Thursday 5 December 2013

Sierra del Jobo, Trabuco, Malaga Province.

A couple of hours in the woods above Trabuco.

Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita).
Jayne was going to the Craft Group in Trabuco so I decided that I would go with her then carry on to the woodlands just above the town in the Sierra del Jobo. I found an area of open ground with a few Hawthorn trees which was in the sun and sat there and waited to see what came to me. The answer was not a lot, well not close enough for the camera anyway but there were lots of birds about. As I arrived there was a flock of 14 Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) circling one of the nearby crags and they were joined by a couple of Peregrine Falcons (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus) for a while until the Vultures drifted off to the west.
Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
I settled down with the camera and waited, there were large numbers of Goldfinches (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Linnets (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and Serins (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) whirling around in one large flock but they all seemed to pick any bushes to land in except for the ones I was parked by. The first bird to let me have a few shot of it was a nice Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis) which ambled around on the rocks below the bushes, then came a couple of Common Chiffchaffs (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) and a nice male Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs). In the nearby bushes I saw several Rock Buntings (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Blackbirds (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), a nice male Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) and in the Olives on the opposite side of the track there were loads of Blackcaps (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), a small flock of Long-tailed Tits (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) and a calling Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major).
Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs).
After spending an hour or so here I had a drive down the track to the uninspiring 100 canons water feature, along the way I was a nice flock of Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), a male Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), a couple of Redwing (Zorzal Alirrojo / Turdus illacus) my first of the year and a good number of Common Crossbills (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra) some of which were singing from the tops of the pines.
During the couple of hours it got quite warm and I was pleased to se a total of nine species of Butterfly including singles of Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni), Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus) and Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria). I also saw a couple of Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), 4+ Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), several of both Large (Pieris brassicae) and  Small Whites (Artogeia rapae), and the commonest by far with at least 8 individuals was the Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) and some were looking very fresh.
Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis).
I then dropped back down to the town and met Jayne. Other species seen during the visit included Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Crested  (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) and Blue Tits (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus).

Sunday 1 December 2013

Huétor Fields, Granada Province.

A quick trip looking for the Bustards and Curlews.

Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) flock.
Just a quick 45 minutes out on the local patch looking for the Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) flock and to do a count on the Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) fields. I started by heading along the Arroya Vilano and as I was watching a distant Merlin (Esmerejón / Falco columbarius) which was sat on a stubble spike a flock of around 40-50 Little Bustards dropped in on to the fields right in front of me, giving me a few seconds to get a few landing shot. Also here there were good numbers of finches and sparrows including Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Brambling (Pinzón Real / Fringilla montifringilla) and both House (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and Tree Sparrows (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus).
Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros).
In the same area there were also four species of lark, the comonest was by far Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis) with at least 30 birds in a wintering flock, next came Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), then Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and finally Thekla (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae). As I drove around to the Curlew fields I added Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common (Urraca / Pica pica) and Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) to the mornings list.
Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina).
On arriving at the Curlew fields I parked on the roadside and started to do a count and before long I reached 420 and just then a chap walked out from one of the far fileds and flushed the lot up so I headed off home. I also added Common Starling (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulg aris), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Feral Pigeon (Columba livia) and Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) whilst here.
Finished off with 46 species in just under 45 minutes, not bad going considering the futhers point was only 8 minutes from the house.