Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Laguna Dulce, Fuente de Piedra, Travelling to La Rambla and back home via Ecija, Malaga, Sevilla and Cordoba Provinces.

A mornings birding, a bit of cermic shopping and a nice visit to Ecija for lunch and a wander around the town.

Female Little Crake (Polluela Bastarda / Porzana parva).
Jayne and I were up and out earlish and made our first stop of the morning at Laguna Dulce near Campillos where almost straight away I had the target species in the bins, the female Little Crake (Polluela Bastarda / Porzana parva) had been around for a few days and I had already missed it once so I was very happy to get good views.
Female Little Crake (Polluela Bastarda / Porzana parva).
After standing by the last post of the shielding fence for a while the bird wandered into view and I managed to get a few shots but the light was not great. A little later I had good views in a slightly better light.
Female Little Crake (Polluela Bastarda / Porzana parva).
Out on the lake I also recorded Black-necked (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), Great Crested (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) and Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Red-crested (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina) and Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), 2x Eurasian Curlew (Zaoaito Real / Numenius arquata), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus).
We moved on and made our way to Fuente de Piedra visitor's Centre, on the drive in there were several more Greater Flamingo's on the pool on the left along with Eurasian Coot, Common Moorhen, Black-winged Stilt, Snipe and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
I scanned the main lake from the mirador seeing huge numbers of Greater Flamingo's, Northern Shovelers, Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), a single Gull-billed Tern (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica) which flew out over the lake, Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and Black-headed Gulls.
Spotted Crake (Polluela Pintoja / Porzana porzana).
Around the back on the fresh water pools I added Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Red-crested and Common Pochards, Gadwall, Mallard, White-headed Duck, Little and Black-necked Grebe, Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and Cetti's Warbler.
Spotted Crake (Polluela Pintoja / Porzana porzana).
I walked down to the board walk where I bumped into several Spanish birders who were watching at least 3 Spotted Crakes (Polluela Pintoja / Porzana porzana) which I had good views of and got some distant shots of and just a few meters away a Sedge Warbler (Carricerin Común / Acrocephalus schoenobaenus) was singing from deep in a Tamarisk bush but I did manage a brief view as it flew from one to another.
I returned to the car and we drove off up to the town seeing a couple of White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia) on the pool by the road and a pair of Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) on the field near the main road.
Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus).
We had a coffee and toast in the town before heading North towards La Rambla via Puente Genil adding Red Kite (Milano Real / Milvus milvus), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), a Marsh Harrier and by the Rio de Cabra a big surprise as there were around 300 Black Kites (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans) some of which were bathing down in the River whilst loads were passing over much higher. Down on the Rio there was a single White Stork, a dozen or so Black-winged Stilts, a single Redshank, 8 Avocets and a pair of Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica).
Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans).
Once we arrived in La Rambla we found everything we wanted surprisingly quickly so after a coffee we headed to the town of Ecija, a place a friend had recently recommended as a good place to visit and he was spot on. 
We had a very nice lunch sat out in the sun at Bar Canarias before wandering around the streets looking at the Churches and plaza'sand after a cracking afternoon we headed back home.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Laguna Dulce, Malaga Province.

A dip on a Little Crake but another couple for the year list.

White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala).
On our way back from the coast we called in at Laguna Dulce where a female Little Crake ( Polluela Bastarda / Porzana parva) had been seen for a few days but I did not see it, even so I did pick up Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) and Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina) for the year list.
White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala).
Other species included Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), 2x Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), White-headed Ducks (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Little (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Great Crested (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) and Black-necked Grebe (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti).
In the parking area there were several Vagrant Emperors (Anax ephippiger) whizzing around but not settling.

Friday, 8 March 2019

Caleta de Velez Port Beach, Malaga Province.

Some Ringed Gulls on the beach at Caleta.

Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus).
I made a very quick visit to the beach at the port and took some shots of the ringed Gulls there which were mainly Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) but there were also a few Mediterranean Gulls (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) in the roost as well along with a few Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba).

Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis).
Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis).
Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus).
Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis).
Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis).
Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus).
Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus).
Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus).
Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis).
Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis).

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Guadalhorce, Malaga Province.

A Spanish Lifer over shadowed by an Owl.

Slavonian / Horned Grebe (Zampullín Cuellirrojo / Podiceps auritus).
After quite a run around which started with a visit to Granada hospital, the down to the coast and along to Torre del Mar to call at a market to see a man about a TV box, next came Ikea and some more shopping before a very nice visit to have afternoon tea with Juliet and David Hird. Later we headed back towards Malaga where I dropped Jayne at Plaza Mayor and my last stop was at Guadalhorce.
Ruff (Combatiente / Philomachus pugnax) and Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus).
I parked at the beach and walked over the sand bar and into the reserve via the track off the beach, as I walked I started the list off with Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris).
Short-eared Owl (Buho Campestre / Asio flammeus) flying infront of the hide.
As I walked towards the main hide I met Noel Hohenthal and very shortly we were watching the winter plumaged Slavonian / Horned Grebe (Zampullín Cuellirrojo / Podiceps auritus) which was the third Spanish lifer of the year for me. We moved around to the hide and watched the grebe again from there along with Black-necked (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis) and Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina),1x female Northern Pintail (Ánade Rabudo / Anas acuta), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), a single Ruff (Combatiente / Philomachus pugnax), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and as we sat there a stunning Short-eared Owl (Buho Campestre / Asio flammeus) which flew right across in front of the hide and away off to the right.
Short-eared Owl (Buho Campestre / Asio flammeus).
After a while I left the hide and walked back towards the beach and soon relocated the Short-eared Owl and spent a superb hour watching and photographing this stunning bird before heding back to pick up Jayne from the shopping centre and then driving home after quite a long day.

Short-eared Owl (Buho Campestre / Asio flammeus).

Friday, 1 March 2019

Rio Fuengirola, Malaga Province.

A hour on the pools and River.

Vagrant Emperor's (Anax ephippiger).
Jayne had an hours shopping so I checked out the pool and Rio near to Dunn's Store where I had a walk up stream a short way and had views of several roosting Great Cormorants (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) anlong with Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) and Large White (Pieris brassicae).

Vagrant Emperor's (Anax ephippiger).
 The star of the hour were 2xM and 1xF Vagrant Emperor's (Anax ephippiger), a pair were showing well in tandem whilst the second male hassled them regularly.

Vagrant Emperor's (Anax ephippiger).

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

La Malaha and the Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

A cracking day with Peep Lassmann from Estonia.

Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni).
I picked Peep up early in Granada and we head out to an area near Padul well before light and listened for singing Lark species and we soon notched up Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) but as hard as we tried we could not hear any sign of the extreamly rare Dupont's Lark (Alondra Ricotí / Chersophilus duponti) which are difficult at best but when there are only a couple of birds in the area it is very hard going.
Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni).
We walked the tracks and added Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos),  Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus).
In the same area we also had several flowering Fan-lipped Orchids (Anacamptis collina), Fleshy-leaved Thymelaea (Thymelaea hirsuta), Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and quite a few Rabbits (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus).
Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni).
We cut our losses and headed down to a nearby Cortijo where we had good views of Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) which flew around the site and perched on pylons and Almonds nearby.
We moved on to the fields near to La Malaha and were soon watching the first of four male Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) and a single female in the same area.
There were also really good numbers of Calandra Larsk (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) singing and chasing each other around the fields, a couple of calling Skylarks (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), more Lesser Kestrels, White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and masses of Corn Buntings which were calling from every direction. It was now warming up a bit and there were a few Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice) butterflies on the wing as well as a couple of
Clouded Yellows (Colias Común / Colias corcea) and a Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).
Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
We moved up on to the upper fields and soon found the first of several Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis) all of which were sen only in flight but they were seen well. In the same area we had a couple of Great Spotted Cuckoo's (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius), a stunning pair of Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) which showed really well for us in a newly sprouting cereal field and as we were driving off the site a Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis) few across in front of us and a Common Starling (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulgaris) was mixed in with several Spotless on a pylon. 
Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
we drove over to Ventas de Huelma and stopped for a coffee and grabbed a sandwich for later in a bar there before we drove the 14 Km over to the village of Cacín, we made a stop just out side the village and scanned the dead trees in the bottom of the valley but only had a few Blackcaps (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and another Hoopoe.
As we were dropping down towards Cacín we had great views of a stunning sub adult Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos) as it soared right over our heads, the best views Peep had ever had.
Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus).
Down in the valley we turned south and as we drove down towards the gorge we had a soaring Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor Perdicera / Hieraaetus faciatus) over the road so we did not bother to go down to the main gorge but still had a look at the "Roman Bridge" where we heard a singing Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes) and saw Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) and Large White (Pieris brassicae).
Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos).
Our next stop was back to the north along the valley at the Contra-embalse were we picked out a pair of Northern Pintail (Ánade Rabudo / Anas acuta) as well as Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), 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), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), a group of Iberian  Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) which we could hear in the Pines opposite but we did not manage to see them.
Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor Perdicera / Hieraaetus faciatus).
Down at the river bridge we had views of Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), heard Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and flushed a Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago).
We again moved North to our final stop at the crags below Moraleda but we only added Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) to the day list before we headed back to the city so that Peep could be back in time for Piano Lessons he was giving in Granada.

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Huétor Tajar and Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

Out on the patch again.

Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).
Well this is a touch embarrassing 😕😕😕as I know I went birding but I cannot remember who with and I have lost the messages, Sorry. If you recognise the day please get back to me, thanks Mick.

Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).
OK, back to the birding, We met up at the Cortijo de Tajar Hotel and we headed out to the Western end of the Arroyo Vilano where we scanned the fields from the far bank and soon found the wintering Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) flock but what we thought were just 10 or so birds turned out to be 39 when they all flew up and dropped down a few meters further out into the field. In the same area we could hear several singing Corn Buntings (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Crested Larks (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), a single passing Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), a Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) feeding out on the fields, Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), House (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) and single Brambling (Pinzón Real / Fringilla montifringilla) which was very difficult to locate in amongst a field of Artichokes.
Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica).
We moved just along the river to the Eastern end and soon found a very smart Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), the first patch Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) of the spring, Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), a good sized flock of Iberian  Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) came over the river and away down stream and in the Tamarisk bushes Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) were all seen.
Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).
Futher along the river near the railway bridge we added House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), 11x Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia) and a huge great big female Northern Goshawk (Azor Común / Accipitor gentillis) which flew west and gave the Woodpigeons a scare in the Poplar Plantation.
On the middle fields we had a Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and several roosting Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) line along one of the field rigdes.
Out on the Mesia side of the site we checked the ditches and irrigation channels where we soon had good views of a male Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) and in the reeds opposite where we added Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) and a couple of Red-legged Partridges (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa).
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
As we passed Balsa de Rigedor on our way to the fields near Moraleda we only found a single Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo).
We drove out on the tracks through the Almond Groves and parked in an area of abandoned trees and had a walk hearing the first of 8 Great Spotted Cuckoo's (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius), in the Almonds we had good views of two male birds.
In the same birds we also saw a male Siskin (Lúgano / Carduelis spinus), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Corn Bunting, a soaring Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), 5x Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), 3x Iberian Grey Shrikes (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), 1x Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis), 2 more Common Buzzards, 18x Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), 21x Skylarks, Zitting Cisticola, 1x Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), 26x Meadow Pipits and a second Brambling.
Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater).
We dropped down in to the Valley and spent some time checking the Pine woodland and the mixed woods near the bridge over the Cacín. During these to stops we found Woodpigeon, Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Iberian  Magpie, Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Cetti's Warbler, Snipe and Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra).
Up at the Embalse we scanned the water for new species for the day list and soon found Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), a pair of Northern Pintail (Ánade Rabudo / Anas acuta), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen, Zitting Cisticola, a pair of  Marsh Harriers (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) and a second female which was chased off, a pair of displaying Common Buzzards, Common Kestrels and a male Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus).
Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor Perdicera / Hieraaetus faciatus).
We dropped further down the Valley and checked the gorge and were soon watching a soaring Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor Perdicera / Hieraaetus faciatus) as well as a few Rock Sparrows (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia).
The day was coming to an end but on our way back towards the hotel we again stopped off at the Embalse where a few new species were Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Crag (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and House Martin, Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), 2x Water Rails (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) and a male Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica).

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Laguna Grande, Malaga Province.

A quick bit of birding after a nice day out.

A roundabout in La Rambla.
Jayne and I were returning home after a really nice day out searching for ceramics in La Rambla and then a nice lunch at Caserío San Benito.
As we drove back we went and had a quick look at the Laguna Grande, I set the scope up and scanned the water finding Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) x1, Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) x26, Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca) x2M, Great Crested (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) x3 and Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) x11, Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) x45, Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) x2, Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo) x1 and in the woods Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) x2, Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) x2, Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) x5 and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) x4.

Jayne's Starter of Porra.

Sunday, 10 February 2019

La Malaha and Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

A cracking day right across the patch with Judy and Bob.

We headed out of the city in a more roundabout way than usual due to a market which set up whilst I was waiting to meet Judy and Bob as I was rather early.
Our first stop was a semi-ruined Cortjo which is now used as a Goat shelter and storage area but is also a good spot to find the stunning Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) and after a little while we got some really good views of a fine male in a nearby Almond tree.
In the same area we also picked up Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
We moved on down the road to the fields near La Malaha picking up Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) on the way and then out on the fields we had good numbers of singing
Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), a few more Leser Kestrels up on wire,  Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) were everywhere, a distant Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) which was seen badly through a shimmering heat haze and 2 cracking Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) which showed brilliantly for us.
Just up the road we took to the fields and were soon watching at least 25 Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis), the flock started with just 4 but others joined them over the 20 minutes of so we were there. We also heard more Stone Curlews as well as Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea) and Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).
From the fields we headed out on to the Almond grove ridge on our way to Cacín, on the way we stopped and checked an area of dead trees picking up Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), heard a Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis), had views of a second Common Buzzard and then at a viewing point we had good views of an immature Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos) which Bob picked up.
In the same area we had Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Rock Dove (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula).
Once we were over the ridge and through the town we made a quick stop at the river bridge over the Cacín where we added Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea).
We turned South and headed down the valley to the gorge where we dropped lucky and had brilliant views of a male Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor Perdicera / Hieraaetus faciatus) which displayed for us up and down the cliff face opposite for several minutes before flying off down to the South.
Also seen on the rocks below us or in the air were Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Common Kestrel, Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax).
We headed back North passed Cacín and up to the Contra Embalse where we parked and scanned the water finding a pair of Northern Pintail (Ánade Rabudo / Anas acuta), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), 2x Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus), Crag and House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), 2x Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and plenty of White Wagtails (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) flycatching from the dead branches in the lake.
By the bridge just up the road we added Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes) and Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula).
In the Pines further up the Valley there were some small birds in the canopy including Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) and Long-tailed Tits (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus).
On our way back towards the city we made one last stop out on Moraldea Fields where we checked an old Cortijo and found a couple of Little Owls (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Iberian Grey Shrike, Large White (Pieris brassicae) and Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera).