A stroll down to the Bar.
We got all the jobs done and decided to have a walk down to Huetor and then back over the fields as it was a nice sunny day. We started off down the hill pursued by some of the local campo hounds barking, yapping and generally being a pain. Good numbers of the locally common Azure-winged Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus) were feeding in and around one of the farm cottages with at least 30 birds being seen in a tree at the same time. Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricapilla), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer Domesticus) and Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) were all seen before we headed out into the open fields. On the fields and along the side of the barranco birds were plentiful, large numbers of finches and sparrows fed on the dried off thistle tops, White Wagtails (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Crested Larks (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata) seemed to be popping up on the tops of all the field ridges and there were loads of Collared Doves (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Spotless Starlings (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) on the wires. Further down the road toward the town Jayne suddenly stopped and I walked into the back her, when I sort of said why did you do that she pointed at the road just ahead of us at a rather large but dopey looking Ladder Snake (Culebra de Escalera / Etaphe scalaris). The snake really should have been curled up some where but had obviously been disturb from its winter slumber and had decided to take the rather dangerous route along the road side, after some coaxing the reptile moved off into the undergrowth. We continued a little further on and found the wintering flock of Stone-curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) on the normal field, about 200 birds were in view, along with small numbers of both Northern Lapwings (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) and Golden Plovers (Chorlito Dorado Europeo / Pluvialis apricaia). Our next stop was at one of the local bars were we had a drink before setting off on the return walk on the road across the fields. When we reached the railway bridge we stopped and had a good scan over the fields picking up a small group of Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), a second flock of just over a hundred Stone-curlews, Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), a pair of Calling Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax) and a mixed flock of Crested (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata) and Skylarks (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis). On the final part of the walk an unexpected bird was added to the list, a Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) was perched low down in one of the Almond trees along the side of the barranco, which at the time only had a small tickle of water in it.
Other species noted included Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Meadow Pipit (Bistita Común / Anthus pratensis), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina). We also picked up Small White (Artogeia rapae), Large White (Pieris brassicae) and Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) butterflies, a single Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and a couple of Iberian Brown Hares (Lepus europaeus / poss subsp capensis).
Photographs from the top: Ladder Snake (Culebra de Escalera / Etaphe scalaris) x2 and a view along the Rio.