Monday, 25 February 2013

Huétor Fields and Sierra de Loja, Granada Province.

From the Vega to the Sierra and what a difference.

I started off down on the fields and the first spot was along the road from Huétor out across country to the first railway bridge. Here I soon had two groups of Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) in the bins, the four birds I had seen a few days ago along side the railway line were still in just about the same spot and on the other side of the line there was another group of nine birds. Along with this second group there was a flock of around 40 Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) in the same field. Also seen from this spot were Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata). I then moved on to the river where there were good numbers of Skylarks (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis) whirling around in a couple of flocks totalling around 60 birds, these were joined out on the fields by both Thekla (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and Crested Larks (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Brambling (Pizón Real / Fringilla montifringilla). I then went passed the bar and out onto the road and continued on back towards Huétor, stopping just before the garage and scanned the fields. The first thing that stud out was another largish flock of Stone Curlews which were joined by around 40 or so Golden Plovers (Chorlito Dorado Europeo / Pluvialis apricaia), a couple of Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) and a wandering group of around 14 Red-legged Partridges (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa). On a nearby rooftop there was a Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and in local trees several Common Magpies (Urraca / Pica pica) were perched along with a singing Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus). In the same area I also saw Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) and Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus).
After popping into the supermarket and dropping off the bits back at home I made my way up Sierra de Loja where I was hoping to see some flowering Narcissus Bugei as I had seen then in flower a day or two later a couple of years earlier but this was not the case this year. All I found where I thought that there would be daffodils was snow and ice. I continued on around passed the goat cave to the Hawthorn scrub a little further on, there were still no Narcissus but I did see a couple of very hardy Ring Ouzels ( Mirlo Capiblanco / Turdus torquatus), a single Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) but very little else. I took some shot of the Hawthorn tree that were still in the shade complete with there ice over coat.
I then moved back along the track and started to make my way down the hill, on the way I picked up Thekla Lark, Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Comon Stonechat and a Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus). I took the track up to the small disused quarry where I soon had Dartford (Curruca Rabilargo / Sylvia undata) and Sardinian Warblers (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) and Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris). There were also quite a few wildflowers along this stretch including Viola dementriaWide-leaved Iris (Iris parvifolia) and Field Marigold (Calendula arvensis), I then moved on down through the woods adding Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra) and Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Photographs: Ice trees on Sierra de Loja.

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