Thursday 12 November 2009

Padul Area, Granada Province.

From wetlands to Moorlands.

Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti).
Andy Mounteford and myself made our way to the Padul Nature Reserve just to the south of Granada City for a few hour birding. As we arrived we met a Spanish chap doing some Ringing/Banding in the reed beds. The birds we saw in the hand whilst we were watching him included Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricapilla).
The Ringer.
We then walked along the track through the reeds as far as a wooden hide (which always seems to be lock) seeing 6+ Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scirpaceus), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Meadow Pipit (Bistita Común / Anthus pratensis), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Miliaria calandra), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus) and Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum tarraconesis).
Next we drove a circular route around the reserve picking up Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), House (Gorrión Común), Spanish (Gorrión Moruno / Passer hispaniolensis) x2 and Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer Montanus) 15+, Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Robin (Petirrrojo / Erithacus rubecula), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina).
A single Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta) and Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum tarraconesis) along with several Clouded Yellow (Colias crocea).
Later we went to an area of scrubby hillside looking for Larks, we picked up just Crested (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata) and Thekla Larks (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) along with several Dartford Warblers (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Miliaria calandra), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), a dark phase Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falcotinnunculus), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) and Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica).
White Rockrose (Helianthemum apenninum).
A few species of butterfly were still on the wing including Bath White (Pontia daplidice), Brown Argus (Aricia agestis), Clouded Yellow (Colias crocea), Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus), Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) and Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanto). Whilst were walked around the area a few plants of White Rockrose (Helianthemum apenninum) were seen.

Wednesday 11 November 2009

Huetor Fields and Sierra de Loja, Granada Province.

A visitor from the West, Well from over Ronda way.

Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).
I spent a very enjoyable few hours birding with Pieter Verheij the CEO of Spanish Nature Wildlife Holidays. I met Pieter at the Hotel Cortijo de Tájar just off the A92 at Junction 203 and we made our way out on to the agricultural areas around the town of Huétor Tájar where Pieter was hoping for the chance to photograph the wintering flock of Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).
The first area checked produce on about 20 Northern Lapwings (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata) and White Wagtails (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba). We then moved on and found the Bustards in an Lucerne field near by, Pieter was out of the vehicle and the camera was soon in action, whilst I did a count which reach 205+. Once Pieter was happy we moved on along the many farm tracks in the area seeing Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer Montanus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Meadow Pipit (Bistita Común / Anthus pratensis), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).
Small White (Blanquita de la Col / Artogeia rapae).
The next stop was on the outskirts of the town on a part harvested field of lettuce, here we managed to connect with a flock of at least 70 Stone-curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) and again Pieter’s camera was at work. Also seen in the area were more Lapwings, Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis).
In the afternoon we decided to have a drive up Sierra de Loja, this decision was immediately rewarded with views of an Immature Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos) and the distant calls of several Alpine Accentor's (Acentor Alpino / Prunella modularis). Further up the Sierra we made another stop and added Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) and Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus). Once we reached the higher levels we started to see Ring Ouzel (Mirlo Capiblanco / Turdus torquatus) and by the end of the day about 25 birds had been seen.
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
Also up on the tops we picked up a late female Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Miliaria calandra) and several Redwings (Zorzal Alirrojo / Turdus iliacus).
During the day we also saw Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Capra pyrenaica), Small (Blanquita de la Col / Artogeia rapae) and Bath Whites (Blanquiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Clouded Yellow (Colias crocea) and Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).