Monday 30 July 2012

Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

Day two of Sue and Sam's visit.

Again Sue, Sam, Jayne and I were out and about early to avoid some of the heat and were heading off down the Cacín Valley. We started off on the western end of El Temple amongst the large harvested crop fields looking for some of the interesting species in this area. Well they had all obviously take a late July break as the place was very quiet, however we did pick up a Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido / Apus pallidus). We then moved down into the Cacín Valley and drove down towards the Embalse de Cacín, on the way we saw several European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) perched on the roadside wires, Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor). The water level at the lake was very low and there was a large area of mud exposed which gave us our only two waders of the day with two Green (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) and three Common Sandpipers (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) being seen. A couple of eagles were then picked up, one on each side of the valley. The first was a cracking Short-toed (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) which was soaring over the ridge on the far side of the lake and the other was a pale phase Booted (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), the Short-toed very quickly crossed the valley and joined the Booted and the both drifted off to the west. On the water there were several Common Pochards (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus) and Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis). Other birds seen included Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba). We moved on down to the river at Cacín and had a short walk along the banks through the poplar woods. Here we picked up a few new species including a fly over Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotraustes), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Great Tit (Carbonero Común / Parus major), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes). We then headed up over the ridge towards Granada and on the way picked up another couple of Short-toed Eagles, Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Rock Pigeon (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia), Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) and Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki). We made our way back across country to the Hotel Cortijo de Tajar where we had some lunch before heading home where Sam had a nice cool down in the paddling pool under the grape vines.

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