The last ten days have been pretty tough for migrants arriving in North Africa for their crossing to Europe. Not only had many endured severe wet and cold all the way up the Atlantic coast of Morocco, but were halted, unable to cross The Strait, due to severe gales from a very persistent Levante or easterly wind originating in the Mediterranean. At last, the weather changed and all hell broke loose with thousands of birds pouring across into Spain.
Masses of Booted Eagles came flapping across at the weekend (30th)
Short-toed too arrived here in their hundreds
Making for the Alcornocales forest, a great natural park and home to hundreds of nesting raptors
On the western side of Cadiz province many birds were blown way off course and made landfall near Cadiz. Here a male Montagu's Harrier heads north, keeping along the course of the Guadalquivir river
Vulture activity on the sierras continues with Vultures at a quicker pace as newly hatched Griffon Vultures need to be fed.
Our Egyptian Vultures are back on their nest sites and are sitting on eggs. These are the most southern Egyptian Vulture nesting areas on the mainland of Europe
Woodchat Shrike, is a wonderfully handsome little bird and are always lovely to see returning to breed in this area
The wet weather comes rolling in across The Strait from Morocco and the SW Atlantic Ocean. This shot was taken from Playa de Los Lances near Tarifa
Greater Flamingoes can be seen in massive numbers in Cadiz province. There have been reports of a pair of Lesser Flamingoes across the river on the edge of the Coto Doñana but it's easier to see the Lessers at the lake above Antiquera called Fuente de Piedra in Malaga province. The debate goes on about whether or not they are true vagrants from Africa or if they are escapees from Zoos or private collections. The Sacred Ibis that used to be seen around Cadiz province haven't been seen for a while now.
A Common Shelduck zips past
Squacco Heron looking very spruce in their breeding plumage
and another...Juvenile birds can suffer from colour loss in their feathers when in the sun further south. A lots of them winter in Africa and come back looking a bit bleached. Soon these feathers will moult out and their true sheen will be seen
Greenshanks (centre) with Common Coot and Common Redshank
Waders arriving ahead of the rain, Dunlin, Little Stint Common Snipe and Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwits all came in with a sprinkling of rarer waders
Black-winged Stilt, common but nonetheless beautiful birds
Curlew Sandpipers with some Dunlin