A few hours sitting with the camera.
Jayne went in to Granada City to do some shopping and I went down to Padul for a few hours birding, I parked by the visitors centre and walked the path along the eastern side of the lake and out to the hide. Just past the centre I checked the tables where the rings feed the birds but there was not a lot around just a few Common Chaffinches (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) and Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) so I continued on checking the woods surrounding the track. Once I was along side the water I added Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and a distant
Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) out on the main lake. Back amongst the trees several Song Thrushes (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos) flashed through the branches along with Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Long-tailed Tits (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus). I stopped for a few minutes at the first rustic hide on the shore of the main lake where I scanned the water and the surrounding trees adding Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), a female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) which was sat in a willow on the far shore, Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca) and Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis). I continued on along the board walk through the reedbeds and marshy areas to the raised platform where I spent some time scanning through the large numbers of Hirundines eventually picking out both Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) amongst the couple of hundred or so Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris). I also had nice views of the Marsh Harrier as it hunted distantly over the larger reedbeds and picked up a couple of female type Reed Buntings (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus) feeding amongst the flattened vegetation. I continued on yet again and eventually reached the smelly stream, which was as usual full of rubbish and sewage and surprisingly birds!!! As part of one of Southern Spain best know Natural Parks (Sierra Nevada) I am amazed that the disgraceful amount of rubbish and sewage continues to be allowed to find its way in to the area and that more has not been done to make the people / Authorities responsible clean up their act.
Surprisingly the area was very active with a dozen or so Water Pipits (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta) and at least three different Bluethroats (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) feeding on the very smelly mud. I sat my self on a patch of dry clean (I hope) gravel and waited to see what was willing to come close enough for a photo, the Bluethroats were first in with two of the birds coming quite near but the Water Pipits were much more warey and stayed just out of range of a good shot. In the reeds I could hear at least half a dozen Water Rails (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) screaming and watched several Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago) probing the ground on the far side of the muddy patches well out of camera range. Other species seen here included Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Grey (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and White Wagtails (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti). Whilst I was sat in the area a Weasel (Mustela nivalis) spent sometime clattering through the reeds and eventually caught a small rodent of some sort before carrying it off across the mud to the far side of the channel.
Time was moving on so I made my way back along the board walk throught the trees back to the car, on the way I added Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and a small flock of Tree Sparrows (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus). I got back to the car quicker than expected so I drove around the track passed the main lake and out into the fields before getting back to the Granada road, on the way around I picked up a few new species for the day list including a couple of male Spanish Sparrows (Gorrión Moruno / Passer hispaniolensis), Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) and not new but nice to see a male Reed Bunting.
I then returned to the City picked up Jayne and we wnet to one of the retail parks where I got a battery back up thing so the PC is protected from all the dam powercut we are having at the moment before continuing on home. On the way we saw a couple of Common Buzzards (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and a Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) on the Arroyo Vilano.
Photographs from the top: Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), another Bluethroat, the Weasel (Mustela nivalis), 2x Water Pipits (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).