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Migrants in C Spain + a black buzzard!

John Muddeman
14/03/2009 00:04:50

More migrants are now arriving in C Spain also on the back of the high pressure system

Posted in: Birds | Madrid | Spanish Mainland, Central Spain

With clear day and night skies and soaring temperatures (up to 27ºC in Seville and over 20ºC in the Madrid Province), it's no surprise that many migrants are either reappearing or on the move.

Most notable is the record of 3 Pallid Swifts of the small population in Madrid, seen on 12/03.

Large numbers of Blackcaps, Chaffinches, Meadow Pipits and Linnets also appear to be on the move, and the former are suddenly very vocal.

Update (20 March): Great Spotted Cuckoos are now back in some areas, while a small group of Eurasian Bee-eaters went over the village calling this morning - these being exceptionally early (by approximately 2-3 weeks here).

A dark (blackish) morph buzzard species in El Pardo park on the NW edge of Madrid was seen by two observers last Sunday (15 March; Javier Ortega Pinilla & Mario Rodero). While black forms of this type are seen in both the migratory vulpinus and resident menetreisi subspecies of Common Buzzard and in nominate Long-legged Buzzard, especially in the E of the vulpinus range and in the Middle East for the other two, the appearance of this bird here is very surprising. E.g. there appear to be no records of dark vulpinus even in C Europe (A. Ranner pers. comm.). Even photos on the web of black morph Rough-legged Hawks (the polymorphic N American version of the Rough-legged Buzzard) look worryingly like this bird and it's clearly a very difficult identification issue.

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