Andy and I were heading out birding locally around the Cacín Valley and Huetor Fields. In the garden before we left I picked up a few Blackcaps (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricapilla), a Garden Warbler and Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis). A male Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma) was perched on a sharp spike of one of the Agarves and several Large Whites (Pieris brassicae) were egg laying on our doomed cabbage plants.
The first site we headed for was the agricultural fields near Moraleda where we picked up lots of Thekla (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and a few Crested Larks (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), large numbers of migrating Tawny Pipits (Bisbita campestre / Anthus campestris), Yellow Wagtails (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava) and Northern Wheatears (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe). Others seen included Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) and Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis). Several Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) Butterflies were hill topping in the area around the ruined Cortijo.
We then moved on down to the Embalse de Cacín, there were good numbers of wildfowl on the lake including Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Northern Shoveler (Cuchara Común / Anas clypeata) and a single female Northern Pintail (Ánade Rabudo / Anas acuta). Other birds out on the water were Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta) and a single near winter plumaged Black-necked Grebe (Zampullín Cuellinegro / Podiceps nigricollis). Low over the water hordes of hirundines were feeding up ready to head south on their migration, they included Crag (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Sand (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia) and House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica). A single Black Tern (Fumarel Común / Chlidonias niger) also skimmer the surface and was seen later perched on a dead branch in the lake. Other birds seen were Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer Domesticus) and Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor).
On the crags near Moraleda we added Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and a male Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura).
We next stopped on the side of the A92 at a small laguna, as we arrived the first bird was a pale phase Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) which drifted off south. On the water we again picked up Common Pochard, Mallard, Eurasian Coot, Common Moorhen and Northern Shoveler. Common (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) and Green Sandpipers (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) were both seen on the marginal tree stumps along with 3 Little Egrets (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta). Also added here were Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Great Tit (Carbonero Común / Parus major), Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava) and Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus). Dragonflies were common at the site, they included Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope), Iberian Bluetail (Ischnura graellsii) and Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata). The last stop was on the fields around Huetor Tajar, the first bird was a cracking male Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus). On one of the many unsown fields we picked up 17 + Stone-curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava), Whinchat (Tarabilla Nortena / Saxicola rubetra) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba). Also seen in the area were Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina).