A days birding with Steve and Elena Powell.
|Great Spotted Cuckoo's (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).|
|Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae).|
At about the half way point we flushed up the first Jack Snipe which dropped in to the crop fields a short distance off to our right and then a few meters further on a second bird went up and flew around behind us and away to the other side of the track. Pleased with our sightings we retraced our steps to the track where we had a chat with one of the local farmers and explained to him what we were up to and that we were only hunting with our camera's.
|Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).|
We returned to the car and made our way through Mesia and on to the service road along side the A92 heading for Moraleda, along here we scanned Balsa de Rigedor and picked up Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and on the nearby wire both Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica).
|Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).|
We drove down to the area around the Solar Panels and Elena picked up a nice male Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) walking across a crop fields nearby and then we heard and saw (breifly) a cracking adult Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius). Continuing on we checked out the Almond groves and as things were warming up even more butterflies were on the move, in this area we added Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), a single Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) and Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera). Again we moved on around the site adding Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Feral Pigeon (Columba livia) and both Common (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) and Iberian Chiffchaffs (Mosquitero Ibérico / Phylloscopus brehmii).
Our last stop at this site was in a large Almond plantation where we were looking for and found several Province Hairstreaks (Cardenillo / Tomares ballus) a cracking quick flying difficult to photograph insect which was a new species for Steve and he got some very nice shots as well. In the same area we also had a second Little Bustard and 3 Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus).
|Province Hairstreak (Cardenillo / Tomares ballus).|
From here we dropped down in to the valley and had our lunch at the small bar in El Turro before pushing on down the Valley to the bridge across the river where we walked along the river up to the dam, on the way we saw several spikes of Ophrys forestieri on the roadside in the pines. New species at the bridge included Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Great Tits (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla) heard only and Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos). We continued on again but just as far as the small Embalse a KM or so further along the road, here we saw much the same species as on the small pool earlier but new species included Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), a pair of Marsh Harriers (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Iberian Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and a calling but unseen Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei).
|Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni).|
We continued on North and took the Ventas de Huelma road in Cacín hoping to see some raptors during the drive there bu we were unlucky. Once in Ventas we took a minor road across country heading back to the agricultural areas where we had started the day, just after we left the village I picked up two Great Spotted Cuckoo's in flight which landed in a tree not to far from the roadside and gave us great views and Steve managed to get some cracking photograps. Further on we stopped near an abandoned Cortijo and had good views of a group of at least 8 Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni). From here we made our way back to the motorway and then on back to the meeting point a the hotel.
Thanks Steve and Elena for yet another great day out in the field and for the use of some of your shots.