Friday 13 August 2010

Sierra Hacho, Loja, Granada Province.

More migrants.

This morning I popped down to Loja to try and sort out some photographs for printing and picked up a group of Black Kites (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans) circling to gain height, in total there were about 16 birds to start with. As I watched them for the next ten minutes or so more birds joined the growing stack and by the time they moved on there were at least 40 birds circling above my head. The next move was to surprise me some what, all the birds headed off strongly North East, totally the opposite direction to the one I had expected!
While I was watching these birds I also had good numbers of Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) and European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) in the same area.

Thursday 12 August 2010

Sierra Humilladero, Mollina, Malaga Province.

Peace in the Pine woods,…..

Cicada’s (Tibicen plebejus).
….except for the deafening row from thousands of Cicada’s (Tibicen plebejus). Again we met at the Hotel Elsava, from there we went to a camp site just out of Mollina and started the walk around and over the Sierra del Humilladero. Just as we left the vehicle we passed a small pool of water where several Common Crossbills (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and a Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) were all having a drink. On the climb up several species of butterfly were seen including Bath White (Pontia daplidice), Clouded Yellow (Colias crocea), Mallow / False Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus alceae / tripolinus), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla), Small White (Artogeia rapae), Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) and Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera). A couple of Dragonflies flew passed but remained as probable Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii).
A view from the Sierra.
Out in the open near the highest point a couple of Rock Buntings (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia) called as they flew off, along with Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis).
The whole area looked as though it would be good for wildflowers and Orchids in the spring but everything was well burnt off at the time of the year. 
The Group.
During the decent down the other side of the Sierra I added Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blue Rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Great Tit (Carbonero Común / Parus major), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata) and Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae).
Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba).
Once back at the car we did the stretches and cool down and then made our way back to the hotel, on the way several Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) were seen perched on the roof of a farm building and two White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia) were picked up dropping down into the two of Antequera. I collected the car and headed home adding Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), male Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) and Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae) on the way.

Tuesday 10 August 2010

Nacimiento de la Villa, Near Torcal, Antequera, Malaga Province.

More rare Orange-winged Dropwings. 

A view down the valley.
I met up with the walkers at the Hotel Enslava in Antequera as usual and we set off to the start point which was on the road out towards El Torcal. I was a little worried how well the ankle would do but all was fine, it was a bit sore afterwards but nothing to bad. We first walked a shortish uphill stretch amongst some harvested crop fields, in the air above us I soon picked up Alpine (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) and Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido / Apus pallidus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Crag (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica). 
Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi).
Lower down several Crested Larks (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and a single Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) were seen. Once we move into a more scrubby area more birds started to appear including Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) and Woodchat Shrikes (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), a couple of immature Black-eared Wheatears (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus). When we arrived back at the start point we had a look at the two man made pools which had been created to hold the water from the near by spring. Dragonflies were seen straight away including 3 males of the rare Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator). Birds included White (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Grey Wagtails (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster). 
The Pond.
Several species of butterfly were also seen during the morning including Bath White (Pontia daplidice), Blue Spotted Hairstreak (Satyrium spini), Clouded Yellow (Colias crocea), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus), Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla), Southern Gatekeeper (Pyronia cecilia), Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba), Striped Grayling (Pseudotergumia fidia) and Swallowtail (Papilio machaon). The last thing of interest was whilst I was driving home an immature Egyptian Vulture (Alimoche Común / Neophron percnopterus) flew west along the motorway.