Sunday, 13 December 2009

Sierra de Loja, Granada Province.

Winter Atlas recording.

I had another 8 itineraries to complete today this time on the Northern slope of Sierra de Loja, just above the town. It started in a disused quarry and finished on the flatter tops about 4.5kms to the west. The first birds seen were a flock of about 40 Spotless Starlings (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) circling above the crags, followed by Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Great Tit (Carbonero Común / Parus major), Meadow Pipit (Bistita Común / Anthus pratensis) and Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs). Further along the main track up the Sierra a small flock of passerines passed through the pines, including Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus) and a great many Common Chiffchaffs (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita). Out along the crags I started to pick up some of the upland species expected, these included a single Alpine Accentor (Acentor Alpino / Prunella modularis) which landed briefly on the top of the crags and spent a few minute flying around over head. Also seen were Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blue Rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falcotinnunculus), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae).

Photographs from the top: Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falcotinnunculus) and Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula).

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