Saturday 30 November 2013

Padul Nature Reserve, Granada Province.

A little bit of birding and then the Second Afternoon and Evening of Talks and Workshops.

Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus).
I spent a shot while down on the fields before heading over to meet up with Juan Perez. I had a quick look at the Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) down near Huétor as they had been quite near the road earlier in the day but as soon as I pulled up they were away. Here I also saw several Spotless Starlings (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and a few Common Starlings (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulg aris) mixed in with the flock, Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae). I still had a short while before I need to head to the city so I took the track out the back of the bar and had a look at the river, the first bird was a fairly well behaved Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) which allowed me to get a couple of shot of it, I the added Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) to the list.
Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus).
I ran out of time on the patch so I drove up to Juans place but had a real raptor fest on the way, by the time I arrived at his appartment I had counted 3x Common Buzzards (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), 3xSparrowhawks (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), 4x Common Kestrels (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and singles of both Hen Harrier (Aguilucho Pálido / Circus cyaneus) and Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus) a nice set of list fillers.
Juan and I then made our way to Padul a hour and a half before our talks were dur to start so we had a look along the sewage filled canal and the hide areas. In the stream before it joins the main canal we had nice views of a Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica), along with loads of Common Chiffchaffs (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Grey Wagtail, Meadow Pipit and Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla). We then followed the canal down to the hide but the water was so high that all we picked up were Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris). We retraced our steps back to the small bridge and had nice views of a winter plumaged Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta) and a Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago). We then made our way up to the reserve centre and after a bit of a delay we both carried out out talks and workshops.

Friday 29 November 2013

Padul Nature Reserve, Granada Province.

First Day of talks and workshops but with a Spanish Lifer in the break.

Today Juan Perez and I were heading to Padul to help with a course at the Nature Reserve Centre with some Spanish Student. I was the doing a talk and workshop and Juan was there to help me out as his talk was not until tomorrow and very greatful am I that he was there (THANKS JUAN). During the break between my talk and the workshop I went out into the car park for some air, it was just going dark and I was very pleased when two Woodcock (Chocha Perdiz / Scolopax rusticola) flew across in front of myself and one of the students as it was a new species for my Spanish List (long over due). The talk and workshop went well and we headed off home.

Thursday 28 November 2013

Huetor Fields, Granada Province.

A couple of hours on the local patch with friends from the ABS.

Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis).
I met up with David Hird and Micky Smith at the Hotel Cotijo de Tajar at just before 08:30 for a few hours birding on my local patch. We set off and headed for a field out on the Loja side of Huétor which the Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) have favoured for the last few winters and soon found a small part of the flock there. I counted around 40 birds but that was with just a quick scan, on the same area we also saw Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), lots of Spotless Starlings (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) with a few Commons (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulg aris) scattered amongst the flock and huge numbers of White Wagtails (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba). From this spot we moved on to the river at the back of our local bar and had nice views of a couple of Green Sandpipers (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), lots of Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) up on the wires and plenty of finches down on the maze stubble including Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and  Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs). We moved on just a few hundred meters and parked by the edge of the barranco and had a walk to a small goat pen another couple of hundred meters along the river. Along this track we saw loads of Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) a nice male, Tree Sparrows (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus), House Sparrows (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and again lots of Common Chaffinches but no Bramblings (Pinzón Real / Fringilla montifringilla). Once back at the car we moved just a few meters down the road to where we found a large flock of finches and this time I managed to find just a single Brambling but the whole flock went up before I managed to get David and Micky on to it.
Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus).
Our next stop was along the track to the railway bridge following the river again, new species along here included Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major),  Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis). With time ticking away we started to make our way back towards the bar along the river and then on down the road to the railway line where we checked the fields again so that Micky could find a Common Starling after missing all the one David and I had seen earlier, after a while he cracked it and found two or three in amongst lots of Spotless and a few Northern Lapwings.Whist Micky was searching David and I came up with just the one new species in the shape of a distant Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) sat out in the fields. Our last stop was down by the town where we had soon counted over 150 Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) out on their roost field, quite a sight!!
From here we headed back to the hotel and Micky and David headed off further North East to Puerto de la Ragua where they were hoping for the uncommon Citril Finch (Verderón Serrano / Serinus citrinella). Hope to hear how they got on at some point in the future and I went back home to continue the prep for the upcoming talks at Padul. Thanks David and Micky for you company and some nice birding.

Monday 25 November 2013

Huetor Fields, Granada Province.

A good bird on the local patch.

Common Crane (Grulla Común / Grus grus).
Jayne and I were heading up to Granada to visit friends Juan Perez and his wife Beatriz, just as we were heading in to Huétor Jayne comes up with her line BIG BIRD. I could not see what she had seen so we turned around and parked on one of the tracks where I soon had a very nice Common Crane (Grulla Común / Grus grus) which was circling a ploughing tractor and looked as if it wanted to come down and feed amongst the good number of Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and Spotless Starlings (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor).
Common Crane (Grulla Común / Grus grus).
I managed to get some distant shot before we continued up to Granada and spent a few hours with Juan and Beatriz. Jayne was working with Beatriz on her English and I was working with Juan on the up coming talks and workshops we had to do at Padul Nature Reserve at the end of the month.