Saturday 23 February 2013

Huétor Fields, Granada Province.

A mix of Summer and Winter birds and a bit of a flap at the end.

Shepherds-purse (Capsella bursa Pastoris).
I started out from Huétor on foot heading back towards home across the fields and this is where the later flap started, it appears that whilst sorting out my note book out and ther bits I dropped my wallet, this story continues later. Anyway back to the birds, as I started out towards the railway bridge I walked through the small industrial area picking up the expected Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) with a few fly over Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis). As I left the built up area behind species started to come quickly, during a scan off to the west I soon had Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Golden Plover (Chorlito Dorado Europeo / Pluvialis apricaia), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) and a flock of at least 60 Skylarks (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis) along with a scattering of both Thekla (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata). On the opposite site of the road there is a good sized Poplar plantation were I could hear loads of Serins (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) singing along with good numbers of Common Chaffinches (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Linnets (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) it was quite noisy.
Mallow-leaved Bindweed (Convolvulus althaeoides).
A Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major) was drumming in the same area but remained unseen and there were lots of Woodpigeons (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) sat in the tree tops. I continued on up to the first bridge which gave me a nice raised view out over the fields, While scanning again to the west I located a small group of four Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) a male which was displaying to the three femails, more distantly there was a stubble field which held a surprising number of Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) as I had thought that as I had been hearing them up in the Olives where they breed for a week or more, so I was pleased to find over 270 individuals still on site. Other birds in this area were Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis). I continued on and took the mesia track and walked up onto the second railway bridge along here there were quite a few arable plants in flower including Rabbits bread (Andryala integrifolia), Borage (Borago officinalis), Field Marigold (Calendula arvensis), Shepherds-purse (Capsella bursa Pastoris), Crown Daisy (Chrysanthemum carinatum), Mallow-leaved Bindweed (Convolvulus althaeoides), Soft Stork's-bill (Erodium malacoides), Common Fumitory (Fumaria officinalis), Henbit Deadnettle (Lamium amplexicaule), White Mignonette (Reseda Alba), White Mustard (Sinapis alba) and Common Field Speedwell (Veronica Persica).
Henbit Deadnettle (Lamium amplexicaule).
On a bank along the side of the railway line I added Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), a couple of Hoopoes (Abubilla / Upupa epops), and a cracking male Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilargo / Sylvia undata) which sat up in a near by gorse bush and showed brilliantly for quite a while. I then took to the fields and had soome gained around 3 cm in hieght due to the thick layer of clay type mud that was building up on my boots. Between the Asparugus rows (which is starting to push above ground, not long until we will be eating again) there were more Northern Lapwings and a few Stone Curlews and in the air above this site there were several Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) moving through heading North. Once I came off the fields I was on a track which I have driven many times which runs along the river, as soon as I came up on the bank I located a couple of Green Sandpipers (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), a winter plumaged Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta) and a single Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallingao gallinago) which flushed from the near bank. I then scanned across the railway and was surprised to find a pair of Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) which were checking out sites under the railway bridge, in this area I also saw a few House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and more Barn Swallows in total I guest that I saw 40+ moving through North. I next followed the river along the Southern bank towards the tarmac road back to Huétor, along here I saw another Water Pipit, more Green Sandpipers and a single Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus). I then crossed the road and continued along the river towards the Bar at the end of our road where we live.
In a small Olive plantation along here which is tucked in between two Poplar plantaions, here I saw a few Bramblings (Pizón Real / Fringilla montifringilla), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) and on the river bank amongst some Tamaricks a singing Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti). On the track to the bar I scanned both directions and just Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa) and Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla).
White Mignonette (Reseda Alba).
I reached the bar and decided that a beer would be nice so I called in and had a couple and this was when I realised that my wallet was not where I had thought, after sorting out with the chap that owns the bar who said come back some time and pay (good to have a local) I started the last leg of the walk back to the house, along this stretch I picked up Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea). I got back to the house and could find no sign of the wallet so I waited for Jayne and found no sign in the car. I then took a lookaround the route but found nothing so I headed to the Guardia Civil building. When I got there it was shut, so I stood there looking useless deciding what to do next when I heard a Spanish voice behind me from the bar saying Michael David Richardson.
I turned around and found an out of uniform Guardia chap who had just finished his shift and had just locked up before going for a coffee across the road and he told me that he had my wallet in his office and he had recognised me from the photo on my driving license. It was complete with all the documents and money, there are still some good, honest people out there, thank goodness. After he opened up again and got me to sign for it I headed back home a very happy and lucky chap.

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