A trip to see friend Santi.
I set off early heading North via Madrid to Santi's in Santo Domingo de Silos, as I was loading the car I started the day list with a calling Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and a screeching Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus).
I set off along the A92 but driving was not pleasant due to the very thick Sahara dust fog, it was so thick that even the Spanish drivers were nearly all using their fog lights, things didn't get better as I went North from Granada as it didn't really get light until quite late in the morning (around 10.30) due to the dust and a very strong wind which was whipping up the lying dust.
Anyway as I drove I recorded Feral (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia) and Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), a female Hen Harrier (Aguilucho Pálido / Circus cyaneus), a couple of Black Kites (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans) and 10 Great Bustards (Avutarda Común / Otis tarda) in a field along the side of the Motorway.
On my way around Madrid I had the first of quite a few Red Kites (Milano Real / Milvus milvus), the only Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) of the drive and a White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia).
On the drive North to Silos there were a few groups of Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) as well as a single Eurasian Black / Cinereous (Aegypius monachus), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).
Just before I got to Santi's I made a brief stop at La Yecla gorge where I saw many more Griffon Vutlures, a single Egyptian Vulture (Alimoche Común / Neophron percnopterus) which was a nice year tick, Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Crested (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus) and Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and lots of Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris).
After just a short stop I continued on to Santi's and got the car unpacked and settled in for the next few days.