Birds, flowers and Orchids.
Juan and I found our selves down at the usual spot for our monthly Sea bird survey and for the second time I forgot my chair and ended up with a numb bum sitting on the gravel. The sea birds were few and far between today, mainly due to quite a strong breeze going out to sea. We did pick up 9X Cory's Shearwaters (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris diomedea), 5X Balearic Shearwaters (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus), 3X Great Skuas (Págalo Grande / Catharacta skua) and quite a few Great Cormorants (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocorax carbo). All the expected Gulls were seen, they included Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus), Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and a single probable adult Great Black-backed Gull (Gavión Atlantico / Larus marinus), a much darker bird than last months. While we were there a Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus) was seen a couple of times and a Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus) did several passes, one carrying prey. Other birds seen included Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus).
Our next stop was to do some ring reading at the fish port at Mortil, Gull numbers were low but we did pick out several birds including an Audouin's with a ring on. Again we picked up a very large gull but this month it was a 1st winter which again could be a GBB Gull and photo's have been forwarded. The adult bird we saw last month was also forwarded and was confirmed as a rather pale mantled GBB Gull by a several people. Also added here were Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta) and House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer Domesticus).
A very quick trot around Charca was next as the warden was shutting a bit early, we only got chance to look in two of the hides but added a few species. They included my first Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica) of the year, Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), loads of Common Chiffchaffs (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Great Tit (Carbonero Común / Parus major), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus). Out on the water a couple of pairs of Eurasian Coots (Focha Común / Fulica atra) were tending their strange looking chicks, along with Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Northern Shoveler (Cuchara Común / Anas clypeata) and Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus). Stripeless Tree Frogs (Hyla meridionalis) were heard but not seen, several Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) butterflies were on the wing and a single Migrant Hawker ( Aeshna mixta) shot across the track and off over the pools.
Juan then drove us back to Granada where he did me a map of a site nearby where I could go and see Narcisuss cantabricus, I drove to the site and parked up. I started the walk and quickly started to think that I was on the wrong track as Juan had said it was flat and the one I was on was not, but I did pick up several very noisy Great Spotted Cuckoo's (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius) on the way , along with several spikes of Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera) the fourth species for the year list, Somber Bee Orchid (Ophrys fusca) and hundreds of Fan-lipped Orchids (Orchis collina) including several spikes resemmbaling var flavescens. I did eventually, after a quick call to Juan work out where I had gone wrong and decended down the very steep fire break to the correct track and quickly found several hundred blooms of the Narcisuss. In the same area I added White Rockrose (Helianthemum apenninum), Linaria aeruginea ssp nevadensis and French Lavender (Lavandula stoechas). Birds included Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea), Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) and Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus).
Photographs from the top: Possible adult Great Black-backed Gull (Gavión Atlantico / Larus marinus), Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), possible 1st winter Great Black-backed Gull (Gavión Atlantico / Larus marinus), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera), Somber Bee Orchid (Ophrys fusca), 2X Fan-lipped Orchids (Orchis collina) lower shot var flavescens and Narcisuss cantabricus.