Royal British Legion New Years day walk.
I was not surprised to find that I was one of only four people who could drag themselves out of the New Years day pit. At 11:30 we set off for a near two hour walk around the mountains at the back of the town of Loja. It seemed we were walking up hill for ever but it was through some very pleasant countryside and farmland. On the way around we saw good numbers of Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Meadow Pipit (Bistita Común / Anthus pratensis) and Black Redstarts (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros). On one of the rocky out crops on the higher part of the walk a single male Blue Rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) kept watch while a pair of Black Wheatears (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura) chased each other around the broom bushes. On the slopes Thekla Larks (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and several Spotless Starlings (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) fed amongst the grass tussocks and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) called from the gorse bushes. Other birds seen included Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus). All the way around the walk the track side had plenty of Wide-leaved Iris (Iris planifolia) giving the banks a nice splash of early colour.
Photographs from the top: View over the fields, Wide-leaved Iris (Iris planifolia) and View at the end of the walk.