Friday, 8 February 2013

Laguna Dulce, Malaga Province and Grazalema, Cadiz Province.

A few days with good friends Sue and Sam.

Jayne and I set off for Sue's campo house near Grazalema, on the way I saw a Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) which flushed up from the ditch along the road near the house, Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) and Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus) all of which were seen before we even reached Huétor Tajár. Further along the way we had a largish flock of Azure-winged Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus) which flew over the motorway, White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros). We stopped off breifly at Laguna Dulce where I had a scan from the hide. Out on the water there were loads of Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), a few Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and at least two Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) these were joined by good numbers of Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Northern Shoveler (Cuchara Común / Anas clypeata), Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) and around 30 White-headed Ducks (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala). Also seen but in smaller numbers were both Little (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and Black-necked Grebes (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina) and Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera). Along the margins several Common Moorhens (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) were feeding along with a few winter plumaged Reed Buntings ( Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and loads of Corn Buntings (Triguero / Emberiza calandra). Out on the flooded fields there were more Northern Lapwings joined by a few Golden Plovers (Chorlito Dorado Europeo / Pluvialis apricaia), several Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus) and a surprise roosting Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia). Other species seen at this site included Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea).
We then continued on our way towards Ronda, finding that we had to use the old road past Teba as the new one had calpsed again. On the detour we did however pick up Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and a little further on nearer Ronda a couple of Jays (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius) which flew across the road moving between Oak woods.
We then spent a couple of hours in Ronda town during which we had a walk along the cliffs and gorge where we saw a single Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), several Red-billed Choughs (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Blue Tits (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Feral Pigeons (Columba livia domesticus) by the thousand and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala).
We then started the last short part of the trip up to Sue's via Benaojan where we had some lunch before going on through Montejaque and the out to the main Sevilla road. Along this route we saw loads more Griffon Vultures, Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus) and Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) along with Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus F lyllus), Narcissis fernandesii, Paperwhite Narcissus (Narcissus papyraceus), Linaria tristris and Southern Daisy (Bellis cordifolia). As we approached Sue's along the final sretch of country road there were a couple of spikes of Giant Orchid (Himantoglossum robertiana), lots of Intermediate Perriwinkle (Vinca difformis) quite a few tall spikes of the beautiful Asphodelus ramosus. We then reached Sue's and after a very welcome coffee and a good chat we had a quick explore of the garden seeing Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) which was singing nicely, Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) and Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla). During the evening we had another good rattle and sorted out some of my unidentified Butterfly shot adding a new species to my list Idas Blue (Plebejus idas) which was seen back in July up in the Sierra Nevada.
Photographs from the top: Linaria tristris, Crags near Montejaque, Narcissis fernandesii, Giant Orchid (Himantoglossum robertiana) and Intermediate Perriwinkle (Vinca difformis).

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