Thursday, 21 May 2009

The Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

I had arranged to meet Gill and Ian Cardy on the outskirts of Moraleda in the morning for a few hours birding. I was very early so I had a look around some of the more open areas dotted amongst the many houses and was pleased to find a cracking Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus) sitting on a wire in an area of almonds. European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica) and Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) were also found. I then returned to the place for our meeting and just a few second before they arrived 2 Great Spotted Cuckoo's (Crialo Europeo / Clamator glandarius) flew towards the Autovia. Unfortunately on returning to the site with Gill and Ian 20 minutes later the Roller was not seen. We went out into an area of large crop fields where we soon found Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) and the first of several Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax). Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Crested (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata) and Short-toed Larks (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Miliaria calandra) and Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) were all seen.
We then moved down to the Embalse de Cacín, picking up Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor Perdicera / Hieraaetus fasciatus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina) and Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis).
Several Species of butterfly were also noted, these included, Clouded Yellow (Colias crocea), Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines), Bath White (Pontia daplidice), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) and Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus F lyllus).
Photographs from the top: Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Miliaria calandra) and Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines).

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