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Old Wednesday 15th November 2017, 10:29   #801
simple
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We are hoping to disseminate the count information both through Migres and our own social media feeds more regularly but when the count information is required by visiting Birders it is also one of the busiest times for both organisations so please do consider that. However we will discuss the feedback and see if there is another way of presenting the information which maybe more useful this coming year.

Thanks

Simon
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Old Wednesday 15th November 2017, 16:59   #802
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Originally Posted by simple View Post
We are hoping to disseminate the count information both through Migres and our own social media feeds more regularly but when the count information is required by visiting Birders it is also one of the busiest times for both organisations so please do consider that. However we will discuss the feedback and see if there is another way of presenting the information which maybe more useful this coming year.

Thanks

Simon
Thanks Simon.

Just to elaborate what I was getting at in one of the posts I made while I was over there in September, this is the information that was presented last year on a daily basis at Cazalla, covering movement counts from there and Algarrobo on the preceding day.

It is excellent information, well presented, and importantly for the hard-worked staff, easily presented as a pro-forma poster.

It provides not only the individual daily species counts, but it highlights the differences in the numbers of species to be seen at each of the observatories. Algarrobo is undoubtedly better for honeys in volume, but they tend to be flying lower at Cazalla, so better prospects for visiting photographers. Cazalla on the other hand consistently produces the higher numbers of black kites, Egyptian vultures and white storks.

It also highlights the fact that every day is different and weather dependent.

I've posted photos below of 5 days' records to illustrate my point.

The first, 28th August, was a 'Big Day' with huge numbers of all sorts passing through after being bottled up by several days of Levanter. over 20,000 birds through Cazalla, half of them white storks while of the 7,779 birds through Algarrobo there were no white storks at all.

A few days later, 3rd September was another period of Levanter and on this 2nd day of it there was little movement apart from Honey Buzzards, which because they don't seem to give a stuff, just kept on going. 5827 birds through Cazalla, but 73% of them were honeys. More spectacularly, of the 16,313 though Algarrobo 81% were honeys.

6th September was a funny one, more honeys by a large margin at Cazalla than at Algarrobo, but the figures for Algarrobo that day were very low for everything. The monitors there must have been bored out of their skulls. Almost 20,000 birds at Cazalla (66% honeys) and only 1,300 birds at Algarrobo.

Next day, 7th September was very different. 5,864 through Cazalla and 5,105 at Algarrobo. This illustrated the daily variations.

A week later, 13th September, 2998 birds at Cazalla (only 175 honeys), 4676 at Algarrobo (1681 honeys). Two days later the figures were lower again, only 661 birds through Cazalla and 408 at Algarrobo.

The weekly counts published this year are fine, but these daily counts are so much more useful for the visiting birder on the ground.

Alan.
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Old Monday 27th November 2017, 10:00   #803
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More car hire blues. It's getting to be an annual event.

After my experience last year when Marbesol took 20 euros from my card for 'extra cleaning' of a clean car, which I reported to the hire agency and to Mastercard, I removed that company from my 'approved' list. I had a trouble-free hire in spring 2017, using Firefly and I expected more of the same in the autumn, although with a different well-known company.

Not so. I hired my car as normal through the usual agency, picked it up at Malaga airport on 26th September, paying roughly £227 for the hire, handling fees and an overpriced tank of fuel with a fuel policy of a refund for any fuel left in the tank at the end.

I returned the car in a clean condition (plenty of photos) three weeks later on 16th September, let the hire company rep check it over, gave him the keys and after asking him if the car was OK (Yes it was) we walked off to the check-in without more ado. Job done.

Or so I thought.

26th September I received my Mastercard statement and was surprised to see a further deduction of almost £80 including a non-stirling transaction fee taken on the 18th, after I was back in the UK. I immediately reported this to the hire agency and asked for an explanation of what I considered to be an unauthorised withdrawal. It took them a month to respond. On 24th October I got a one-liner to say that a breakdown of the invoice would be with me 'shortly'.

18th November, still no invoice, so I sent them an email asking for progress within 7 days. No response.

It's now 9 days, so I've reported it to Mastercard, who inform me that the transaction shows up on their records as a 'card present' transaction that took place on the 17th September. The person I spoke to on the phone seemed to have some difficulty comprehending that this would have been rather difficult, since the only time that my card was in their hands was when I paid for the car on 26th August. They were not given my card at all when I returned the car on 16th September and by the time this 'card present' transaction took place on 17th September I was back with my family in the UK and nowhere near a Spanish car hire desk.

I eventually, after much arguing got him to take it up as a complaint against the car hire company.

I'm not going to name the company involved, but I have seen reports in the British press recently to say that they are notorious for this sort of thing. I'll be staying away from them in future.
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Old Monday 27th November 2017, 10:33   #804
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More car hire blues. It's getting to be an annual event...
Spain is so bad for this. I rented from Sixt this September, and also got an unexpected additional payment charged to my card.

However, Sixt were fairly good with replying and after they explained it was for airport surcharge (which was included on my voucher) and for personal insurance (which I didn't have), credit to them, they promptly apologized and actually refunded all excess charges, which included zero excess charge which I had agreed to.

I have used Sixt on quite a number of occasions in Spain and, this little incident aside, I personally have found them far more honest than many of the companies that regularly seem to scam clients.
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Old Monday 27th November 2017, 10:34   #805
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I'm not going to name the company involved, but I have seen reports in the British press recently to say that they are notorious for this sort of thing. I'll be staying away from them in future.
Perhaps it is worth naming, to warn the rest of us?
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Old Monday 27th November 2017, 10:46   #806
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Perhaps it is worth naming, to warn the rest of us?
As the complaint is on-going Jos and I'm still to receive an explanation I'll leave them anonymous for the time being. They do appear to be well-known in various reports, though I've personally not had trouble with them in the past.
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Old Wednesday 29th November 2017, 13:54   #807
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I visit Spain many times each year. I have tried most rental firms and the pick up full return empty policies are all a rip off. I now pay slightly more and use Avis. I have registered with their preferred scheme and get a free up grade and extra driver. All your details are on their system and the paperwork is all there ready when you arrive. Two signatures and you are on your way. No hassle or pressure to take out extra insurance and the agent now recognises me and couldn't be more pleasant.
I know exactly what I am paying and to me it's worth a few quid more for peace of mind as a bust up at the beginning or end of a holiday ruins the trip
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