Monday 31 December 2012

Embalse de Bermejalis and the Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

A cone collecting trip !!!!

After doing a few bits in Loja Jayne and I set off through Salar and made our way to the Pine woodlands which surround Embalse de Bermijalis, on the way we picked up a few species on the journey including Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Mistle (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and Song Thrushes (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis).
We parked near the dam, Jayne immediately started searching for cones while I started birding and looking for Orchid rosettes, on the large concrete gully which had water flowing rapidly into the Embalse where I found a pair of Grey Wagtails (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) which were feeding along side several White Wagtails and lots of Common Chiffchaffs.
On the far bank a single Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) was roosting in one of the small Tamarisk trees and further across the far side of the lake there were around a dozen Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo) also roosting in some larger dead trees. In the trees around me there were good numbers of Long-tailed (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Coal Tits (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus). On the ground there were loads of Leaf rosettes of next seasons Wild Orchids, these included Yellow Bee (Ophrys lutea), Ophrys foresterii and Giant Orchids (Himantoglossum robertiana).
Jayne had filled her bag with cones so we started to make our way back towards home via the Cacín Valley, the first stop was on the cliff tops above the main gorge. Here I had distant views of a soaring Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus) away over the Olives, also seen were Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia) and Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus).
We moved on up the Valley stopping at the Embalse de Cacín where I found 50+ or so Common Pochards (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina), several Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Mallards (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Little Grebes (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and on the mud there was a small group of feeding Green Sandpipers (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus).
Our last stop was above El Turro but this site was very quiet, however I did see a couple of Little Owls (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), several Bramblings (Pizón Real / Fringilla montifringilla), Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis) and nice female Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus) which zipped throught the site in just a couple of seconds. We then headed home.

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