Today was the day we were hoping for yesterday!
The morning was quiet enough, with just the resident pair of hawk-eagles to watch.
But around midday, someone shouted - "They're coming!"
They were too! Like to guess how many birds there are in this photo? Click on it to get a better view. (Answer at the end!)
It felt like an invasion was underway! (Also well worth viewing the enlarged version!) In case anyone thinks I might have 'embellished' these pics with Photoshop - I haven't!
Some of the birds sought thermals over the sea.
On reaching land, they were able to regain height in the hot air rising from the land.
Others came in below or at eye level. So those on duty were kept busy clicking the counters, and I was busy clicking the camera!
This female in wing moult had found the crossing hard going.
As soon as she arrived, she pitched down into the hawk-eagle look-out tree and sat there panting for a while, till getting chased away.
Another exhausted female.
A really stunningly-marked female.
Despite the dusky primary tips, this must be at least one year old as it's in secondary moult. So most likely an adult female.
A couple more females from opposite ends of the shade spectrum.
The two females (right) have very much broader wings than the male on the left. They could be taken for a different species!
Lots more males!
You could see the closer birds checking us out as they went past!
Some males had lilac mauve underparts - quite an amazing colour!
Most males had a variable number of blue-grey wing covert and flight feathers - all very clearly fresh and contrasting with the browner old feathers.
You might think this is a lot of pics, but I think I was quite restrained considering we had 4,700 birds over today!