Saturday 3 October 2009

Casarabonela, Malaga Province.

Day of the birds / Bird Fare???

Eagle Owl (Buho Real / Bubo bubo).
Jayne and myself headed to the coast at Malaga and then inland again to the picturesque hillside village of Casarabonela to attend a bird fair. We eventually found our way up to the swimming pool at the top of the town and found a group of birders and none birders in the gardens and the bar. We opted for the bar and the first people we meet were Sue, Clive and Sam from near Grazalema who run Wildside holidays and the Iberia nature forum.
Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus).
We had a pleasant chat and Jayne got to have a squeeze of Sue and Clive’s baby boy Sam, now 4 and half months old. Eventually the Mayor of the town turned up, did a speech and the main event took place. Four Common Kestrels (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), a Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans) and Eagle Owl (Buho Real / Bubo bubo) were all released back into the wild after being rehabilitated at a wildlife hospital in the Sierra de las Nieves.
The Crowds.
Clive, Sue, Sam, Jayne and I then had a very good lunch at the bar by the pool and later strolled down to the town square to have a look at the craft and SEO stands. The SEO stand had some nice local books on it but the SEO products were disappointingly scarce and what there was were not available to buy, I think they missed a few Euros there (I know this was all Ian and his wife Sarah were sent by SEO). Jayne and I then said our good byes and headed slowly back up the hill to the car and home.

Tuesday 29 September 2009

Return to the Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

Dodging the showers.

Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris).
John and myself headed out to the Cacín Valley for the morning. We visited the regular site along the agricultural tracks but there was a lot of activity on the fields and birds were few and most were in flight.
These included 60+ Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe) and Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua). 
We then made our way to the Embalse de Cacín with a quick stop in the road side pine trees after we spotted a Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) on the ground, by the time we stopped the thing had darted three quarters of the way up one of the trees but we still had good views. 
Once at the lake there were again good numbers of Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina), Northern Shoveler (Cuchara Común / Anas clypeata), Mallard (Azulón Europeo / Anas platyhynchos), Common Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus) and the single immature Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) was still there along with several Little Grebes (Zapullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and a Black-necked Grebe (Zampullín Cuellinegro / Podiceps nigricollis) which has been at the site all summer. 
Whilst were watching the birds on the lake a couple of late imm Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator glandarrius) were heard and seen briefly, along with Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Cetti's (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Reed Warblers (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scirpaceus), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata) and Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris). 
Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata).
On the way back to the house we stopped at a small lake on the side of the A92 where Dragonflies were the main species seen, they included Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata), Common Emperor (Anax imperator) and Lesser Emperors (Anax parthenope). 
The birds seen were Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) and 5 Green Sandpipers (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus).

Monday 28 September 2009

Out of Province visit, Cordoba Province.

A day in Cordoba.

A view across the river to Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos.
Another day out and about with friends Lynn and John. We set off early and headed West then north towards Cordoba, on the way we saw White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus). 
Puente Romano de Córdoba.
Once we had found our parking place we started to walk along the river towards the Roman Bridge and then over it to the Cathedral / Mosque. On the way we saw Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos). 
Inside the Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba.
The next couple of hours were spent looking around the Cathedral and later around the centre of the city. On the way back to the car we passed along the ruins of the old city wall and followed some ornamental water ways where many Violet Dropwings (Trithemis annulata) were flying.

Sunday 27 September 2009

Embalse de Cubillas and Loja area, Granada Province.

Great White Egret and more.

Great White Egret (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba).
John Morgan and his parter Lynn had travelled over to see us for a few days, Lynn and Jayne had decided that they wished to have a walk around the Sunday market in Granada. John and myself dropped them off and headed for Cubillas Embalse for a couple of hours birding. We arrived to find that there were already a lot of people there including a group setting up a stage on the shore line for a concert of some sort. We made our way down to the main bay and the first bird seen was a Great White Egret (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba) only the fourth bird of this species I have seen in the Province (following three birds at Balsa de Regidor, Moraleda Granada on the 15th-16th Oct 2006). 
NE end of the Res.
Several Grey Herons (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and two Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta) were also on the shoreline, along with a single Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) the only wader seen during the visit. 
Three Short-toed Eagles (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) flapped over the site heading south but with the cloudy damp conditions, they were making it look like it was hard going. Out on the water there were 20+ Mallards (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) and a single Black-necked Grebe (Zampullín Cuellinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), 20+ Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and two Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus cachinnans). Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Sand Martins (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia) were all low over the water, no dougt feeding up before the next leg of there journey South. 
Great White Egret (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba).
In the surounding Pine woods Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Great (Carbonero Común / Parus major) and Coal Tits (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) moved around in a flock, Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Cetti's Warblers (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) were in the marginal Tamarisks along with a single Pied Flyctcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca).