Monday, 6 July 2020

Realenga de Acicampe, Grananada Province, Spain.

Fire on the hill side nearby.

Into the smoke.
This mornings task was to sort out the bottom accommodation which I am pleased to say did not take too long. Bit of filler and a swip of paint, a wipe and mop and it was done by lunch time. 
Heavy lifter.
At around 12.00 I notice a small aircraft and then a large plum of smoke over the next nearby ridge, as the afternoon went on the fire grew as did the number fire fighters.
Bombing the target.
I walked up the hill and watched from there as 3 Helicopters and 2 fixed winged aircraft tackled the fire and then 6 or so Bombero Local in Loja and Bombero Forestal Trucks came to do the hard ground work. 
Going back to fill up again and again.
I am now righting this at 18.30 and I am still hearing planes but looks as if it almost out. Very lucky that there was not a breath of wind today so the fire was slow moving up the hillside.
One of the fixed wings after dropping a long red line of fire retardent.
On the far side of the fire.
In bound with another load fron the Rio Genil.

Sunday, 5 July 2020

Realenga de Agicampe, Granada Province, Spain.

Getting the house back in shape.

Ready for some birding.
Yesterday I got one of my favourate places sorted, the terrace where I have masses of memories. So it was good to spend some time up there birding but today it was back to work as the bottom room and lower terrace were swamped by weeds and Perriwinkle. Some shots of the upper terrace and the temp.
The Ikea Corner.
Later in the day I went for a walk around the loop of Huétor Tajar and to get my steps in a short spur off up the Loja road. On the way round I had Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) 200+, the escaped collection Barnical Goose (Barnacla Cariblanca / Branta leucopsis), other feral Geese and Ducks, House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).
Many a good meal been had here.
Along the Loja road amongst the Asparagus fields I heard a Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) and watched a hawking Red-necked Nightjar (Chotacabras Cuellirrojo / Caprimulgus ruficollis) in the very last of the light as I sat on a bench.
The front Yard.
Tad Warm.

Saturday, 4 July 2020

Realenga de Agicampe, Granada Province, Spain.

A day working and relaxing up on the Terrace.

Up at 06.30 as awake before the alarm so I thought that I may as well start whilst it was cool so I went up on to the terrace. I got the clean underway with a male Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) singing just up the Valley and down in the barranco and amongst the Olives there was a male Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), lots of Iberian  Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur).
I finished the terrace faster than expected so I popped down to the town to collect a couple more irrigation parts and then came back quickly, on the way there and back I saw Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and a roosting Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) which was sat on a telegraph pole along the lane back to the house.
Once back I spent a couple of hours sat up on the terrace adding Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), a distant Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) over the Olives along with several Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and a couple of Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica).
I went inside and did a few more jobs before returning to the Terrace again but only new species was a group of Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) flying down towards the fields. During the afternoon I also had Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra), Small White (Pieris rapae), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Tree Grayling (Neohipparchia statilinus), Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi), Moorish Gecko (Tarentola mauritanica) and a young Rabbit (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus). 

Friday, 3 July 2020

Realenga de Agicampe, Granada Province, Spain.

A few garden birds whilst sorting the yard.

Up at 07.00 again and out sorting the front of the house and later the roof terrace, whilst I was out I heard and saw Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and during the early evening a male Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) which was singing from the Fig tree by the back door.
As the evening went on I set up the Moth Trap and spent a while listening to a calling Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and Red-necked Nightjar (Chotacabras Cuellirrojo / Caprimulgus ruficollis).
During the day I also had some butteflies in the yard at the front of the house whilst I was sorting all the pots including Geranium Bronze (Cacyreus marshalli), Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra) and Small White (Pieris rapae).

Realenga de Agicampe, Granada Province, Spain.

Cleaning the house followed by a night time walk.

After my first night back in the house in Spain I got up at 07.00 and threw myself straight into getting things sorted inside the house which took me most of the day so I did not see anything out side. Late in the evening I went for a walk up the hill and along the lane but all I added was a calling Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) away down the hill in the dark.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Malaga, Travelling Back Home to Spain.

A day of mixed emotions.

Today and the few days running up to it were always going to be difficult as I was going to be leaving all the people who, even though they were going throught the same thing as me and some even more kept me saine after what had been a very difficult 2 years. Can't thank Jayne's and My family enough but it was now time to head back home and start to sort out things at the Spanish end, which was going to have a whole load more emotions to cope with.
The flight was around three quarters full and went off with out event, as did the bus into Malaga station where I had a two hour wait until the next train up to Loja, during this time I saw Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus) x8, Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) x2.
Once I was back at the house I started to get sorted and heard the first European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) flying over and several Iberian  Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) as they plundered the Fig trees.
Later I went for a walk and had a later night fly over by a Red-necked Nightjar (Chotacabras Cuellirrojo / Caprimulgus ruficollis) and heard a Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) out in the Olives.

Monday, 29 June 2020

Belvide Res, Staffordshire and Green Lane, Albrighton, Shropshire.

A very nice evening with very good friends and some good birding.

Blackcaps (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla).
I arrived at the car park where there were quite a few cars and birders already looking for the 2nd summer Laughing Gull (Gaviota Guanaguanare / Larus atricilla) which was found the day before by Steve Nutall @belvidebirding
Blackcaps (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla).
I arrived about 10 minutes ahead of Sharon and John so I took a slow walk out towards the Gazibo Hide, on the way I watched hundreds of Common Swifts (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), Greylag (Ansar Común / Anser anser) and Canada Geese (Barnacla Canadiense /Branta canadensis), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Common Tern (Charrán Común / Sterna hirudo).
Blackcaps (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla).
I spent some time checking the bushes aon the way as well hearing and seeing Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis)  Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Long-tailed (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Sedge Warbler (Carricerin Común / Acrocephalus schoenobaenus), Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and a family of Blackcaps (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), the 4 juv's stayed on a branch in a rose bush long enough for me to take a few photo's.
Laughing Gull (Gaviota Guanaguanare / Larus atricilla).
Just at this point Sharon and John turned up and after looking at the Blackcaps we walked down to the Gazibo hide where we had a look for the Gull but could not see it, however we did find Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Tufted Duck (Porrón Monudo / Aythya fuligula) and over on the far shore a single Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus).
Laughing Gull (Gaviota Guanaguanare / Larus atricilla).
We moved on around towards the West hide as the bird was meant to have move but just a few yards along the track we found some birders who were watching it so we had good views but the light was bad so my photographs are rubbish. 
Laughing Gull (Gaviota Guanaguanare / Larus atricilla).
After watching the bird for a good while we went back to the Hide for a coffee and a chat but also had good views of the Laughing Gull again in flight. Other species seen included Goldeneye (Porrón Osculado /Bucephala clangula), Pied Oystercatcher (Ostrero Euroasiatico / Haematopus ostralegus), Pheasant (Faisán Vulgar / Phaisanus colchicus), Stock Dove (Paloma Zurita / Columba oenas), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Dunnock (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis), Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and as we walked down to the Spill Way Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major) which was heard calling in the woods.
Laughing Gull (Gaviota Guanaguanare / Larus atricilla).
We returned to John and Sharons car where John cracked open a couple of bottles of Beer, the one Shropshire Lad was nice but the second a Ruby beer was not to my taste but it was nice to just stand and chat for a while and whilst we did a Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) few into a field on the other side of the road.
Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus).
We went to a second site back in the village of Albrighton, we stopped at the end of Green Lane and walked up to the other end, on the way I pointed out the Territories of the Corn Buntings (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) I had been seeing and quite unexpectidly the pair right at the furtherst point showed very well for us. As we walked we also saw Yellowhammer (Escribano Cerillo / Emberiza citronella), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus).
Stock Dove (Paloma Zurita / Columba oenas).
We had a walk across the fields to the Irrigation lake and recorded Great Crested and Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Mallard, Eurasian Coot but nothing else so we retraced our step back to the car again seeing the Corn Buntings on the way. Once at the car John and Sharon headed back and I went back to the house after a really good evening in good company.
Stock Dove (Paloma Zurita / Columba oenas).

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Rutland Water, Rutland.

A few hours with my Son, Becky and my two Grandkids.

I caught the train over to Oakham where I met Alan, Becky, Ryan and Zach at Rutland water were we had a nice Picnic and then spent the next few hours having a great time entertaining Ryan and Zach or more so Ryan, it was great.
Whilst walking round I did see a couple of Red Kites (Milano Real / Milvus milvus) and a very smart Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).
Been a very long time since I did this.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Humphreston Farm area, Alrighton, Shropshire.

Out for a walk with Harry.

On the edge of the Shower.
A couple of shot from the walk with Harry tonight whilst dodging the showers, mostly successfully.
5 minutes later.
Harry's bad hair day whilst drying out.

Monday, 22 June 2020

Priorslee Lake, Telford, Shropshire.

A couple of hours out of the village birding.

Mute Swans (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor) the hole Family.
It was great to get out of the village area for a couple of hours this morning and to do a loop of the lake just off junction 4 of the M54. I walked clockwise round from the layby at the Western end, I crossed the grass area and out to the track by the water and had my first scan of the area and as expected it was quiet. 
Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor) the Male.
I found a pair of Mute Swans (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor) with 5 cignets, good numbers of Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), at least 4 Great Crested Grebes (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) but nothing else out on the water. Along the margins there was a single Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), several Common Moorhens (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and out on the grass and in the bushes Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Common Starling (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulgaris), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and down under ther trees along the motorway 3 Jays (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius).
Mute Swan (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor) the Female.
I walked throught the first area of bushes out into the grassy area with a few Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) bushes and area of scrub with lots of Blackthrorn (Prunus spinosa) mixed in with the Hawthorns
Mute Swans (Cisne Vulgar / Cygnus olor) the Kids.
In the same area I found hundreds of adult and freshly emerged Common Blue Damselflies (Enallagma cyathinerum) as well as 20+ Common Bluetail ( Ischnura elegans), 10+ Red-eyed Damselfly (Erythromma najas) as well as a few Small Whites (Pieris rapae), Small Tortoiseshells (Aglais urticae) and a couple of Ringlets (Aphantopus hyperantus).
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum) Male.
There were also a few plants of the uncommon but rather dangerous Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) and quite a nice show of a couple of dozen Common Spotted Orchids (Dactylorhiza fuchsii) most of which were standard looking plants but there were a few which were purpler and possibly have a tad of a Marsh Orchid in them somewhere.
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum) Female.
In the reedmace along the margin I heard and saw several Reed Warblers (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), a fine looking Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus) which sang for ages but it took me ages to actually see it.
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum) Mating pair.
In the bushes I added Common Whitethroat (Curruca Zarcera / Sylvia communis), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) as I was about to move on further around towards the Boat launching area a Common Tern (Charrán Común / Sterna hirudo) flew in from the west and continued on straight out to the East.
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum) emerging insect.
Around by the boat launch they were getting ready to take the kids out sailing so it was a bit noisy but I did find Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and lots more Common Spotted Orchids.
Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum).
Along the path way towards the village I started to find a few woodland species including family parties of both Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), a pair of Bullfinches (Camachuelo Común / Pyrrhula pyrrhula), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and a noisy singing Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes),
Common Spotted Orchids (Dactylorhiza fuchsii).
Common Spotted Orchids (Dactylorhiza fuchsii).
I turned along the track down the Northern edge of the lake and in the first cleaing had a very smart Comma (Polygonum c-album) butterfly as well as a Large Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus), Red-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) and a singing Garden Warbler (Curruca Mosquitera / Sylvia borin).
Common Spotted Orchids (Dactylorhiza fuchsii) or Hybrid with Marsh Orchid species.
I continued on along the Northern shore and added  Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) and  Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Dunnock (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Treecreeper (Agateador Norteño / Certhia familiaris) and Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria).
Comma (Polygonum c-album).
I turned right at the end of the Northern edge of the pool and walked back across the dam and on to the Southern side again, on the way seeing more Reed Warblers, the Mute Swan family, Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and 5 Rooks (Graja /  Corvus frugilegus) which flew in towards the lake from the fields but turned around before arriving.
Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris).
I walked back to the area of grassland on the western side of the lake but it was not as quiet as there was a prat encouraging his dogs to swim after the ducks and grebes and then photographing them, unfortunately he saw nothing wrong with it but after giving me a barrage of foul mouthed abuse he went back over onto Priorslee.
Large Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus).
I continued looking for insects and on dry land I soon found Thick-legged Flower Beetle (Oedemera nobilis), Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris), Common Carder Bee (Bombus pascuorum), Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) and out over the water a female Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) as well as both male and female Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator) but the female stayed way out on the floating reeds and avoided the camera.
Thick-legged Flower Beetle (Oedemera nobilis).
On the water after the pillock with the dogs had gone and the birds settled back down a family of Eurasian Coots came out and started to feed on the floating weed where the Red-eyed Daselflies were chasing each other around.
Common Carder Bee (Bombus pascuorum).
One of the Blue Damsels out on the water sat for long enough for me to see it was a male Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella) which was mixed in with the much more abundant Common Blue Damsels.
Just before I got my lift back to the Village with Julia I added Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) and on one of the light at the layby a Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto).
Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus).
Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus).
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta).
Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra).
Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra).
Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus).

Saturday, 13 June 2020

Around the Albrighton area.

Just a few Photo's.

Not much done but here are a few shots from the week in Shropshire UK. Now looking forward to getting back to the Spanish Wildlife.
Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae).
Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria).
Yellowhammer (Escribano Cerillo / Emberiza citronella).
Yellowhammer (Escribano Cerillo / Emberiza citronella).
Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium).
Hoverfly Species.
Scorpion Fly (Panorpa communis).

Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris).

Early Bumblebee (Bombus pratorum).

Early Bumblebee (Bombus pratorum).

Hoverfly / Dronefly Species.

Friday, 5 June 2020

Humphreston Farm Area, Albrighton, Shropshire.

A walk with Harry trying but failing to dodge the rain.

Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria).
I got up this morning hoping for a desent day as I was planning to get on the Bike again and meet friends John and Sharon at Belvide Res but after seeing the rain I messaged John to say I would not be going. As sorry as I was not to meet up with them I am glad I did not go as I would have got well and truely soaked and probably blown off the bake on the way back.
I stayed in for the morning but after lunch the showers became less frequent so I took Harry out for a walk but the further we went the stronger the wind got so I did not really see very much of interest. 
Here are a few shots from the walk.
Tree Bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum).
Ravens (Cuervo / Corvus corax).
Hoverfly species.
Fungi up an Oak tree.
Pied Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla yarrellii).
Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris).
Hoverfly species.