Jayne was going to the Craft Group in Trabuco so I decided that I would go with her then carry on to the woodlands just above the town in the Sierra del Jobo. I found an area of open ground with a few Hawthorn trees which was in the sun and sat there and waited to see what came to me. The answer was not a lot, well not close enough for the camera anyway but there were lots of birds about. As I arrived there was a flock of 14 Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) circling one of the nearby crags and they were joined by a couple of Peregrine Falcons (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus) for a while until the Vultures drifted off to the west.I settled down with the camera and waited, there were large numbers of Goldfinches (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Linnets (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and Serins (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) whirling around in one large flock but they all seemed to pick any bushes to land in except for the ones I was parked by. The first bird to let me have a few shot of it was a nice Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis) which ambled around on the rocks below the bushes, then came a couple of Common Chiffchaffs (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) and a nice male Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs). In the nearby bushes I saw several Rock Buntings (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Blackbirds (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), a nice male Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) and in the Olives on the opposite side of the track there were loads of Blackcaps (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), a small flock of Long-tailed Tits (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) and a calling Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major). After spending an hour or so here I had a drive down the track to the uninspiring 100 canons water feature, along the way I was a nice flock of Azure-winged Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), a male Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), a couple of Redwing (Zorzal Alirrojo / Turdus illacus) my first of the year and a good number of Common Crossbills (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra) some of which were singing from the tops of the pines.
During the couple of hours it got quite warm and I was pleased to se a total of nine species of Butterfly including singles of Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni), Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta),Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus) and Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria). I also saw a couple of Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), 4+ Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), several of both Large (Pieris brassicae) and Small Whites (Artogeia rapae), and the commonest by far with at least 8 individuals was the Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) and some were looking very fresh.
I then dropped back down to the town and met Jayne. Other species seen during the visit included Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Crested (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) and Blue Tits (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus).
Photographs from the top: Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis).