Saturday 16 March 2013

Huétor Fields, Granada Province.

A Spanish Lifer and another local patch tick.

Egyptian Goose (Ganso del Nilo / Alopochen aegyptiaca).
I made my way down to the flooded fields Juan Perez and I scanned the evening before to find even more waders there along with a group of four Egyptian Geese (Ganso del Nilo / Alopochen aegyptiaca) which were the first I had seen in Spain, they were probably the same birds which have been reported on and off for a while from Embalse de Bermijalis. On the muddy margins there were at least 22 Green (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) and 2 Common Sandpipers (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), a single Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), a Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) which was a local tick, 2x Northern Lapwings (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), 15 or so Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) and 5 Little Egrets (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).
Egyptian Goose (Ganso del Nilo / Alopochen aegyptiaca).
On the way back I picked up a few more bits including Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) and Common Magpies (Urraca / Pica pica), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor).

Friday 15 March 2013

Huétor Fields (twice) and Moraleda, Granada Province.

A new bird for the local patch and three year ticks.

During the morning I went down to the Subermarket and picked up a few bits and on the way back I detoured through the fields to see what was about. From the railway bridge I could see a good many Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) feeding low over the fields which still held the last three Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), a good number of Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
I then moved on down to the track which goes along the river to the railway bridge but it was very muddy so I turned around and headed back to the road but not before I added Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea). I then made a stop down by the river behind the bar where a cracking male Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) which was sat on the top of some broken off reed tops, this cracked was seen along with Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and the very graceful Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica).
I then went back up home and did a few bit and pieces until later in the day when Juan Perez and Beatriz came over. Juan and I went out onto the fields looking for the Woodchat Shrike which was going to be a year tick for Juan as it was still in the same area but now it had moved down nearer to the river and was sat in a nearby Tamarisk bush. In the same area we saw more Red-rumped and Barn Swallows, House Martins, several Skylarks and good numbers of Thekla's (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae). We then started to make our way over towards Moraleda going across country vis Mesia but on the way we were drawn to a largish area of flooded fields which had been washed out after the storms a couple of days ago.
On this area we found good numbers of waders including 13 Green (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) and 2 Common Sandpipers (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), a Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), 9 Little Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Western Cattle (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and Little Egrets (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta),  Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Barn Swallow, House Martin, Spotless Starling and in the Poplars we saw and heard a couple of Great Spotted Woodpeckers (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major).
We then moved on over to the other side of the A92 to a site not to far from Moraleda where we were searching the agricultural areas above the Cacín Valley. The first birds seen were more Thekla, Crested and Skylarks and these were joined by several Calandra's (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra). We spent some time walking a large Almond Grove looking for migrants but we only managed Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
In the same area there were lots of butterflies, most of which were Provence Hairstreaks (Tomares ballus), other species seen included Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Large White (Pieris brassicae), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), Small White (Artogeia rapae) and Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera).
We continued on around the site and eventually found a couple of Great Spotted Cuckoo's (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius) which werte calling from nearby olive grove. We also picked up Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis).

Thursday 14 March 2013

Balsa de Regidor, Granada Province.

Just the one year tick but a smart little bird.

Jayne and I called in at the small lake which is just North of the A92 near Moraleda. We parked and started to picked through of Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and quickly located several Sand Martins (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia) for another year tick. They are cracking little birds and are for some reason always the last of the four migratory hirundines I see which is the exact opposite to how it usused to be in the UK with Sand Martins arriving days earlier than the others.
Out on the water there were good numbers of wildfowl including around 35 Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), 5+ Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), 2x Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and a couple of Little Grebes (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis). In the nearby trees there were several Common Chaffinches (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Chiffchaffs (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) and Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto).
Other species seen included Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).