
As we walked along the track deeper into the Llanos de Libar we made slow progress because bird sightings were so numerous. We added Black Wheatear, Red-billed Chough, Eurasian Sparrowhawk and lots of Linnets, Goldfinches and Stonechats to our list. We spent a good deal of time watching the impressive number of Griffon Vultures and to our great delight we found a Bonelli's Eagle. The eagle showed for a brief time at first but later we had prolonged views.
Not a scene from ET! We were being watched by Spanish Ibex
A watering trough was the centre of our attention for quite a while, both Cirl and Rock Buntings were visiting for a midday drink along with Goldfinches, Black Redstarts, a Grey Wagtail and a Blue Rock Thrush. Many Sardinian Warblers flitted about in the bushes, we saw a couple of Wrens which were the first sightings of this species during this trip!
The Spanish Ibex was another species encountered on the mountain peaks, several fed or sat and watched us. All too soon it was time to walk back to the bus. We had much better sightings of Rock Bunting near the bus and Black Redstarts seemed to be everywhere especially males in their superb summer plumage.
After a nice cooked lunch back at the house and a couple of hours of relaxtion we set off for Malaga Airport leaving Gaucin for the last time. I dropped Les, Carol, Patrick, Peggy, Zowie and David at the airport at 7pm. I returned the bus, picked up my car and drove home alone! Back at Gaucin by 9pm - a cold beer please!!
It had been a great week of relaxed birding with the rarity finds especially exciting. The PALLID HARRIER was voted bird of the week and deservedly so. I personally like waders and to find a PECTORAL SANDPIPER was equally as good for me (this bird had been around for a few days when we 'found' it, but we didn't know of it, so it was truly a find for us).