A few more Orchids for the year.
I drove over to the area near La Malahá and stopped at Cortijo del Marchalejo where I caught up with my first Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) of the year with around 15 birds being seen out on the fields nearby and a couple coming into the roof of the Cortijo. Also there were several Jackdaws (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricapilla), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and lots of Feral Pigeons (Columba livia domest). I then moved on to where I was meeting Juan and started to set up my scope just then Juan turned upa nd surgested that we should go to Embalse de Bermejales to look for some early Orchids which might be in flower. We drove down there in Juans car as mine was full of fencing for a job to be done over the next few days. We arrived and parked by the main dam and statred to search amongst the pine trees, we quickly started to find plenty of Somber Bee Orchid (Ophrys fusca subsp fusca or possibly Ophrys forestieri), along with a few Giant Orchids (Barlia robertiana) and just a single half eaten Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera). There were also a few birds about including Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Sardinian Warbler, Robin (Petirrrojo / Erithacus rubecula), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), a single Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus), House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), 2x Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) and Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocorax carbo).
We later returned to the spot where we had met and spent some time looking over the fields and waste ground to see if any of the winter raptors were still around. The first bird to whizz through was a Merlin (Esmerejón / Falco columbarius) which flashed along the lefthand fence line and disappeared as quickly as it had arrived, a couple of Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus) were nocking around and to finish off we picked up a single Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus) which again briefly displayed over on the left hand side of the site. Other birds seen included Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus).
Photographs from the top: female Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Feral Pigeons (Columba livia domest), Somber Bee Orchid (Ophrys fusca subsp fusca or possibly Ophrys forestieri), Giant Orchids (Barlia robertiana) and a rather sad looking Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera).