Friday, 16 October 2009

A Mornings Birding, Granada Province.

Road to Alhama de Granada and the local patch.

After getting some information from John a birder in Salar that he had seen a Black-winged Kite at KM18 on the Salar to Alhama, I set off not hopeful as John had said it was being pushed about by a Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus). I arrived at the site and picked up several Common Kestrels and as expected there was no sign of the Kite. A flock of Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) landed nosily in a newly harvested field a hundred yards away, Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis) and Crested Larks (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata) were also seen along with large numbers of Corn Buntings (Triguero / Miliaria calandra) and Rock Sparrows (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia). Heading back towards Salar Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Common Magpies (Urraca / Pica pica), Spotless Starlings (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) were all added to the list.
Arriving back on my own patch, I soon found the Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) flock again and with a little bit of a bouncy drive along one of the farm tracks I was able to get decent views for a count. 183 birds were in the flock along with 8 Northern Lapwings (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) and 3 Stone-curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus). Meadow Pipits (Bistita Común / Anthus pratensis) and more Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis) were moving around the fields and at least 20 Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) were passing through low. In the back of the field a small group of Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) were following a tractor with a hay turner, feeding on the mass of insects he was disturbing. About five minutes later he turned on to the field where the Bustards were and flushed the lot!
Photographs from the top: Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) on the ground and then flying once flushed.

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