Thursday 14 February 2013

Balsa del Regidor, Granada Province.

Egret counting.

Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
Juan Pérez Contreras, Beatriz Pérez Machado and José Mª González Cachinero were all doing a count of Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) up in Granada at a roost just on the outskirts of the town (they recorded 2377). Well back down to earth, by the time it was dark I had counted 67 Western Cattle Egrets, 9 Little Egrets (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and 2 Grey Herons (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) had come into the small roost beside the A92.
On the lake there were Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) x18, Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata) x14, Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) x3 and over the pool there were at least 6 Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).
Once it was almost dark I started to drive home, on the far side of the lake where it runs near the A92 I had 8 Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) fly across in front of me before dropping down into the nearby Olive groves. As I was getting out of the car at home i could hear a couple more Stone Curlews calling from out in the olives and a Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) which was screeching from the telegraph pole a little further up the road.
Other species seen included Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) and on the opposite side of the motorway there were hundreds if not thousands of both Woodpigeons (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and Jackdaws (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) going to roost in a large Poplar plantation.

Wednesday 13 February 2013

Padul wetlands, Grandad Province.

Birding with Juan again, the weeks don't half rattle past quickly.

It only seemed to be five minutes since Juan Perez and Beatriz were at our house and Juan and I were looking for an Eagle Owl (Buho Real / Bubo bubo) on Hacho near Loja. Anyway today found us up in Granada and then a little further south down towards the coast at the Padul wetlands after Juan had heard about a Citril Finch (Verderón Serrano / Serinus citrinella) which had been ringed near the visitor centre. We arrived and parked on a bar car park just short of the centre and walked along one of the tracks towards the lake.
Chika was off like a rocket as usual while Juan and I walked steadily along the track through some willow and reed woodland, here we picked up a few Siskins (Lúgano / Carduelis spinus) feeding up in the willows, lots of Goldfinchs (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) where singing from the same area and Blackcaps (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) were every where. Further on we came to the feeding station where the ringing had taken during the morning, we found around 30 or so more Siskin's, several Reed Buntings ( Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Blue Tits (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and at least two Dunnocks (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis) which were pecking around below the feeding tables.
We then went up to the centre where we had a chat with one of the two ringers that had caught the Citril Finch and had a look at the photos he had taken of the cracking male. After a while we made our way back to the feeding station and saw much the same species as before but added Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) and Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs). We continued on out towards the lake and the raised platform which gives good views over the reedbeds, on the way we flushed a Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallingao gallinago) from right beside the track and on and over the lake we recorded Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Northern Shoveler (Cuchara Común / Anas clypeata), Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina) and Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris).
We spent some time up on the top of the platform and waited for it to go dark before leaving, during this time we picked up House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), male and female Marsh Harriers (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) and male and female Hen Harriers (Aguilucho Pálido / Circus cyaneus), Meadow (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis) and Water Pipits (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus). We then went back to Juans and then home.

Sunday 10 February 2013

Grazalema, Cadiz Province.

Amphibians and Narcissus.

Jayne on the carpet loom.
Sue, Sam, Jayne and I headed up to the visitors centre in Grazalema where we spent sometime while Jayne had a go on the large carpet loom.
We then made our way towards Puerto de los Alamillos where we looked around a nice house in the campo before going and checking out a near by pool hoping to see the uncommon Southern Marbled Newts (Tritón Pigmeo / Triturus pygmaeus) but the water was quite murky so after a while we decided that lunch was calling so we headed back towards the car. On the way we found a Common Toad (Sapo Común / Bufo bufo), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus) and a Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major) flew up into some nearby Pine trees.
Once we were back at the car we our way to a nearby Venta for some lunch. Later we made our way out to an area called Campobuches which has a small Arroyo of the same name running through it.
Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata ssp pullata).
Here we were looking for more signs of amphibians, soon we had found loads of Natterjack Toad (Sapo Corredor / Bufo calamita) spawn most of which was in a small ditch that was drying out very quickly.
Natterjack Toad (Sapo Corredor / Bufo calamita) spawn.
There were also some large Tadpoles which Sue thought might be from Parsley Frogs (Sapillo Moteado Común / Pelodytes punctatus) spawn she had seen at the site a while earlier.
Ancient Cork Oak.
Also seen in the same area were Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).
Romulea bulbocodium.
On the walk back to the car we also saw several flowering Romulea bulbocodium, a couple of Mistle Thrushes (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) and Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Narcissus beaticus.
Our last stop was at a spot just above Sue's in a bit of Pine woodland where we saw more Narcissus beaticus, we also saw a fly over Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus), several Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) and a singing Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita).