Sunday, 22 January 2012

Alhambra Woodlands/General Life and El

Hoping for a Province tick.

After getting a text from Juan Perez yesterday I went up in to Granada for a walk around the Alhambra gardens to try and see the Tawny Owl (Cárabo Común / Strix aluco) he sees fairly regularly. I parked in the main car park and walked down the hill through the mixed woodlands which surround the famous attraction till I was just above the city and then looked into the hole where the bird had been yesterday to find it empty as I had the last time when we met Juan and Beatriz at the site. I did manage to see the almost completely albino Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), along with more normal coloured birds. High up in the trees I also picked up several Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotraustes), a couple of Redwings (Zorzal Alirrojo / Turdus iliacus) and lower down there were singing Blackcaps (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricapilla) and Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita).
I then returned to the car and headed up the Sierra Nevada to the area called El Purche which is an area of open grassland and Hawthorn scrub with some Walnut and fruit tree plantations where in the past I have seen some large flocks of finches and bunting but not today. Unfortunately the snow from the beginning of the week was still covering most of the ground below the fruit trees so birds were a bit thin on the ground. I did get some nice views of Cirl (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Corn (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and Rock Buntings (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia) together in the same Hawthorn bush. Also seen were a few Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and a cracking really brightly plumaged Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis) which yaffelled it's way through the Walnut trees. I then moved down the hill a little and added Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) and a flock of about 6 more Hawfinches. I then drove back to the city to meet Jayne but I was a tad early so I walled back to the Owl site from the opposite direction from this morning but the result was the same, just an empty hole perfect for a Tawny Owl.
Photographs from the top: Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).

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