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Old Friday 28th July 2017, 13:52   #776
Alf King
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Can anyone provide an update on access to the Cazalla watchpoint this year?
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Old Friday 28th July 2017, 21:39   #777
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Can anyone provide an update on access to the Cazalla watchpoint this year?
There should be no problems since they've constructed a purpose built slip road to the watchpoint.
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Old Friday 28th July 2017, 22:31   #778
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This is the new access, photo from May 2016. The exit towards Tarifa is equally luxurious.
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Old Saturday 29th July 2017, 16:14   #779
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Can anyone provide an update on access to the Cazalla watchpoint this year?
Dear Alf, you won't have any trouble to access Cazalla viewpoint AS LONG AS you drive in the direction from Algeciras to Tarifa.
Enjoy the high numbers of storks and black kites at the moment!
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Old Tuesday 1st August 2017, 12:18   #780
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Thanks all. We come from the Barbate direction ( I've done it many times before) so go along to the Estrecho mirador to turn around and avoid the attentions of the police.

Has the parking situation at Cazalla been affected at all and is access available at all times?
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Old Tuesday 1st August 2017, 20:41   #781
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The car parking is the same as before Alf, nominally plenty of space, but with the new access it attracts more casual visitors, so it can get a bit tight.
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Old Wednesday 2nd August 2017, 16:13   #782
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The car parking is the same as before Alf, nominally plenty of space, but with the new access it attracts more casual visitors, so it can get a bit tight.
Thanks BW. I guess that I'll just have to get there before the mob.
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Old Wednesday 2nd August 2017, 17:05   #783
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Thanks BW. I guess that I'll just have to get there before the mob.
Don't worry, Alf, I hear Don Corleone has given up birding these days ;-)
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Old Tuesday 12th September 2017, 23:04   #784
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A male pallid harrier flew across the front of my car at La Janda this afternoon. Sadly, instead of hunting the rice field to my left it kept on going towards the N340.

Shortly after that a red kite was turning over the ridge above the cattle farm. I think that's the first red kite I've seen at La Janda. They are common further north around Santa Maria, Trebujena etc, but they don't often turn up nearer the Strait.

After over two years and four trips without a new bird for my Spain list apart from hawfinch in spring 2016, I got two in two days. Today's harrier and an elegant tern (lifer) at Montijo on Rio Guadalquivir yesterday.
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Old Thursday 14th September 2017, 07:22   #785
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Migrant movement

I cannot see any posts re this Autumns movements around Tarifa? Is nobody posting or is it a glitch with birdforum? I am in Tarifa again for a few days, away for a couple then back again - ystda was a very windy Levanter but calm today. There is usually stuff posted so i am a bit surprised.....

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Old Thursday 14th September 2017, 08:58   #786
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Fundacion Migres, never previously very good at disseminating information, has been tweeting totals (often retweeted by 'Inglorious Bustards) passing over Cazalla this autumn.
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Old Thursday 14th September 2017, 09:00   #787
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Having been in an atrocious, undrivable condition earlier this autumn, the track up to Algorrabo has recently been repaired and is now negotiable in a normal car.
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Old Thursday 14th September 2017, 09:00   #788
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you lucky people!
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Old Thursday 14th September 2017, 23:39   #789
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Fundacion Migres, never previously very good at disseminating information, has been tweeting totals (often retweeted by 'Inglorious Bustards) passing over Cazalla this autumn.
If that's the same figures as they are posting on Facebook, John it's the combined weekly totals of Cazalla and Algarrobo added together.

It's useful, but not as useful to visitors on the Strait as the daily charts that were pinned up at Cazalla by the Migres staff last year, which showed the individual counts for the two observatories. The showed that more honeys moved through Algarrobo in the ratio of about 5 to 1 iirc, but that Cazalla swept the board with white storks to the almost exclusion of Cazalla and that the majority of black kites and Egyptian vultures took the Cazalla exit. They also showed the massive fluctuation in daily egress numbers, dependent on weather conditions, something that the weekly records can't do. I posted something to this effect on the Migres Facebook page last week, but so far no reply.
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Old Wednesday 20th September 2017, 20:07   #790
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Here’s last weeks totals for Cazalla and Algarobo
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Old Wednesday 20th September 2017, 20:31   #791
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Good selection there. 12 Ruppell's is good news. Lesser Spotted Eagle - not a satellite tagged one? Would make interesting tracking.
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 08:14   #792
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12 Ruppell's is good news.
Maybe I am wrong, but I think it is 12 sightings, not actually 12 individuals - I was there a week or two back and Griffon Vultures were not migrating, but drifting about, the Ruppell's with them some days as I understood. Don't know how many individuals.
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 09:19   #793
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Maybe I am wrong, but I think it is 12 sightings, not actually 12 individuals - I was there a week or two back and Griffon Vultures were not migrating, but drifting about, the Ruppell's with them some days as I understood. Don't know how many individuals.
Hmmm... It does say birds migrating through at the top of the page, but I suppose birds could circle back and end up being recounted. I've always found the Spanish (and other Nationalities) doing the counts to be pretty accurate.
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 09:40   #794
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Hmmm... It does say birds migrating through at the top of the page, but I suppose birds could circle back and end up being recounted. I've always found the Spanish (and other Nationalities) doing the counts to be pretty accurate.
Maybe, I was not intending to doubt their accuracy, but certainly the day a Ruppell's appeared when i was there, the guys doing the counts very nicely pointed it out to the observers present (and I presume logged it), but the bird drifted in from the north-east, circled around a while with a bunch of Griffons, then drifted back the same way. As said, maybe I am wrong - perhaps other days, the vultures were actually migrating and it is only these that they logged.
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Old Thursday 21st September 2017, 10:25   #795
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Hmmm... It does say birds migrating through at the top of the page, but I suppose birds could circle back and end up being recounted. I've always found the Spanish (and other Nationalities) doing the counts to be pretty accurate.
I was there for my normal three week autumn visit until last Saturday (16th). Those figures confirm my feeling on the ground that last week was very quiet with 16,500 birds, even quieter than the 27,000 of the week before that. My first week there were 58,000 through (32,000 honeys) and photographing them on 2nd and 3rd September in a brisk easterly was like playing Space Invaders. The week before I arrived it was 38,000.

They normally do just count the migrating birds as they pass the observatories on their way out, but they also include unusual sightings of birds which aren't migrating, such as Ruppell's vultures if they meander through. I've seen several Ruppell's in recent years at both Cazalla and Algarrobo. They cause a bit of excitement and they go on the count, but everyone involved knows the score. The griffons don't really migrate until October/November although there are exceptions and they return in early May.

When I was there this spring I chose the wrong day to go to Bonanza. In light westerlies I'd been spending time at Punta Carnero photographing honeys and griffons as they came in. On the day I went to Bonanza having been at Punta Carnero on the day before and the day after, no fewer than four different Ruppells were recorded between 11.00 and 14.00 making landfall there. Sod's Law. I don't remember any others were reported that fortnight I was there.

Sod's Law operated again last week on the 13th and 14th. On the 13th I was on the Guadalmesi road when a local bird guide told me that he'd just had a spotted eagle on the road a bit to the east. It must have come over the top of me, but I was otherwise occupied with a young griffon that landed shagged out by the wind within 20m of me and spent the next 55 minutes sheltering next to my car. He said the eagle didn't seem to be migrating, but rather drifting about. That was presumably the one recorded that day at Algarrobo a few miles east, although there was some confusion about its identity at Algarrobo. Next morning when I was there I was told by one person that it was lesser spotted and by another that it was in fact greater spotted. Anybody's guess now..

It operated again the next day on the 14th. After being at Algarrobo all morning I decided to give La Janda another try in the early afternoon. I left a mate, Iain behind at Algarrobo. I'd been at La Janda less than 5 minutes and was just starting the central track when my phone pinged. I half-jokingly said to my wife 'That'll be Iain telling me they've had that spotted eagle at Algarrobo'. I opened the text. It was from Iain. It said 'Spotted Eagle through'.

A few years ago (2011 iirc) Javi Elorriaga and others did a census of Ruppell's in the vicinity of the Strait based on plumage patterns, broken feathers etc on photographs of the birds seen in the area in 2010. One of the photos was mine (below). They concluded that there were 12 individuals.

Also a pic of my griffon as it stood 3.5m away from me.
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Old Tuesday 26th September 2017, 08:15   #796
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Spent 7/days around Tarifa this year (3 & 4) with walks to Trafico and when breezy down on some rocks in the lowerr valley at La Dovellas. Whether it was the combination of both Westerly, Levanter and still days it produced the lowest numbers of passage raptors, for me, in 5 years of viewing. Inam only on foot so never go to Cazella. The usual close views were obtained but peak numbers were in the sub <500 count rather than previous years of several thousand. Migration is not an exact science if it was it would be boring. I saw only 1 White and 2 Black Storks plus only a solitary Harrier, a darkish Monty - altogether a mixed visit. A Ruppell’s in with the Griffons was a welcome sight my last being over 40years ago in Kenya.

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Old Tuesday 26th September 2017, 08:30   #797
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In addition to other peoples thoughts i had a couple of good days as far as Vultures were concerned including 30+ Egyptian and parties of Griffons but i only noted the Gypo’s actually crossing to Tangier...
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Old Tuesday 26th September 2017, 11:48   #798
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I thought too that after a busy weekend on 2nd/3rd September that migration seemed to fizzle out. I noticed in my last week to 16th September it was particularly quiet and that black kites were almost absent. I do know that large numbers of them crossed in August, but they were well down on previous years in those first couple of weeks in September. It would be interesting to compare the total passage of kites with other years to se if it was just a temporal displacement, or if the numbers were actually lower. I'm used to seeing them milling around Tarifa and the Santuario valley in September, waiting for an opportunity to go, but this year it just didn't happen.

Egyptian vultures are right on their passage time and I saw them going through in groups. Griffons migrate later. October to November is their main passage period and the ones we see in September tend to be the local birds having a prowl. EDIT Not all, hough. A few will be moving.

The white storks were almost gone by the time we left. There were still a few at La Janda, but great clouds of them were moving out earlier in our trip and even more before we arrived.

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Old Thursday 5th October 2017, 00:33   #799
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Tarifa Migration

I have just returned from Tarifa after 8 days spent mainly watching the raptor migration, but also two great days out with Javi Elloriaga of "Birding the Strait" and was lucky enough to have had two of those days with brilliant migration, with really good numbers of Short-toed and Booted Eagles and a few Bonelli's, with over 900 of the former in just an hour & a half one day. With very strong winds (25+mph) for three days there was little or no migration. We spent time at Cazalla and Migres and another watch point.
My totals for 6 days were;- White Stork exceeding 2,000, Black Stork 235, Red Rumped Swallow 450+; Alpine Swift 150+; Short-Toed Eagle 2,250+; Booted Eagle 550+, Bonelli's Eagle 23.
We also saw a Ruppel's Vulture (not migrating), A Black Vulture, Goshawk, a few Black Kite, Long Legged Buzzard, Great Spotted and Lesser Spotted Eagle, Little Swifts and Blue throat, plus a lot of other superb birds.
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Old Thursday 5th October 2017, 12:10   #800
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I have just returned from Tarifa after 8 days spent mainly watching the raptor migration, but also two great days out with Javi Elloriaga of "Birding the Strait" and was lucky enough to have had two of those days with brilliant migration, with really good numbers of Short-toed and Booted Eagles and a few Bonelli's, with over 900 of the former in just an hour & a half one day. With very strong winds (25+mph) for three days there was little or no migration. We spent time at Cazalla and Migres and another watch point.
My totals for 6 days were;- White Stork exceeding 2,000, Black Stork 235, Red Rumped Swallow 450+; Alpine Swift 150+; Short-Toed Eagle 2,250+; Booted Eagle 550+, Bonelli's Eagle 23.
We also saw a Ruppel's Vulture (not migrating), A Black Vulture, Goshawk, a few Black Kite, Long Legged Buzzard, Great Spotted and Lesser Spotted Eagle, Little Swifts and Blue throat, plus a lot of other superb birds.
Great bloke, Javi.
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