A few hours birding in the first rain of the Autumn.
Goldfinch(Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis).
Jayne and Barb again fancied a few hours around the City of Granada (and who can blame them it is a great place) so I dropped them off and headed down to Padul wetland just to the South where I had been a few days earlier looking for three female Mandarin Ducks (Pato mandarin / Aix galericulata) seen by good friend Juan Perez. I again headed for the hide which looks out over the main lake but again there was no sign of the Mandarins but I did find quite a few nice species even though the rain at times was quite heavy. On the margins large numbers of Goldfinches (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and Serins (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) were coming down to drink and the they we siting up in some nearby bushes where they spent sometime preening and sorting them selves out which gave me the chance to get a few shot.
Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus).
They were joined by a few House Sparrows(Gorrión Común / Passer Domesticus), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), Cetti’s Warbler(Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and a female Common Redstart(Colirroja Real / Phoenicurus phoenicurus).
Out on the lake there were around 8 Grey Herons (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), a few Western Cattle (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and a single Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) and on the near bank a least 3 Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago).
Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis).
In the bushes behind the hide I added a Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) and a male Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) to the list as I went back to the car and started to drive a little further around the reserve.
In the area along the drainage ditches I picked up the first of around 15 Whinchats (Tarabilla Nortena / Saxicola rubetra), a maleCommon Kestrel(Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and a nice male Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe). I then made a stop on the track side near a few small little elotiment type areas when I saw a small group of birds fly up out of the weeds on the back edge of one of the fields.
Whinchat (Tarabilla Nortena / Saxicola rubetra).
The group turned out to be a party of Ortolan Bunting's (Escribano Hortolano / Emberiza hortulana) a new species for my Granada list, it consisted of 2 males, 1 female and an Immature. Also in this area were a few more Whinchats, Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and a small flock of Yellow Wagtails(Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava) of mixed races.
I had some good views of the Ortolan's so I decided to have a look at the hide which was on the side of the smelly canal on the other side of the lake. I did not find the Mandarins here either but I did get nice views of a Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus), some migrating Sand Martins (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scirpaceus) and Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor).
I then decided as I still had some time to go back to the site where I had seen the Ortolan's to see if I could get some better views, as I pulled up the flock again flew up into one of the dead fruit trees in the hedge at the back of the small fields but this time I counted 10 Ortolan's amongst the finches and bunting flock. Other birds included Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and a single male Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus).