Sunday, 30 June 2013

The Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

Day two of Gretchen's Tour.

Today started up in Granada City again where I met Gretchen before we headed off back along the motorway towards Moraleda where we came off and went to our first site, Balsa de Regidor. The site is a small naturalised pool which had several pairs of Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) breeding on it and they were out on the water with good numbers of ducklings. Also on the water there were several Eurasian Coots (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhens (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Mallards (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) and Little Grebes (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis). Also seen in the air and around the margins were Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus). Whilst we were along side the lake we could hear a Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) calling from in the Olives so we took a walk down the track towards the farm, we did not see the Curlew but added Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis). We walked back up to the car and drove the short distance up on to the agricultural areas nearby, on the way we had views of both Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Thekla Larks (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and just as we arrived at the site a pair of Little Owls (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) sat on a rock pile. Once we moved out on to the fields we quickly located a small group of 4 Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) which were out on a harvested crop field, also here we saw and heard both Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) along with a couple of Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) which were walking around amongst straw bails on the fields nearby. We again moved on down through the site to a spot where a pair of beautiful Rollers (Carraca / Coracias garrulus) were breeding in a dead tree, we arrived and found that there were three more Hoopoes and a family party of Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis). After a short while the first of the Roller adults flew in and fed the youngsters while we watched and this bird was soon followed by the second bird, we had great views. We moved further along the track where we had cracking views of a European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) which was feeding from the tops of dead Almond trees. In the same area we saw a fly over Stone Curlew, Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra). From here we dropped down into Cacín where we had a late breakfast in the bar before continuing on down the valley where we stopped by the bridge over the Rio Cacín, almost straight away we picked up a group of feeding European Bee-eaters, heard a calling Wryneck (Torcecuello / Jynx torquilla) some way along the track towards the dam, a Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) which soon skulked back off into cover and then a very nice male Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) which sang from the top of a White Willow near the dam. Down near the dam we hear a Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major) calling but did not see it, luckily Gretchen got flight veiws later as we walked back to the car, on the dam we saw White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and up in the pines a Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius). We then walked back to the car and on the way we got views of a distant immature Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus) which circled over the ridge. We passed the car and continued on down the road and picked up a Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis) which we had heard call a few times, a singing Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta) which sat nicely in a low bush and a calling Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) but it remained out of site.
From hear we drove up to the Embalse where we picked up more Common Pochards, Eurasian Coots, Common Moorhens and White Wagtails. On the muddy margins there were a small number of Green Sandpipers (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) and a pair of Little Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius). From here we dropped down the valley and stopped above the gorge and scanned the cliffs where we got nice views of both Common and Pallid Swifts, Crag Martin, several Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) were seen collecting something from the cliffs but we could not work out what from our view point. Rock Sparrows (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia) could be hear down in the gorge and what was possibly the same immature Bonelli's Eagle we had seen earlier soared above us and gave us some really nice views. From hear we headed back along the gorge and stopped at the Roman bridge where we had some more views of Rock Sparrows, Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and then a surprise species a male Spanish Sparrow (Gorrión Moruno / Passer hispaniolensis) which perched in a small Almond tree near the bridge. We continued on up the valley to Cacín and stopped on the river and walked up the river, near the bridge we saw a Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla) several times as it came into its nest in a gnarled willow tree. We also had good views of Nightingale, Long-tailed Tits (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea). We moved on along the road and up onto the ridge above where we quickly picked up a Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) on a road side Pylon. We continued on across country through Ventas del Huelma and on to another agricultural area near the large industrial area at La malaha. We worked our way across the fields where we got nice views of a Hoopoe, Short-toed Lark and Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata). Our last stop was at a disused Cortijo on the way back into the city where we got nice views of a couple of Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni), lots of Feral / Rock Pigeons (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia) and around the side of the buildings we found a plant that I did not know. From here we headed back into the city where I said goodbye to Gretchen and had a walk up into the city to collect a couple of bits a friend had left in a Hotel before heading home.
Photographs from the top: Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and Unidentified Wildflower 

1 comment:

nic.b van es said...

dit was toch wel weer heerlijk genieten.