Friday 1 November 2013

Sierra de Loja, Granada Province.

A few hour's sat at a quiet spot in the sierra with the camera and Ring Ouzels for company.

Ring Ouzel (Mirlo Capiblanco / Turdus torquatus).
On the way up I drove straight out to the spot in a quiet valley right on the Southern side of the Sierra and set up a screen across the side of the car by some Hawthorn bushes and waited. I had seen several Ring Ouzel (Mirlo Capiblanco / Turdus torquatus) as I arrived at the site and it did not take long for a male bird to come in to a small rose bush just to the side of where I had planned but I managed a couple of shots but there was some rusty old wire fencing across the bird so they were not great.
Ring Ouzel (Mirlo Capiblanco / Turdus torquatus).
Before a nice female / 1st winter male came in to the top of the tree where I had put myself and stay long enough for me to get some decent shot. Also in the same area I saw Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax). After a few hours I got the folding chair out of the boot along with some cam-netting Alan had given me and sat in the shade along side the drinking pool near by where the Ouzels were coming down to drink and got some nice shots of male and female birds coming down for the water. They were joined by White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs). At around 13:00 things went quiet so I started to drop back down the hill, on the way up I had actually noted that there was no rubbish at all in the areas around the road and parking spots which is unusual in most places.
Ring Ouzel (Mirlo Capiblanco / Turdus torquatus).
Whilst I was photographing the Ouzels I had been aware of lots (150+) men and women mountain bikers going along the road away in the distance (even though it was away in the distance I could still hear them clearly!!!) and whilst driving down I was shocked to see the amount of rubbish just discarded by the prats as they passed through this beautiful site. There were energy bar rappers, plastic bottles and other drink containers all the way down the hill, I just do not under stand why they come in to their beautiful countryside and do this?????

Wednesday 30 October 2013

Rio Velez, Malaga Province.

Back at the Rio again, still good but not great!!

Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta).
Jayne had to sort a few things for a parcel we were sending to Alan so we went back down to Torre and I dropped her off at the shopping centre before heading back out to the river, how things change. The only returning species were one of the two Bluethroats (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) seen a few days ago and the three weirdo's hanging around the bushes, but I pushed on ignoring the undesirables and checked out the reed beds around the beach pool and soon had nice views of a Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) and a couple of Reed Warblers (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) which were still hanging around.
Female Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina).
In the area I also saw several species of Dragonfly, the commonest by far was the Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta), but these were joined by good numbers of Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata), Broad Scarlet (Crocothemis erythraea), both Blue / Common (Anax imperator) and Lesser Emperors (Anax parthenope) and Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii). I then moved out on to the beach after getting brief views of a Eurasian Oystercatcher (Ostrero Euroasiatico / Haematopus ostralegus) which flew in and landed on the shingle bar that seperated the pool from the sea.
Mediterranean Gull (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus).
I got around there to find the bird had been flushed much further along the beach by a fisherman that had just turned up, I did how ever see a very nice female Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina) in amongst the Eurasian Coots (Focha Común / Fulica atra) on the pool, also from here I added Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis).
Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus).
Several flocks of Gulls moved on and off the pool whilst I was there and they were made up mainly of Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Mediterranean Gulls (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) but they were joined by smalled numbers of Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) plus a single 1st winter Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii). On the sea I only saw a few Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus) and several Sandwich Terns (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis).
Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).
I then started to head back to the car, on the way I added White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis) and Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula). On the way home we only added Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) and 2 Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).

Monday 28 October 2013

Huétor Fields and near Moraleda, Granada Province.

A couple of hour local birding.

White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
I started down by the bar and continued on along the raised bank on the Northern side of the Arroyo Vilano checking out the fields and Poplar plantations, on this first stretch I found Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) and Common Magpies (Urraca / Pica pica), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Grey (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and White Wagtails (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus).
Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis).
I continued on to the second stretch of track along the Arroya and soon lengthened the day list with Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus). I retraced my steps along this track and headed out on the track towards the Mesia road, on the fields and in the ditches I picked up a few more species including Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), both Spotless (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and Common Starlings (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulg aris) the latter seam quite common this autumn, Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) and Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus).
Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros).
From here I headed out on to the fields near Moraleda and almost straight away located 12 Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis) which got up out of a newly ploughed field near the disused Cortijo, also in this area I found Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), a late Tawny Pipit (Bisbita campestre / Anthus campestris), Thekla (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Sky (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis) and Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and a newly arrived male Hen Harrier (Aguilucho Pálido / Circus cyaneus) which was quartering an Almond plantation near the road.
Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis).
I dropped back down to the A92 and quickly called in at the small pool near the Moraleda junction called Balsa de Rigedor but it was quite quiet and I only recorded Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) and Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) before heading home.