Monday, 7 February 2011

Somewhere in Granada Province.

Waste ground birding.

Jayne and I meet Juan Pérez Contreras at a prearranged point from where he took us to a loction a few Kms away for a couple of hours birding, on arrival we meet up with Juan Francisco Jiménez and Jorge Garzón who were already on site. Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) were every where, singling and chasing each other around the area, Crested (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata) and Skylarks (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis) were also heard. Juan Fran then picked up a male Hen Harrier (Aguilucho Pálido / Circus cyaneus) which dropped into the Olives before I got on to it but I did pick up the first of three Black-winged Kites (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus) which we were to see during the next couple of hours. We kept adding species including Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus) before the main show started about half an hour before dusk. First at least two male Hen Harriers came in much closer than the first bird and gave us some fabulous views as they hunted over the thistle fields, they were joined by all three Black-shouldered Kites which perched together on a field fence a couple of hundred meteres away. While all this was going on the main birds started to fly, first one Short-eared Owl (Búho Campestre / Asio flammeus) did a performance for us and then before long it was joined by at least two possibly three more birds. We were so intently watching the birds we had not notice the Guadia Civil drive up behind us untill they got out of there 4x4, I was quite releaved to see that they had got binnoculars with them and were here for the same thing as us and were quite pleased to have a scan though our scopes. The temprature dropped quite quickly once the sun had gone so we walked back to the car, the last bird of the evening was a single Black-winged Kite drifting off to roost, a cracking couple of hours birding.
Photographs from the top: Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).

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