Friday 27 December 2013

Sierra Nevada, Granada Province.

In the snow with Jayne, Sue and Sam.

Today was mainly about getting Sam up in to the Sierra to play in the nice new snow that had fallen on Christmas day. We set off hoping to get up to the main carpark above the town but due to the volume of people having the same idea the police were stopping cars and sending them back down in to the town so we parked in the main car park and had a wander.
Whilst there we had a good lunch and watched some of the skiers before dropping back down to one of the roadside areas where we had a great time building a snowman and having snowball fights before heading home to warm up.
We did see a few birds including Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis) and Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia).On the way back to the house we had a brief view of a Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus) as it flashed across the A92.

Thursday 26 December 2013

Huétor Fields, Granada Province.

An afternoon walk on the local patch.

Through the Poplars.
The weather was not great during the morning but improved a bit during the afternoon so we all decided that a bit of a walk was required. We drove down to the bar at the bottom of the road so that we avoided all the dogs and then walked out on the track following the river. Wescanned the fields on the far side of the Rio Vilano and soon started to find interestind birds including 40 or so Northern Lapwings (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and 4 very nice Stock Doves (Paloma Zurita / Columba oenas).
Huétor Fields.
We then checked out the area around the first Poplar plantation which has a small but very tightly planted Olive grove next to it and in the rides between the trees was saw Song Thrushes (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Blackbirds (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs).
Sue get a shot through the Poplars.
All the way along this first part of the walk we were following an irrigation channel and as we moved forward we pushed a small flock of Common Chiffchaffs (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) along infront of us. Also in this area we had Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros).
Jayne and Sam.
We reached the first road and turned towards the railway bridge but took the track before we reached it and dropped back down to the river side, as we did we flushed up 2 Green Sandpipers (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) and watched a large flock of Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) fly off towards the large plantation on the far bank. In the reeds we picked up Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and on the mud a fine Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea).
Continuing on down this track we added Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala). 
On the way back to the car we followed the same tracks but still added a couple more species including Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).We got back to the car and went into the bar and warmed up with a coffee before heading back to the house.

Wednesday 25 December 2013

Christmas diner in Loja, Granada Province.

Christmas Day with Jayne, Sue and Sam.

Jayne, Sue, Sam and I went down to the El Cerro bar in Loja and had a very nice lunch time meal and Sam had a great time in the play area.
Sue and Jayne.


Tuesday 24 December 2013

Huétor Tajar, Granada Province.

A trip around the Market and the park in town.
Sue and Sam's visit, day one.

Sue and Sam arrived yesterday and settled in for their Christmas visit.  We decided to have a fairly quiet day and went down to Huétor Tajar market where we had a look around the stalls and Sue got Sam a few bits. Whilst there we had a plate of Churros which we all enjoyed. Later we had a quick look in the town and popped into one of the bars for a coffee before spending an hour or so in the park.