Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Huétor Fields, Granada Province.

Birding in the rain !!!

Juan Perez and his wife Beatriz arrived at our for this weeks intercambio, the weather was not great but Juan and I still went out on to the fields for a couple of hours birding. We started along the river behind the bar where we saw the first of six Green Sandpipers (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) in the 2 Km stretch of water we covered. In the same area we recorded Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) and Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallingao gallinago). We continued on along the river on a couple of farm tracks until we reached the dead end at the railway, along here we picked up Brambling (Pizón Real / Fringilla montifringilla), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus). We then retraced our way back onto the tarmac and headed towards Huétor and spent some time scanning the fields from the railway bridge but it was fairly quiet due to the rain and wind. Further around the loop a stop was made at the fields where the Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) are usually found in their day time roost. The last few counts had been on the very low side so I was pleased when we found over two hundred birds on site but this is still only around 25% of the usual number seen during past winters. Here we also saw Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) before moving around to the fields on the Loja side of the town. In a very browned off looking Lucurne field we saw around 35 Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) which flew a short way and landed back into cover, I am sure that the main flock was also in there somewhere but the crop was just at the right height to hide them very well. Again we moved on adding a Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus) to the list on our way back around to the river, here Juan picked up the male Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus) sitting in one of the large pylons but that was about it. By now the weather had got so bad that we made out way back up to the house.

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