Friday, 1 January 2010

Moraleda de Zafayona, Granada Province.

A morning’s winter bird Atlas recording.

To start with HAPPY NEW YEAR to any one who takes the time to read and I hope enjoy this blog, Thank You.

After the wet weather of the last two weeks it was a pleasure to get out with the bins. Today’s route was in the fields to the west of the town of Moraleda, 15 itineraries were planed and completed. The start of the walk was amongst broom and herb scrub where I picked up the only Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata) of the day and several Thekla Larks (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae). Serins (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and Jackdaws (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) were the commonest birds with 100+ of the former and about 75 of the latter. It was nice to hear the yaffling calls of several Green Woodpeckers (Pito Real / Picus viridis) during the walk and the distant drumming of a couple of Great Spotted Woodpeckers (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major) made me think that spring is not so far away. A small flock of Long-tailed (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Great (Carbonero Común / Parus major) and Blue Tits (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) passed through a small area of Poplar woodland accompanied by large numbers of Blackcaps (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricapilla) and Common Chiffchaffs (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) and a couple of Short-toed Treecreepers (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla). Further along the tracks a small flock of Corn (Triguero / Miliaria calandra), Cirl (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus) X5 and Reed Buntings (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus) X3 were feeding with large numbers of House Sparrows (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and White Wagtails (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) out on a winter cereal crop field.
Other birds recorded included Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falcotinnunculus), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Meadow Pipit (Bistita Común / Anthus pratensis), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Robin (Petirrrojo / Erithacus rubecula), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis).
In the mud along one of the streams several Badger (Meles meles) tracks were found, a mammal I have only seen as a road casualty so far. Several plant species were in flower, Violet Cabbage (Moricandia moricandioides was by far the commonest.
Photographs from the top: Badger (Meles meles) Tracks and Violet Cabbage (Moricandia moricandioides).

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