Saturday 2 June 2012

Northern Malaga Province.

300th Species for my Spanish Bird List.

Rufous-tailed Bush Robin (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes).
My good friend Juan and I drove to a site in the north of neighbouring Malaga Province after a tip off from some Malaga birders that Juan knows about a site for Rufous-tailed Bush Robin (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes). We arrived at the spot where Juan had understood was the right site and started birding, we quickly picked up a nice male Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Short-toed (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) and Crested Larks (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) but there was no sign of the Chats.
Rufous-tailed Bush Robin (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes).
Juan was then doubting that we were in the correct place as the crops in the area did not correspond with was he had had described to him so he contacted the chap that had kindly given us the info in the first place and we as suspected were not in the right spot. Armed with some new directions we were at the correct place in a few minutes and with in 5 minutes we were watching the bird perched on a vegetation covered chain-link fence. What a cracker it was and showed well for us, after some time a car passed us by and parked right by the bird and it did not seem bothered at all so we jumped in the motor and using it as a hide we approached the singing bird. We stopped and the first thing the Robin did was to fly over, hover half a meter from the window and land on the wing mirror to have a look at us before flying back on to the fence and preening for several minutes but just out of sight of the scopes.
Rufous-tailed Bush Robin (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes).
We continued to watch the male sing from the fence and the female who was spending time on the ground near the car for a while. In the same area we saw and heard Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus) and Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto).
Rufous Bush Robin (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes).
Our next spot was around a couple of lagoons which Juan knew about but I had never visited before, here we recorded Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Avocet (Avoceta Común/ Recurvirostra avosetta), Black-necked (Zampullín Cuellinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), Great Crested (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) and Little Grebes (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Northern Shoveler (Cuchara Común / Anas clypeata), Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina) and White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala).
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum).
A few dragonflies were seen including Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum).
We then travelled back towards home calling in a Arroya Marin near Archidona so that Juan could have a look at the plants of Iberian Orchid (Ophrys vernixia) I had found just the week before but when we got there they had gone past their best. We did see or hear several new species for the day including Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Robin (Petirrrojo / Erithacusrubecula), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotraustes), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Bonelli’s Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricapilla) and Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki).
Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus).
Several species of butterfly were seen as we walked along the track, these included Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Clouded Yellow (Colias crocea), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus), Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus), Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe), Large White (Pieris brassicae), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) and Small White (Artogeia rapae). We then headed back to Huetor and Juan continued on home, on the way we did pick up three nice species to finish off a great day, Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Blue Rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) and Common Quail (Codorniz Común / Coturnix coturnix).

Friday 1 June 2012

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

Moth Trapping.

10346 (2091) Agrotis ipsilon (Dark Sword-grass).
I was going to use the 125MV but there was quite a strong wing so I stuck with the lower level bulb of the 15watt Actinic.
6105 Anagasta kuehniella.
New moths that I am happy with included the macro 10346 (2091) Agrotis ipsilon (Dark Sword-grass) and the two Pyralids 6105 Anagasta kuehniella and 6207 (1289) Euchromius ocellea.
6207 (1289) Euchromius ocellea.
Plus a micro that I am not 100% about but at the moment the best I can come up with is 4559 (0980) Archips xylosteana (Variegated Golden Tortrix).
4559 (0980) Archips xylosteana (Variegated Golden Tortrix).

Wednesday 30 May 2012

Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

The birds sit for the Camera But NOT MINE!!!!!

Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) by Steve Powell.
I met Steve Powell and his wife Elena at the Cortijo de Tájar hotel just off the A92 and we all headed out along the motorway and then down into the Cacín Valley for a days birding. Our first stop was at the river just on the outskirts of the village of the same name where we had a look from the bridge and added the first species to the day list which included Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula).
Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei) by Steve Powell.
From here we went for a walk along the River, a family party of Long-tailed Tits (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) performed nicely out on the dead branches of a river side tree along with both Great (Carbonero Común / Parus major) and Blue Tits (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), a Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major) which flashed across between the trees further along the track and then our main target bird put in a nice but very brief appearance when a female Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) flew up and away from the river bank. Along the walk we also added Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricapilla), Bonelli’s Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli) heard only, Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris). At a clearing some way along the track we spent some time looking for more Orioles, hoping that they may fly between the poplar plantation but apart from a couple of elusive calling males we had no joy, we did whoever add Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and a distant soaring Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor Perdicera / Hieraaetus faciatus) to the list.
Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) by Steve Powell.
Several species of butterfly were also seen along the track side including Large (Pieris brassicae) and Small Whites (Artogeia rapae), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus), Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera) and Clouded Yellow (Colias crocea). We then retraced our steps and just as we were getting back to the vehicle I had a fleeting glimpse of a male Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlona / Sylvia hortensis) as it flashed along the riverside vegetation, unfortunately by the time I had got on it, it had gone out of sight. Back at the car we had another quick look at the river and picked up Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata) and Robin (Petirrrojo / Erithacus rubecula). We then went into the hills looking for more raptors; on the way up we had a nice Juv Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei) fly across Infront of the car and land on an Almond tree quite near to us. Once up on the top of the ridge we quickly found a cracking Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) which sat nicely for Steve to get some very good shots and this was followed closely by the next species which was a soaring pale phase Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus).
Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos) by Steve Powell.
We stopped on the roadside for a scan over the fields and almost straight away had a Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus) fly across in front of us (a bird Elena had wanted to see), here we also saw Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Crested (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata) and Thekla Larks (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia). We also saw a couple more butterfly species, Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice) and Spanish Gatekeeper (Lobito listado / Pyronia bathsheba).
Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos) by Steve Powell.
We then dropped down off the tops and headed up towards the Embalse de Cacín, on the way Elena expressed her wish to not only see a Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos) but she wanted close views both Steve and I said that it would be nice to see one but close was not easy. We made a stop along the river which was flowing at full speed and was almost coming over the bridge, here we saw more Great Tits, Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes) and Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), plus some butterfly with Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina) being new for the day.
We then moved on and the first bird see as we came around the corner near the Embalse was as required a Golden Eagle and as you will see from the shots Steve got we got dam close but not as close as the mad Magpies!!! After the excitement of the Eagle we had a good look at the Embalse which had a lot of exposed mud as the water level was as low as I had ever seen it. On the margins there were at least 3 Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus), 6+ Little Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus) and out on the water a few Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), a couple of Little Grebes (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and a single Great Crested (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus).
Ant-lion (Myrmeleon formicarius).
Here we also saw or heard White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scirpaceus), Pallid (Vencejo Pálido / Apus pallidus), Common (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and Alpine Swifts (Vencejo Real / Apus melba), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) and Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina). Our next stop was on a large area of Olives and cereal fields where we unfortunately dipped on the Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis) but we did pick up Greater Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and a cracking male Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax). We also went for a walk into an Almond plantation looking for butterflies and we did very well seeing Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi), Clouded Yellow (Colias crocea), Berger’s Clouded Yellow (Colias alfacariensis), Mallow / False Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus alceae / tripolinus), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines), Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) and also seen were several Ant-lions (Myrmeleon formicarius).
Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum).
We then started to journey home calling in at a man made laguna on the side of the A92 to have a look at what dragonfly species were about. On the water there were at least 40 Common Pochard, Mallard, Eurasian Coot, Common Moorhen and Little Grebe and in the trees a couple of Nightingales sang and a pair of Golden Orioles flew along the far side of the pool low over the Olives. Dragons included several Black-tailed Skimmers (Orthetrum cancellatum), Broad Scarlet (Crocothemis erythraea), Blue / Common (Anax imperator) and Lesser Emperors (Anax parthenope), a teneral Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and both Iberian Bluetail (Ischnura graellsii) and Common Blue Damselflies (Enallagma cyathinerum). We then headed back to the house for some lunch via Mesia and across the fields, new birds included Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) and Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki). At the house we had a very nice lunch which Jayne had made for us before Steve and Elena made their way back down to the coast.
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum).

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

Moth Trapping.

9917 (2160) Laconobia oleracea (Bright-line Brown-eye).
This morning was one of those where I have more left to Identify or have identified for me that I can sort out but I still have a few new species for the garden list.
2419 Eurodachtha pallicornella.
The only Macro was a very unhelpful 9917 (2160) Laconobia oleracea (Bright-line Brown-eye) which was soon warmed up and off.
3260 Isophrictis kefersteiniellus.
Micros included 2419 Eurodachtha pallicornella, 3260 Isophrictis kefersteiniellus and 2169 (0918) Scythris limbella.
2169 (0918) Scythris limbella.

Sunday 27 May 2012

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

Moth Trapping.

9368 (2404) Heliothis nubigera (Eastern Bordered Straw).
New species this morning that I am happy with were 9368 (2404) Heliothis nubigera (Eastern Bordered Straw), 8125 Idaea incisaria and 6189 (1343) Eudonia delunella, I also think that I had two more micros 3271 (0727) Metzneria neuropterella and 3888 (0809) Pexicopia malvella (Hollhock Seed Moth) but I have sent these to Penny Hale to be checked along with another couple of micros I was stuck with.
8125 Idaea incisaria.
189 (1343) Eudonia delunella.