Jayne and I headed off into Loja first thing this morning, Jayne had a wonder around the shops whilst I went to see the accountant. On my walk up to his office I did see my first Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) of the year, along with loads of House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and a few Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).
After the meeting I met up with Jayne and we headed back home for some lunch, later I went down onto the fields north of Huétor Tájar for a couple of hours birding. On the way down I saw at least 5 Woodchat Shrikes (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) sat up on the wires or in road side bushes and a pair of Little Owls (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) sat out on a roof top getting some sun. My first stop was along side the Arroyo del Vilano where there were loads of Barn Swallows, House Martins and a few Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica).
On the sides of the Arroyo several Crested Larks (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) were chasing each other around and both White (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Grey Wagtails (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) were feeding on the exposed shingle bars. I then continued on to the other side of the road bridge and back on to the track along the Arroyo again a little further down stream, from here I could scan the flooded fields and soon picked up a few remaining waders. These included Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) and a year tick in the form of a Wood Sandpiper (Andarrios Bastardo / Tringa glareola).
Western Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava flavissima).
After seraching the floods I turned around and headed back towards the road, on the way I had the second year tick of the afternoon, this time it was a fine male Common Redstart (Colirroja Real / Phoenicurus phoenicurus), in the same area I had Iberian Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula). My next stop was on the railway bridge looking over the floods from the other side, from here I added just Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) and Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallingao gallinago) to the list before continuing on along this track towards the Mesia road. I spent quite a while sat at the side of a large puddle filled field of Lucerne where there was a flock of around 40 Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), a couple of Water Pipits (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta) and loads of Spanish (Yellow) Wagtails (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae) along with good numers of both Blue-headed (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava flava) and Western Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava flavissima) the UK sub-species.
Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
In the same area I saw Willow Warbler (Mosquitero Musical / Phylloscopus trochillus), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), several passage Sand Martins (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus) and my first singing Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) of the spring. I then drove back towards the house via the far fields seeing and photographing a very nice Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) on the way, on the far fields I was very pleased to see that there was still a small flock of just nine Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) still hanging around. There was a cracking male in the flock and eight female types, also on the fields were a couple of roosting Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) and a large flock of Spotless Starlings (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor). On the way back up to the house I saw and heard a singing male Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus) and as I got out of the car a Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea) flew over the house.