Monday, 28 December 2009

Huetor Tajar, Granada Province.

Dodging the showers.

Juan Pérez Contreras from Granada and a friend who was visiting him from near Leon in France stopped by the house whilst they were out birding in the area. We had a quick drive up the road towards Loja to a site for a pair of Eagle Owls (Buho Real / Bubo bubo); it was the wrong time of day so we were not surprised when we did not see them.
Later in the day I went down on to the fields just north of Huetor Tajar with the camera hoping to get some shots of the Stone-curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus). There were some 160+ birds on the field but just as I was getting to the site a farm worker flushed several of the closer birds. I took some shots and then headed out towards Villanueva Mesia picking up White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común) and Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis). I then took one of the tracks along the bank of the Arroyo de Milano and on one of the many shingle ridges in the stream a large group of Azure-winged Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus) were bathing and in the Poplar trees surrounding the area there were a lot more birds, numbering over 100 in total. Along this track I also saw Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricapilla), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Meadow Pipit (Bistita Común / Anthus pratensis), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor). The next track was along the other side of the Arroya heading back towards town where I had hoped to catch up with the Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) flock but all that was added to the list were 5 Tree Sparrows (Gorrión Molinero / Passer Montanus) and a Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus). I did eventually catch up with some of the Little Bustards, about 60 birds were found on the road out to Loja.
Once at home I set up the camera in the garden and photographed the Azure-winged Magpies in a neighbour’s fruit tree.
Photgraphs from the top: Stone-curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), two of Azure-winged Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus) and a male Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricapilla).

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