Saturday, 19 September 2020

Moreleda Fields, Cacín Valley, Embalse de Bermejalis, El Temple and Cacín, Granada Province, Spain.

Back out on the patch.

Greater Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla).

We crossed the A92 and went out on to the fields near to Moreleda, once on the tracks we soon found the first of lots of Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Thekla (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and Greater Short-toed Larks (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) the latter in small flocks, Tawny Pipits (Bisbita Camprstre / Anthus campestris), Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), several passing Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and just before we drove of the site a pair of Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis) flew in and dropped on to the fields nearby but they did not hang about and were soon off.
Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore) female.
We dropped down the valley and checked the Contra Embalse on the way down to Bermejalis, the water level had risen so there were no waders but duck numbers were up and we soon found Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and a Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus).
Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore).

 
Around the lake we also recorded Western Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) and our first Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore) of the day. 
Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore) female.

From here we went down to Cacín and then went and had another look at the Desert Orange-tips on the road up to Ventas de Huélma and again we found several and took some photographs and also saw Small (Pieris rapae) and Large White (Pieris brassicae) and Long-tailed Blue (Lampides baeticus) and several fly over European Bee-eaters.
Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum).

We dropped down the valley again and parked along the inlet channel at Embalse de Bermejalis where we hoped to find Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum), which is still quite a rare insect. After a search we found a couple of very smart males along with Violet (Trithemis annulata) and Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi) and Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum).
Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum).

We also had several fly over Common Crossbills (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos).
Violet Violet (Trithemis annulata).

Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi).
Our last site of the day is was out on El Temple where we had a female Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) sat out on a field near the track, Tawny Pipit, Thekla and Greater Short-toed Lark, Northern Wheatear, Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), a pair of Black-winged Kites (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), another fly over Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis), Bath White (Pontia daplidice) and Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii).
Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).

Friday, 18 September 2020

El Temple and the Cacín Valley, Granada Province Spain.

Out on the far side of the Patch.
 
Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).
Around the house I started the list with House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula).
Honey Buzzard (Aberjero Europeo / Pernis apivorus).

I met Kate and Jim and we headed along the motorway towards Granada and the out to La Malaha where we went out on to an area of fields where we saw the first of a pair of Black-winged Kites (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus) but as it was quite windy we saw little else so we moved on to the larger area of fields nearby.
Honey Buzzard (Aberjero Europeo / Pernis apivorus).

As we drove onto the area we had a couple of Black Kites (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Montagu's (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) and 3x  Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).
Honey Buzzard (Aberjero Europeo / Pernis apivorus).

None Raptor species included Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Thekla (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and Greater Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), Tawny Pipit (Bisbita Camprstre / Anthus campestris), Western Yellow Wagtails (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), both Iberian Grey (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) and Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) and lots of Bath Whites (Pontia daplidice).
Honey Buzzard (Aberjero Europeo / Pernis apivorus).
We moved up onto the next hillside and checked the fields there finding Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and a very smart Honey Buzzard (Aberjero Europeo / Pernis apivorus) which flew right over our heads.
Honey Buzzard (Aberjero Europeo / Pernis apivorus).

We left the El Temple area and drove across to Cacín and as we dropped down into the village we stopped again and had plenty of the usually uncommom Desert Orange-tips (Colotis evagore) around several areas of Wild Caper (Capparis spinosa).
Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore) Male.
We had a stop for coffee in Cacín village before driving up the valley to the Embalse where we parked and scanned the lake seeing good numbers of birds including
Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) which was calling fro the reededs, Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata) and Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea).
Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore) Female.

On the margins and in the skies we saw European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) x23, Crag (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), House (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) and a soaring Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus).
Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore) Male displaying to a Female.

We moved further up the valley and checked the cliffs below Moreleda where we added Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Rock Dove (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia).
Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore) Mating pair.

From here we took the new road down to the Motorway junction and then took the service road to Balsa de Regidor finding just Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) and Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope) still on the wing.
Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore) Male underwing.

On the lake we found Little (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) and Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti).
Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore) Female underwing.

Further along the service road we stopped again at another spot for the Desert Orange-tip and took loads more photographs of these cracking little insects before heading back. In the same area we also had Crimson Speckled (Utetheisa pulchella) Moth and Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus).
Crimson Speckled (Utetheisa pulchella).
Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus).

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Tarifa Area, Cadiz Province, Spain.

A morning of visible migration, an afternoon of butterflies and then home.
 
Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus).
Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus).
After a rather late breakfast we drove along the coast down to Trafico watch point, on the way we had Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Rock Dove (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Whimbrel (Zarapito Trinador / Numenius phaeopus), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia).
Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus).
Once at Trafico I found Ed Mckrill and had a short chat and then I dropped back to Kate and Jim, we dropped down into one of the valleys on the way back up to the main road and parked on the roadside where we were treated to some of the best visible migration I have seen with loads of Short-toed (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) and Booted Eagles (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), along with a few Black Kites (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), a Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and a Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).


Other species included White Storks, Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica).
Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus).
Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus).
Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus).
We drove a short way towards Tarifa and then took a track in land to a spot Ed had told us about where we eventually found several stunning Two-tailed Pasha's (Charaxes jasius), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Small White (Pieris rapae), Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus). As we started to leave the site we stopped again at a water tank on the side of the road which was leaking and in the damp area produced we saw another Pasha along with False Mallow (Carcharodus tripolinus) and Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto), Monarch (Danaus plexippus) and Maritime Squill (Urginea maritima).
Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus).
Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus).
Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus).
Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus).

Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).

Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
Two-tailed Pasha (Charaxes jasius).
Two-tailed Pasha (Charaxes jasius).
False Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus tripolinus).
False Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus tripolinus).
Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto).
Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens).

Maritime Squill (Urginea maritima).

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

Los Caños de Meca, La Janda, Cadiz Province.

A bit of a Seawatch before a day on La Janda.
 
Snails on the roadside.
I got up and headed over the road to the top of the steps where I set up the scope and scanned to see what was passing. It was calmer but I still had 23x Balearic (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus) and 15x
Cory's Shearwaters (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris borealis), 5x Sandwich Terns (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus).
Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).
Before breakfast I also saw Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) lots heading south, Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and a Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata).
Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis).
After Breakfast we drove down to the Northern entrance off the road down to Tarifa, on the canal we saw a Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), several White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia) waiting for the thermals to start building, a female Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Barn Swallow and a flight of European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) pushing through south.
Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea).
Down towards the junction out to the farm we had a pair of beautiful Black-winged Kites (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus) with the male dispalying hard to the female, the first of a few Marsh Harriers (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and further along the canal Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), some huge flocks of House Sparrows (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and a good number of Spanish Sparrows (Gorrión Moruno / Passer hispaniolensis) mixed in with them.
Little Egrets (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).
After a coffee just down the road we returned to the track out along the canal and before turning and heading for the farm we had another view of the Black-winged Kites, a very nice Honey Buzzard (Aberjero Europeo / Pernis apivorus) which perched nicely for a little while and up on the blue sluice gates Little and Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) were roosting along with a few Jackdaws (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and down on the track side we saw several Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Banded Groundlings (Brachythemis leucosticta) and a couple of Swallowtails (Papilio machaon).
Western Cattle (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and Jackdaws (Grajilla / Corvus monedula).
We turned at the crossing and had another look at the pair of Black-winged Kites there as well as an immature Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) before driving up to the farm, on the way we had another couple of Houney Buzzards, Turtle Doves (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), masses of Goldfinches and Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and amongst the wild Olives a couple of soaring Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans) and in a small flock of passage birds both Alpine (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) and Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus).
Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).


At the end of the road we turned right and went out on the track for just a couple of KMs but it was quiet and we only saw another Montagu's and lots of Common Stonechats so we turned around and added for a coffee at Benalup. On the way we stopped a few time adding Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Whitethroat (Curruca Zarcera / Sylvia communis) and as we dropped down to a wet but quite bare Rice Paddy on our left we saw a group of Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus), several Western Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava), more Green Sandpipers and then a group of Montagu's Harriers which appeared to be bathing but we soon realized that one bird was actually stuck in the water. 
Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).





After trying to think who we could call and came up with nothing I decided to find a way in and then waded the 40 meters or so out to the bird, it tried to flap away but was so water logged I soon caught it and after a short battle with its talons I got hold of it and started back to dry land.


I got back to the car and the walked on for a few hundred yards to a stubble field away from the water where I released the bird, later we drove ack past the spot and the bird had moved up on to a ridge and was looking much etter and almost fully dried out.
Immature Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus).


We had a coffee and then came back to the area, on the way back in we saw 3 Egyptian Vultures (Alimoche Común / Neophron percnopterus) near the cows carcass we had seen a couple of days ago and along the road up to the dam a Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea), Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum), Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina), Small (Pieris rapae) and Bath White (Pontia daplidice).
Birds on the watering bar.
We took the road up throught the Olive woods again seeing a female Common Redstart (Colirroja Real / Phoenicurus phoenicurus) on the way and lots of Woodpigeons (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) lower down feeding on the sunflower heads.
Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea).
We turned left along the canal and again saw the Kites as well as a fleeting Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), lots of House Sparrows again with several fine looking male Spanish Sparrow mixed in with them and the one of the most wanted species for Kate and Jim a Purple Heron (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea).
Immature Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) stuck in the water.
After watching the heron we returned to the main road and headed back to the hotel along the coast road via Zahara de los Atunes and Barbate, on the way we saw Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Eurasian Curlew (Numenius arquata) and lots of Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba).
Little Egrets (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).
We reached Barbate where we had something to eat before returning to Los Caños de Meca.
Immature Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) looking much dryer.

Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus).
Purple Heron (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea).