Sunday 16 March 2014

Charca de Suarez and surrounding fields, La Malaha and Ventas de Huelma areas, Granada Province.

A morning down on the coast and an afternoon on the fields.

Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos).
I got up and out early to travel up to Granada to meet Juan Perez for a days birding, on the way I saw Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo).
I picked Juan up from his address on the outskirts of Granada and we headed off down to Charca de Suarez on the Granada Coast near Motril.
Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca).
The reserve was not open when we arrived so we checked out the agricultural area to the north west, as soon as we arrived a Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) flashed across the road and when parked we could hear a calling Common Quail (Codorniz Común / Coturnix coturnix) in amongst the sugar cane and pampas grass plants.
Sedge Warbler (Carricerin Común / Acrocephalus schoenobaenus).
Next came a fine male Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), several noisy Zitting Cisticola's (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), fly over Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata).
Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa).
A little further on we watched a couple of mating Hoopoes (Abubilla / Upupa epops) at it on a fence, heard a couple more Common Quail and added Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), a calling female Red Avadavat (Bengali Rojo / Amandava amandava), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo) and Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) to the list. 
Stripe-less Tree Frog (Hyla meridionalis).
After a while we went around to the reserve and met Manu the warden and headed for the main hide for a quick check there to see what was about on the large pool, out on the water there were a few Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), a female Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis).
On the island there were several Great Cormorants (one of which was ringed), a single Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), a Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago) and around the margins Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio).
Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni).
We moved on around the reserve to Laguna del Taraje where we soon picked up several Sedge Warblers (Carricerin Común / Acrocephalus schoenobaenus) and one of the wintering Moustached Warbler (Carricerin Real / Acrocephalus melanopogon). After some time we both caught a glimpes of a small Crake species as it flashed across a channel in the reedbeds but could not put a name to it at that point, a little later Juan picked up the bird again and was identified as a male Little Crake (Polluela Bastarda / Porzana parva).
Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos).
We saw the bird breifly a couple more times along with a Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) which was equally elusive flashing betewwen the reeds at speed. Laguna del Lirio was quiet and I only added Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca) and introduction Red-knobbed Coot (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata) at Laguna del Trebol.
Between the main hide and the side gate we saw Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Viperine Snake (Culebra Viperina / Natrix maura) and Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa).
We returned to Laguna del Taraje hoping for better views of the Crake but there was no sign of the bird, we did see several Yellow-eared Sliders (Trachemys scripta scripta). 13:00 came around all to quickly and we had to leave the reserve, on our way around to the exit we found a Stripe-less Tree Frog (Hyla meridionalis) on a leaf of the flowering Yellow flag-iris (Iris pseudacorus).
We made our way back up to Granada and I dropped Juan off at his home before heading back via the fields near La Malaha and Ventas de Huelma.
Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula).
On the way I had great views of a couple of Golden Eagles (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos), several Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and Thekla Larks (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina).
Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).
Back on the local patch I finished the list off with Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) and Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) before reaching the house.

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