Saturday, 4 February 2012

Huétor Tájar and the fields, Granada Province.

A quick but cold trip down to the Supermarket.

It was far to cold to start the jobs early today as the over night temperature had dropped down to -9, so I headed down to the supermarket via the fields and along the river. The first bird seen was a nice female Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus) which zipped low over the field and to my surprise it flushed the 40 or so Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), 100+ Northern Lapwings (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) and 20+ Golden Plovers (Chorlito Dorado Europeo / Pluvialis apricaia) which had been hiding out of the freezing wind down in the bottom of the ridges crossing the field.
A female Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus) that had been perched on a large clod of mud on the divided between the ploughed and planted fields also went up along with 2 of last years Stock Doves (Paloma Zurita / Columba oenas). So within a couple of minutes of arriving I had added two birds to the year list. Down on the river a couple of Green Sandpipers (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) were chasing each other, as were a pair of Grey Wagtails (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), I can not believe that this had anything to do with courtship yet but suspect they were just trying to keep warm. Also seen were Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricapilla), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer Domesticus), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Robin (Petirrrojo / Erithacus rubecula), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
The next stop was the supermarket which was extremely quite for a Saturday morning but I was not that surprised after feeling the wind in the street outside. On the way home I found three very cold looking birders stood in one of the fields watching some of the wintering Little Bustards so I stopped and was pleased to see that the one chap was Juan Francisco Jiménez a birder from Granada who I had not seen for quite a long time. As my Spanish is still bad we communicated through the young lady who was also there and the field guide before we drove back to the spot where I had been on the way to the supermarket. We crossed the frozen river and once on top of the bank we picked up a cracking Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus) which was sat out in a quite empty field, the only birds still around were a few Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and some Woodpigeons (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) in the nearby Poplars. I gave Juan some info about what I had seen recently and where they had been before going back home to start work as the sun was now warming things up a bit.
Photgraphs from the top: Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita).

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