Thursday, 9 February 2012

Huétor Fields, Granada Province.

The Raptors just kept coming.

I headed out at 09:00 for another visit to the supermarket to find the temperature had not risen above its -9.5 low and dam it was cold de-icing the car. We before I had past out of the Olives a Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus) flew along the Barranco hoping to catch one of the many Serins (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and Goldfinches (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) she was flushing as she went. A small flock of Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) were feeding on a poo pile near the road along with loads of Common Chiffchaffs (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) and a few White Wagtails (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba). The next two Raptors then appeared, firstly a very dark plumaged Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) which was doing acrobatics trying to throw off the attentions of our wintering female Hen Harrier (Aguilucho Pálido / Circus cyaneus), she was not impressed with the Buzzard for venturing into her area. On the fields just out of town there were the regular 150 or so Stone-curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) roosting and in the same field there was a male Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus) perched on one of the telegraph posts. The Stone-curlews are more fragmented this winter, the last few years the birds have been concentrated on the same couple of stripes of land but this year they are split into six or seven different flocks.
Once I had done the shopping I headed back on the opposite side of the loop back towards home, on the fields by the railway there were a 100 plus Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), along with good numbers of both Northern Lapwings (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) and Golden Plovers (Chorlito Dorado Europeo / Pluvialis apricaia). I then turned on to the track along side the poplar plantations and then the river and with in 50 meters I flushed both Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus) and Merlin (Esmerejón / Falco columbarius) which had been perched on the ridges in two neighboring Asparagus fields. On the river a couple of Green Sandpipers (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) on the icy margins along with Meadow Pipits (Bistita Común / Anthus pratensis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Robin (Petirrrojo / Erithacus rubecula) and a single Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago). Just I was about to come off the fields back on to the road to the house a pale blob in one of the distant pomegranate trees attracted my attention, I got the bins on it to find a cracking Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus) which brought the total to seven species of Raptor in a 20 minute trip to the shops, along with a couple of other nice flocks of good species it makes it a good run down to town.

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