Saturday 11 May 2013

Sierra Nevada, Granada Province.

A morning on the Northern lower slopes.

Panoptes Blue (Pseudophilotes panoptes).
I headed out of Granada City after dropping Jayne in the city to visit Ford to get the car sorted but they were only doing jobs on cars that had been booked in so I had to arrange to take it back on Monday. In the mean time I headed back through the City and out on to the old road up the Northern slopes of Sierra Nevada. I was making for the Sweet chestnut woods along the upper parts of this beautiful drive.
Meadow Saxifrage (Saxifraga granulata) with a Bee-fly species.
As I was driving between Guejar-Sierra a very old Spanish chap leap out infront of me and asked for a lift to a point further on which I did not know but I said yes and he jumped in and started to give me directions, a way along the road we came across a group of horse-men who were herding around 20 large cattle along the road which made getting along the road immpossible but luckily the chap wanted to go to a bar along the road which follows the Rio Genil so we turned left and made our way there where I dropped him off and turned around and headed back to the road up the hill. On the way I tried but failed to get shots of the biggest Common Toad (Bufo bufo) I was amazed how fast the dam thing could go and it was soon in the cover of the track side vegetation.
Southern Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus boeticus).
Along this track I also came across the beautiful Spanish Rusty Foxglove (Digitalis obscura), Rosy Garlic (Allium roseum), Bellardia trixago and Common Snapdragon (Antirrhinum major). I reached the road to find the Cattle had spent ten minutes resting on a large grass area but had just started off and the road was again blocked so I turned around and headed back throught the tunnels and parked down near one of the bars and had a walk along one of the tracks down to the Rio Genil across a small bridge and up the track on the far side of the river.
View up to the Sierra.
Along here I found several species of Butterflies including Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Panoptes Blue (Pseudophilotes panoptes), both Marsh (Euphydrayas aurinia beckeri) and Queen of Spain Fritillaries (Issoria lathonia) and Small White (Artogeia rapae). Birds included Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus).
Water Avens (Geum rivale).
From here I went a few hundred meters up the road where I parked up again and checked the gravel margins for mineral collecting Butterflies, first I counted another 20 or so Panoptes Blues, several Southern Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus boeticus), a Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychlorus), Large White (Pieris brassicae) and Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina). I then jumped back into the car and followed the trail of cow pats up the hill until I caught up with the herd, at this point there was a conviniant parking slot so I left the car and walked the rest of the way up to the spot I had hoped to reach. I searched and quickly found half a dozen or so spikes of Barton's Orchid (Dactylorhiza insularis), lots of Sword-leaved Helleborine (Cephalanatera longifolia) and a few none flowering Robust Marsh Orchids (Dactylorhiza elata).
Sword-leaved Helleborine (Cephalanatera longifolia).
Birds included two singing Common Chiffchaffs (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula). I turned around and started to make my way back down towards the car, by a spot that I call the stone wall site I found a few none flowering spikes of the uncommon Epipactis fagicola in a roadside ditch.
Barton's Orchid (Dactylorhiza insularis).
Whilst I was searching for these orchids I was aware of a shuffling in the woods above the wall and soon found this to be a very large male Wild Boar (Felis silvestris) which stood looking at me for a few seconds before trotting off into the wood.
Barton's Orchid (Dactylorhiza insularis).
Before I reached the car I saw Scarce Swallowtail (Chupaleches / Iphiclides podalirius feisthameli), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus), Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus) and Tufted vetch (Vicia cracca).

Friday 10 May 2013

Huétor Fields and Sierra de Loja, Granada Province.

Another successful Spring walk for GRANADA WILDLIFE.

Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa).
I started the day off by having a quick look on the fields North of Huétor Tájar, I parked behind the bar where I parked beside the river and scanned the fields on the opposite bank and along the margins of the Arroyo where I soon located Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata). I then went back to the bar and had a coffee before meeting Mike Loombe and his wife and heading off to the meeting point at the Abades service area on the A92. Pretty soon there we twelve of us ready to head up the mountain, our first stop was at the turning point where we parked and had a walk up towards the disused quarry at the end of the narrow track.
Oyster type shells fossel.
We started our walk with views of Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus). In amongst the mediterranian scrub we started to find lots of wild flowers and orchids including Mirror (Ophrys speculum subsp speculum), Yellow Bee (Ophrys lutea) and Pyramidal Orchids (Orquidea Pyramidal / Anacamptis pyramidalia), Chickweed (Cerastium boissieri), Common Grape Hyacinth (Muscari neglectum), Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum), Viola dementria, White Rockrose (Helianthemum apenninum), Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata ssp pullata), Rusty-back Fern (Ceterach officinarum), Mediterranean Catchfly (Silene colorata), Grey-leaved Cistus (Cistus albidus), Common Snapdragon (Antirrhinum major), Common Stork's-bill (Erodium cicutarium),  some going over Southern Wild Tulip (Tulipa sylvestris ssp. australis) and Panoptes Blue (Pseudophilotes panoptes).
Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica).
Once we reached the quarry we started to hear a Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia) but it took quite a while to locate it but eventually we saw it, also seen were Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and a distant Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus). Also on the crag we had nice views of three Spanish Ibex (Cabra pyreaica hispanica) but we had much better views of four animals on our walk back towards the car. We also added a male Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and back at the car we saw a distant soaring Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo).
Panoptes Blue (Pseudophilotes panoptes).
We all then jumped back into the cars and headed for the crags area, we parked and soon added Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), a singing Spectacled Warbler (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata), a fine male Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), another male Stonechat, several more Jackdaws and our first Red-billed Choughs (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax). We had a look at the fossels of what have been described as Oyster type shells where we had a nice male Iberian Wall Lizard (Podarcis hispanica). We moved on towards Charc del Negro but we did make several stops on the way and had good views of Black-eared Wheatears (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica), several Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), 22+ Honey Buzzards (Aberjero Europeo / Pernis apivorus), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and a very nice male Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros).
Erodium cheilanthifolium.
We parked just below Charca del Negro as the track is a bit rough and walked up to the pools which were both covered in carpet of Pond Water Crowsfoot (Ranunculus Peltatus), on the margins there were saw a good number of Linnets (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), along with a pair of Rock Sparrows (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia) and several more Rock Buntings.
In and around the pool we saw several Sharp-ribbed Salamanders (Pleurodeles waltl), a few male Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and a single male Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator). From here we started to walk off around towards the goat cave and at the first crag we had cracking views of both Blue (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) and Rufous-tailed Rock Thrushes (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis) display flying from the highest point. Here we also saw more Black Redstarts, Crag Martins, Rock Buntings and Rock Sparrows.
Iberian Worm Lizard (Blanus cinereus).
Continuing on we added a few more wild flowers to the list including the very nice Erodium cheilanthifolium, Mediterranean Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Cynoglossum cheirifolium, Saxifraga Camposii and an Iberian Worm Lizard (Blanus cinereus). Some of the group had already started the walk back to the car and on down the hill and once we had had a look at the cave the rest of the group started the journey back down to the service area. On my way down I managed to get a few shots of the birds before heading off home.

Thursday 9 May 2013

Mollina, Laguna Herrera and Arroya Marin, Malaga Province.

An enjoyable days birding.

Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes).
I took Jayne over to her meeting in Trabuco and then continued on to the Ford Garage in Antequera and after sorting out there I went on towards a site near Mollina. Here I was hoping to see a pair of Rufous-tailed Scrub Robins (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes) which I had seen in both of the last two years.
Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
I arrived and almost straight I got a fleeting glimpes of what looked like a female flying into the nearby field. I parked the car on the side of the track and set up the scope on the window and waited for the bird to reappear, after just a few minutes a male bird appeared and then a second bird which I had expected to be the female flew in and landed next to the first male.
Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia).
This bird turned out to be a second male bird and a short scrap started but ended very quickly when the female bird turned up. At one point there were three Chats perched on a fence all within a metre of each other, after a short while the one male flew off and the two remaining birds copulated on the ground right infront of the car!!
Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia).
I spent quite a while watching the birds but they were not quite as cooperative as last year and remained at the far end of the fence so the shots were not as good but I kept well back as they had only arrived on site in the last few days.
Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii).
Also seen here were  House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn Swallow (GolondrinaComún / Hirundo rustica), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and (Greater) Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) and Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor).
Great Reed Warbler (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus).
Later I made my way over toward Laguna Herrera but took a quite complicated cross country route by a lot of farm tracks. I made a quick stop by a scrubby area amongst an area of grape vines where I watched a very nice male Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) quartering a large area of newly planted Olive trees, whilst I was watching this I became aware of another male Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin singing from a large patch of very tall Milk Thistles (Silybum marianum). At first I could not locate the bird but the song was carrying well, eventually after moving around to the side of the field I had distant views of the bird which was actually sat on a wooden post in amongst the thistles.
Poppy Field.
A some time I headed onward to the small area of flooded fields near Herrera which Bob Wright had said in his blog were drying out fast and he was not wrong, the furthest one had gone as had the five or six Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus) nest which had been ploughed up by the farmer, a great shame. On what was left of the other pools there were still a few Black-winged Stilts, a single Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), a couple of Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus) and an Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta).
Iberian Orchid (Ophrys vernixia).
I continued on down the track checking the fields on the way picking up a male Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), a group of Red-legged Partridges (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) and a pair of Ravens (Cuervo / Corvus corax). Before I got to the road I made another stop to take a couple of shots of a Common Poppy (Papaver rhoeas) field which looked fantastic. I then made my way around to the main Lagoon, on the track I picked up Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis).
Man Orchid (Orchis anthropoporum).
From the track that runs along the side of the main lagoon I flushed a very smart Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides) from amongst the reeds, also seen along here I had some nice views of several pairs of Great Crested Grebes (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), at least three Black-necked Grebe (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), dozens of Gull-billed Terns (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Great Reed Warbler (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus). At the far end of the pool we added Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) and Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta).
Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera).
Also seen along the margins were some Dragonflies including Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope) and Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii).
Small Flowered Tongue Orchid (Serapias parviflora).
From the Lagoon I headed back towards Trabuco calling at Arroya Marin for an hour on the way, straight away I could hear or see Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Wryneck (Torcecuello / Jynx torquilla), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parusater) and Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlano / Sylvia hortensis).
Wild Gladiolus (Gladiolus illyricus).
During the trip along the valley I made a few stops looking for Orchids and was very pleased to find at least three spikes of the uncommon Iberian Orchid (Ophrys vernixia), Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea), Man Orchid (Orchis anthropoporum), Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera) and Small Flowered Tongue Orchid (Serapias parviflora). Butterflies included Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Large White (Pieris brassicae), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus F lyllus), Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina) and Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera). I then made my way back towards Trabuco to pick Jayne up but could not resist stopping to take a few shots of a fields which was stuffed full of the beautiful Wild Gladiolus (Gladiolus illyricus).

Tuesday 7 May 2013

Padul, Granada Province.

A walk around the Padul wetland with Juan.
Borage (Borago officinalis) Hypochromatic plant.
Jayne and I headed up to Granada to Juan Perez and Beatriz's apartment where Jayne and Beatriz spent a coupleof hours working on Beatriz's English. Juan and I headed off to Padul for a couple of hours birding. We parked at the bar above the site and took the track down towards the visitor centre checking out the willow scrub areas on the way to the ringing / feeding station amongst the taller trees.
During this walk we saw several Nightingales (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), a nice male Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), both male and female Pied Flycatchers (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus).
We turn around from feeding station and made our way back the way we had just come on the way we picked up the species Juan had wanted a Garden Warbler (Curruca Mosquitera / Sylvia borin) and a group of white flowered Borage (Borago officinalis) plants. Once we were out in the open with a view of the main lake we could see the nest of a Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) which was right out in the middle of the lake in an isolated tree. From this area we could also see a pair and a half of Great Crested Grebes (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) on the lake and in the air there were a few House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).
We then moved on and continued along the board walk around to the hide on the smelly channel, on the way we had good views of a Great Reed Warbler (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus) singing from the top of a track side tree, Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis).
On the way we also saw a few Iberian Water Frogs (Rana Común / Rana Perezi), Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) and Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii).
From the hide we did not add many species but we did pick up Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica). We then headed back around to the car and then we headed back to Juans and then home.

Sunday 5 May 2013

Charca del Suarez, Granada Province.

A morning of mixed wildlife, included another three year ticks for the bird list.

Mediterranean Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon).

Juan Perez and I set off from Granada at 06:30 and headed for the area around Charca del Suarez near Motril, our first stop was on the road through the field just North of the main reserve. Straight away we started to see good numbers of both adult and immature Red Avadavats (Bengali Rojo / Amandava amandava), most were feeding on the roadside picking throught the vegetation for seeds but some sat up nicely on the Pampus Grass tussocks and showed well.
Montpellier Snake (Malpolon monspessulanus).
In the areas of thicker cover there were several calling Common Quail (Codorniz Común /Coturnix coturnix), Cetti's Warblers (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Nightingales (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) but we could not hear the species I most wanted to see the Savi's Warbler (Buscarla Unicolor / Locustella luscinoides) which Juan had heard a few days earlier. On a semi ruined farm shack there we watched a Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and a Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) have a bit of a stand off, we guessed that both species were breeding in the gapes in the block walls but neither was very happy with their neighbours. We continued on to the junction and again parked and had a bit of a walk around the site listening for the conspicuour reeling call of the Savi's but we failed to see or even hear the bird during the visit, we did however have very nice views of an immature Montpellier Snake (Malpolon monspessulanus) which was warming its self on the side of the track.
Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis).
The snake was only about 25cm long but it was quite happy to strike at the camera when it had warmed up a bit before heading off into the grass. Along this track we also added both Turtle (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and Collared Doves (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) to the day list along with Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) and Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus). We got back to the road and Juan went and fetched the car so that we could head towards the golf course pools to check what was in this area, we arrived and quickly sorted out Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major).
Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides).
We took the track which led down towards the beach via the small pool and reedbed on the golf course, along here we added Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), a couple of Whinchat (Tarabilla Nortena / Saxicola rubetra), at least 8 Northern Wheatears (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), on the beach a single Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) and out to sea an adult Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus). We then started to make our way back to the car but stopped and cheched out an area of scrub and shrubs which looked good for migrants, almost straight away we located an Olivaceous Warbler (Zarcera Pálido / Hippolais pallida) which was flycatching from some Caster-oil type plants and then a Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta). Before heading to Charca we had a look at the second larger pool on the course and quickly located a Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and a Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia).
Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides).
We entered Charca through the back gate with the work party which placed us on the far side of the reserve so we had a look at the hide which looks over the small pool near to the main hide. From here we had the first of a few Western Swamp-hens (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), both male and female Little Bitterns (Avetorillo Común / Ixobrychus minutus), several Common Sandpipers (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica). We later moved around to the main hide and were soon watching a very nice Whiskered Tern (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chilidonias hybridus) which was skimming the pool feeding, Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), a fly over Purple Heron (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea) and a squabbling pair of Little Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) which flew around the pool but did not land. We then spent some time watching and photographing a nice male Little Bittern which was perched on a log in the water straight out from the hide. After a while we walked out of the hide and spent some time searching the area of planted trees on the edge of the reserve behind the hide, this turned out to be a good move as we soon added a Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata) to both our year lists.
Mediterranean Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon).
We returned to the hide just in time to see the Little Bittern swallowing a very large Iberian Water Frog (Rana Común / Rana Perezi) which I got a couple of shots of. I then left Juan in the hide and went back out to try and get some shots of the Flycatcher but it had gone more distant by the time i found it but I did see my second Olivaceous Warbler of the morning along with a couple of Willow Warblers (Mosquitero Musical / Phylloscopus trochillus), another Melodious and the third year tick for the day a skulking Garden Warbler (Curruca Mosquitera / Sylvia borin). I returned to the hide where Juan was talking with the chap who does the ringing there, he then went out side and found us a fine Mediterranean Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon) which was happy to have his portrate taken, later I found a second slightly smaller individual which was much less happy to have its photo take and moved higher up in the bush much quicker than expected. While we were watching these beauties several European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) flew over along with Common Swifts (Vencejo Común / Apus apus).
Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur).
After a cracking morning we made our way back to the entrance and out of the reserve and back to Juans car but we did see a couple of Stripe-less Tree Frogs (Hyla meridionalis) on the Iris leaves near the gate. We headed back to Granada and then I headed home, on the way I added Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) and Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus). Also during the visit we saw several other species including Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Large White (Pieris brassicae), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) and Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta).