First day on the Winter Birds Atlas.
I started out from the house on the first part of this winters atlas, the first two itineraries are through the Olive groves around the house. The most notable things seen was a very large concentration of finch species feeding on the newly turned ground between the trees. Several hundred Serins (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) made up the bulk of the flock but there were also hundreds more Linnets (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Miliaria calandra) and House Sparrows (Gorrión Común). In the Olives Blackcaps (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricapilla), Robin (Petirrrojo / Erithacus rubecula), Blackbirds (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos) were the commonest species. Once out on to the agricultural areas I started to pick up Azure-winged Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus) with a flock of 30+ birds in a row of Fig and Pomegranates, Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Meadow Pipit (Bistita Común / Anthus pratensis) and a single Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus) which was to be the only raptor recorded. In a row of road side Almond trees several Collared Doves (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) were all added to the growing list along with a single unexpected Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata). I then walked the fields along the river bank, here there are a lot of areas cultivated with Asparagus which at this time of the year is nice and tall and gives good cover for a lot of species. Along this stretch Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Grey (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and White Wagtails (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer Montanus), Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Great Tit (Carbonero Común / Parus major), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) were seen along with the distant wintering flock of over 200 Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).
Photographs from the top: Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Huetor Fields and Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer Montanus).