Monday, 16 April 2018

La Malaha and the Cacín Valley with Kathleen and Richard from Seattle in the USA.

Birding in the valley and east to Granada City.

Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
I picked Kathleen and Richard up in the city and we headed South and then West towards La Malaha making out first stop at a run down Cortijo on the way where we counted at least 15 Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) as well as lots of Feral Pigeons (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), 2 or 3 calling Hoopoes (Abubilla / Upupa epops), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), singing Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and over head a flock of Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) which were heading up to the City rubbish dump followed closely by a single Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea).
Male Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).
We moved further West to an agricultural area near La Malaha and as we drove along the road through the site we picked up the first of a great many Corn Buntings (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) which were singing from roadside perches, lots of vocal Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and the star birds at least 5 calling male Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) one of which further around the site sat close to the track and gave us good views. We also heard Common Quail (Codorniz Común / Coturnix coturnix), had a small group of 5 or so Short-toed Larks (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) fly over us.
Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
On the verge the wildflowers were attracting quite a lot of white butterflies including Bath (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Western Dappled (Euchloe crameri) and Small (Pieris rapae).
Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
After crossing the area on several different tracks we made our way towards the Cacín Valley, on the way we stopped off at what until recently had been a nice Poplar plantation but it had been felled since my last visit, however we had good views of 3 Booted Eagles (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) 2 of which were pale phase birds which appeared to be seeing off a dark phase individual. In the same area we saw or heard Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis) and Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and just a short way along the same road we had distant views of my first Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus) of the year and a couple of very smart Great Spotted Cuckoo's (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius) which showed well along the roadside.
Male Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).
We made one more stop before we reached the town of Cacín where we picked up a group of calling European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) as they passed through and a Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) which dropped off a rock before Kathleen and Richard could get on to it.
Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus).
We dropped down into Cacín to pick up some food for later but found all the bars were closed so we went for a walk along the Rio Cacín, the site was much more open after all the Poplar plantations were felled and the town hall removed almost all the river side vegetation.
Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).
We did however manage to find both male and female Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Cetti's  (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and newly arrived Bonelli's (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli) and Melodious Warblers (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) for Kathline and I and back by the car a calling and seen zipping away in flight Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla) and a very elusive Common Whitethroat (Curruca Zarcera / Sylvia communis) which popped out of a bramble patch for a couple of second and the disappeared back in not to reappear. As we were leaving we crossed the bridge adding a very smart White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) on the waters edge.
Whiskered Tern (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chilidonias hybridus).
We made a quick stop at an area of Poplars where we saw several of the species seen earlier but added a rather late male Siskin (Lúgano / Carduelis spinus).
Whiskered Tern (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chilidonias hybridus).
Our next stop was back up the Valley at the Embalse where we walked down to the bank above the water where we watched a smart Whiskered Tern (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chilidonias hybridus) which was still not in full summer plumage but nice even so. Other species included Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) and in amongest the commoner ducks a good find in the shape of a Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca).
Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca).
Also in the area we found Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), House (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Sand (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia) and Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Reed Warblers (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and another Melodious Warblers. We also found Swallowtail (Papilio machaon), Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa), Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi) and Rabbit (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus).
Common Redstart (Colirroja Real / Phoenicurus phoenicurus).
Just up the road we stopped at the river again and checked the place from the bridge and we were pleased to find a very smart male Common Redstart (Colirroja Real / Phoenicurus phoenicurus) along with Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), a couple of drumming Great Spotted Woodpeckers (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Large White (Pieris brassicae) and Moroccan Orange-tip (Anthocharis belia).
Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata).
We moved on to the fields near to Moraleda but there was a great deal of activaty in the area which mainly appeared to be the planting of even more Olives. As we drove around the site we caught up with Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) and more Thekla Larks which showed well. As we reached the far side of the site I was very upset to find that the old Oak tree which had stud in one of the fields and had a Rollers nest in it for a good number of summers had been hacked down so that a couple more Olives could be planted in its place, Very very sad. On our way off the site we picked up a group of at least 3 Short-toed Larks (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) under the Olives.
Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus).
We left the site and started to make our way back to the city picking up just a single Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) at a regular spot on the way through.
Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla).
Thanks to Kathleen and Richard for your company on this day tour and hope you enjoyed seeing my local patch and some of it wildlife.
Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla).

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Granada Coast, Granada Province.

A cracking mornings birding with good friend Juan Pérez Contreras.

Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba).
I met Juan out side his place and we headed off down the Motorway to the beach at Carchuna and turned in along a track which followed a channel down to the beach.The first birds seen included Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) all of which were in the gardens at the start. 
Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus).
In the channel we had at least 2 Robins (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), several Common Moorhens (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and a migrating Garden Warbler (Curruca Mosquitera / Sylvia borin) and in the air House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus).
Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus).
At the botton of this track we arrived at the beach, we turned left and drove to the far end and turned around so that we had the sun behind us, as we drove along we made several stops where we scanned the sea and beach picking up Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Audouin's Gulls (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus) x6, Balearic Shearwaters (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus) x7, Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) x5, Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula) x1, Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba) x8, Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Thekla Larks (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).
Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).
Our next stop was at a spot near the eastern end of the port where we checked the channel that runs in to the sea there, on the way we saw Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) and a Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) on a roundabout below the motor way into the port.
Northern Pintail (Ánade Rabudo / Anas acuta).
From the bridge over the channel we saw and heard Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) before heading for Charca adding a calling Common Quail (Codorniz Común / Coturnix coturnix), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) on the way.
Northern Pintail (Ánade Rabudo / Anas acuta).
Whilst we waited for the reserve to open we had at least 7 possibly 8 Booted Eagles (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) 3 dark and upto 5 pale phase birds pass over heading East. 
Northern Pintail (Ánade Rabudo / Anas acuta).
Once we were in we went and checked Laguna del Taraje where we found the long staying male Northern Pintail (Ánade Rabudo / Anas acuta) and Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra). We next went to Laguna Blanca and soon found the cracking Spotted Crake (Polluela Pintoja / Porzana porzana) which had been there for a while along with Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) which was only heard and a Purple Heron (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea) which I missed but Juan saw.
Spotted Crake (Polluela Pintoja / Porzana porzana).
We moved around the reserve to the main hide, on the way we picked up a singing Willow Warbler (Mosquitero Musical / Phylloscopus trochillus), Stripe-less Tree Frog (Hyla meridionalis), Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi) and several Speckled Woods (Pararge aegeria) . From the hide we saw Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Red-knobbed Coots (Focha cornuda / Fulca cristata), Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), 19x Great Cormorants,  2 more Green along with a single Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) and European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster).
Spotted Crake (Polluela Pintoja / Porzana porzana).
We moved again checking the plantation on the left of the track on the way where we found Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli) x3, Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and a Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides) which flew in and landed in one of the trees.
Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus).
At the next hide over looking Laguna del Trebol hearing and seeing a Sedge Warbler (Carricerin Común / Acrocephalus schoenobaenus).
Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos).
We next went back past the main hide and went around to the small hide over looking Laguna del Taraje where we heard a singing Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and a Purple / Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio) along with Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa).
Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides).
We went back to the hide over Laguna Blanca where I again had a very brief view of the Spotted Crake along with a very close Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), a Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild) and 2 male Blue / Common Emperors (Anax imperator).
Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).
We finished off at the hide looking over Laguna del Lirio and just before we had to leave added a very smart male Little Bittern (Avetorillo Común / Ixobrychus minutus).
Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo).
On the way back up to Juan's after leaving Charca we picked up Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and back on the patch 1 male and 2 female Montagu's Harriers (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus).
Red-knobbed Coot (Focha cornuda / Fulca cristata).
Red-knobbed Coots (Focha cornuda / Fulca cristata).
Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).

Friday, 13 April 2018

Huétor Fields, Granada Province.

Montagu's Harriers still on the patch.

During a very quick stop along the Arroyo Vilano in heavy rain this afternoon I picked out 2 female and a male Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) which were sitting on wooden posts looking soggy and well hacked off. These birds have been on site for a week or so now and look settled.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Rio Guadalhorce, Villanueva del Trabuco, Malaga Province.

A short walk along the river on the edge of town.

I took Jayne over to the Amigas de Casa meeting in Trabuco and whilst she was in there I went for a walk along the river just opposite. I soon started the list off with Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus). 
A bit further along the track there was a small waterfall and I spent a while scanning the trees there picking up Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and a flyover Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus). 
Further along the track in a large Oak tree I was surprised to find at least a dozen Siskin's (Lúgano / Carduelis spinus) feeding and as I walked back along the track I found another couple of pairs in the newly leafing Ash trees.
As I walked back towards the bar where Jayne's meeting was I boosted the list by seeing Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Willow Warbler (Mosquitero Musical / Phylloscopus trochillus), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) and just as I got back to the road a pale phase Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) flew over.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

A days birding and orchid hunting along the Cacín Valley with Chamila and Manuel.

Bumblebee Orchid (Ophrys bombyliflora).
I met Chamila and Manuel at the Cortijo de Tajar near the A92 and after looking at the weather for the day I decided to start our tour out on the fields near to Moraleda. On one of the tracks out to the site we stopped and took some photographs of several Orchid species including Sawfly Orchids (Ophrys tenthredinifera subsp tenthredinifera) around 30 spikes, Dark Spider Orchids (Ophrys incubacea) 8 spikes, Somber Bee Orchids (Ophrys fusca / O. forestieri) 30+, Fan-lipped Orchids (Anacamptis collina) 10+ spikes, Mirror Orchids (Ophrys speculum subsp speculum), Yellow Bee Orchids (Orquídea Abejera / Ophrys lutea) 15+ spikes and 100+ spikes of Bumblebee Orchids (Orquídea abejorro / Ophrys bombyliflora) along with
Dark Spider Orchid (Ophrys incubacea).
White Rockrose (Helianthemum apenninum), Common Asphodel (Asphodelus albus), Common Grape Hyacinth (Muscari neglectum), Andalusian Storksbill (Erodium recorderi), Eruca (Eruca sativa), Field marigold (Calendula arvensis) and a few birds including Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) the first of a great many, Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis).
We moved on along the tracks out towards the Cortijo seeing Rabbits (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus) and up amongst the Almond trees the first of a couple of Great Spotted Cuckoo's (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius), an Iberian / Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) which was feeding from the low branches of some newly planted Almonds, several Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and at least 3 Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) which skillfully disappeared into the trees.
Somber Bee Orchid (Ophrys fusca / O. forestieri).
A little further on we found Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), Mediterranean Pink Catchfly (Silene colorata), Common Fumitory (Fumaria officinalis), Common Grape Hyacinth (Muscari neglectum), Field Gromwell (Lithospermum arvense), Henbit Deadnettle (Lamium amplexicaule), Shepherds Needles (Scandix pecten-veneris) and White Mignonette (Reseda Alba).
We moved just down the road where we had superb views of a few Little Owls (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) but one bird in particular was a right poser and sat for ages allowing us to take loads of photographs.
We dropped down in to El Turro where we picked up some food before heading down the valley to the gorge but the cold weather was keeping every thing low so we added very little except for Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), male and female Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa).
Mirror Orchid (Ophrys speculum subsp speculum).
Our next stop was down at the large Embalse de Bermejalis where we searched the woods for Orchids and soon found a good number of Naked / Italian Man Orchids (Orquídea italiana / Orchis italica) around 40 spikes, 100s of Somber Bee Orchids, lots of Mirror Orchids, a couple of spikes of Giant Orchid (Himantoglossum robertiana), a few Yellow Bee Orchids and a few dozen Fan-lipped Orchids including a spike of the var. flavescens.
We also had some amazing views of a couple of Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Long-tailed (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) and Great Tits (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) and once we had a glimpes of the sun a Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice) put in a brief appearance,
We returned to the Cacín Valley and drove quickly North back to the Contra-embalse de Bermejalis, on the way we added Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), a hunting Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus) which whizzed in and out of the trees ahead of us,  where we had a walk along the back checking out the water and margins, on or standing in the water were at least 7 Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), a Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos),
Yellow Bee Orchid (Orquídea Abejera / Ophrys lutea).
a couple of pairs of Little Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Yellow (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae) and White Wagtails (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Lots more Barn Swallows, House Martins, a few Sand Martins (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia) and on the far shore a singing Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and a calling Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis).
Other wildlife included croaking Perez's Frogs (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi), Field Madder (Sherardia arvensis), Grey-leaved Cistus (Cistus albidus), Wild Clary (Salvia verbenaca), Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata ssp pullata), the snake like leaves of the Sea Squill (Urginea maritima), Hoary Cress (Cardaria draba) and more Yellow Bee Orchids
Once we had finished at the lake we headed back in to the hotel, on the way a¡seeing a small migrating flock of European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster)  and a single hoovering / hunting Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus),
Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
Once back at the Cortijo I said goodbye to Chamila and Manuel. Thanks for supporting Granada Wildlife by booking this day tour and hope to see you again in the future.

Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera subsp tenthredinifera).
Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera subsp tenthredinifera).
Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera subsp tenthredinifera).
Chamila and Manuel with a Giant Orchid.
Fan-lipped Orchid (Anacamptis collina) var. flavescens.
Naked / Italian Man Orchid (Orquídea italiana / Orchis italica).
Naked / Italian Man Orchids (Orquídea italiana / Orchis italica).

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Huétor Fields, Huétor Tajar, Granada Province.

A couple of visits to the patch.

Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator).
Bob and Jenny Wright came up to visit, arriving at 10:30 with gifts of Marmalade and Chutney. Once I had made them a drink Bob and I went for a quick visit to the fields and started along the Arroyo Vilano and picked up Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) x4, Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) x2, Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) x3, Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) one heard calling and another on the opposite bank of the rio, Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor).
Male Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus).
We moved over to the Eastern side of the Arroyo Vilano and moved right up to far end of the track and parked. The first thing we were aware of were at least three singing Nightingales (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) which were my first of the year, as well as House (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and just a bit further back along the track along side a Poplar plantation we added Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis).
We again moved and went around to the Mesia side of the site and parked and walked out into a nearby reed area which was burnt off last year and just starting to recover. As we walked through the remains of the reeds we flushed out a Wryneck (Torcecuello / Jynx torquilla) which landed in a tree on the side of the railway line before moving to a Willow in a nearby small holding.
Male Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus).
In the same area we picked up a small flock of Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and as we drove back to the house I saw a single Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus).
After having a drink Bob and Jenny headed back south, later in the afternoon I popped down to the Supermarket and on the way home I stopped briefly along the Arroyo Vilano when I spotted a nice male Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) quartering a cereal on the far fields. Soon after the Marsh Harrier disappeared I saw a Male Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) which was displaying to a female bird so I went around to the far bank and as I arrived I found the male and two females on site. I also saw a pair of Ravens (Cuervo / Corvus corax) as they flew across the fields and heard a Common Quail (Codorniz Común / Coturnix coturnix).