We'd noticed a scrubby area over the back fence and with a decent flock of sparrows we decided to check it out. One of the first birds we saw in the sparrow flock was a male Spanish Sparrow - a lifer we'd really hoped to get on the trip. We spent a while watching the group which in the end contained 5+ males and probably a similar number of females.
We moved to the next bushes and I saw a bird perched on the edge. Raising the bins we were pleased to see a female Masked Shrike, another new one for us. Other sightings in the area just over our back fence included a pair of Cyprus Wheatears, Sardinian Warblers, Fan-tailed Warblers, Crested Larks and a Hoopoe.
Later in the afternoon, a Black Francolin started calling from the field behind the villa, and we decided to check it out. We followed a small track up into the field and two Francolins were calling, one from just a few metres away, and despite the close range seemed impossible to get a view of. Eventually, my dad managed to pick it up in the field margin, although it quickly vanished again. He headed back inside, while I stayed on the track a bit longer. It reappeared and showed really well, without disappearing.
In the evening a steady passage of Swallows took place overhead, and a group of 40+ Red-rumped Swallows were great to see.
|Black Francolin and recording below|