A trip over to see friends Sue and Sam (Day One).
Jayne and I made a slightly later than planned start on out trip over to Grazalema to spend some time with good friends Sue and Sam and to check out a few bits of the local wildlife whilst there. On the way wepicked up a few species, the best of which were a female Hen Harrier (Aguilucho Pálido / Circus cyaneus), both male and female Marsh Harriers (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Feral Pigeon (Columba livia) and Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula).
Just before Campillos we made a quickly stop at Laguna Dulce but the wind was savage at the site as it had been all the way over and all the birds were tucked in to the reed beds and along the margins. I did however manage to see a good number of White-headed Ducks (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), lots of Northern Shovelers (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Little (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and Black-necked Grebes (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
From here we continued our journey over to Sue's but stopped for a very very good menu del dia at a place next to the garden centre just before the main Marbella, Campillos, Sevilla and Ronda roundabout, €8:50 and the food was fantastic.
We continued on and made our way along the road out to Sue's through the beautiful Cork Oak woodlands and were delayed slightly by a large group of Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) which circled low over the road, I stopped and we both had good views and I cracked off a few shots. Here we also had Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) and Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus). We arrived a Sue's a few minutes late and had a drink and a catch up chat, later I had a quick walk around the garden and found several new species for the day list including Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) and a flight of three Hawfinches (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes). Later in the afternoon we drove down to Grazalema and collected Sam from the Visitor centre in the middle of the town where he had spent the time since school with his dad Clive. On the way we saw a couple of male Blue-rock Thrushes (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), a male Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis) and lots more Griffon Vultures. We later headed back to Sue's and had something to eat and spent the evening talking and entertaning Sam.
Photographs from the top: Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).