Thursday, 1 May 2014

The Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

Back on the local patch.
GRANADA WILDLIFE'S Spring Tour.
Day Six.

I met the group back at the Hotel Cortijo de Tajar and they all commented on the fantastic evening meal and breakfast that they had been given (Thanks to David and Colleague's) before we headed out to the first site of the morning near Moraleda. We arrived at the site and drove out on a small track in to a large Almond grove and out on to the edge of a field where we I had seen Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis) with Rob Jones a few days earlier, we did not get the sandgrouse there but we had nice flight views of a couple of male Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) along with Crested  (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Short-toed Larks (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), two Common Buzzards (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica). We then moved up a track and went out on to the fields properly and again quickly picked up a couple of Black-bellied Sandgrouse out on a well vegetated fallow fields be fore they flew off giving us flight views as they left, in the same area we heard and saw several Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), another Little Bustard, Common Quail (Codorniz Común / Coturnix coturnix), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and a distant Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius). We continued on down the track and around the solar panel farms checking out the Almond groves for more Cuckoo's, on the way we stopped at a spot where I was hoping to see a pair of Rollers (Carraca / Coracias garrulus) but the nest was occupied but House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) which was bad news. A little further on we stopped and had a look at some just starting to go over Pink Butterfly Orchids (Orchis papilionacea) which were growing along side Common Asphodel (Asphodelus albus), Ground-pine Germander (Teucrium pseudochamaepitys), Henbit Deadnettle (Lamium amplexicaule), Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum), Navel-wort (Omphalodes commutata) and Pitch Trefoil (Psoralea bituminosa). Whilst we were at this stop we had a couple of very smart Great Spotted Cuckoo's do a flyby being harrassed by several Common MagpiesWe continued on around the site seeing Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Rock Pigeon (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and both Common (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni).
We moved on from here and dropped down in to the Cacín Valley proper, our first stop was amongst the pines where we immediately added several woodland species to the list including Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Long-tailed Tits (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus) which was only heard at this point but seen later, Pied (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca) and Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and a adult Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus) which flew down the valley. On the Almond covered hills above the site we also saw and heard a Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and back in the pines a Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra).
We again moved on down the valley to the bridge over the Cacin where we parked and had a walk, we first of all checked the bridge and in one of the nearby trees picked up a very dull but nice Garden Warbler (Curruca Mosquitera / Sylvia borin) the first of at least six birds, Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), singing Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), several more Pied Flycatchers and a Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major) which was drumming on a nearby telegraph pole. In the air Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Pallid (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and Common Swifts (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) and a Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) did flybys. In the river we could hear good numbers of Iberian Water Frogs (Rana Común / Rana Perezi) and around the roadside verges Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Scarce Swallowtail (Chupaleches / Iphiclides podalirius feisthameli), Swallowtail (Papilio machaon), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Moroccan Orange-tip (Anthocharis belia), Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice) and Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra). We then had a walk along the river towards the dam and a little way up the hill, along here we had nice views of Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), more Garden Warblers, Pied and Spotted Flycatches, Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) and Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta).
A little further along the road we stopped by the Embalse de Cacín and scanned the lake adding Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis). Also in the area we had a male Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), heard a Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis) and on the far bank had views of several sun bathing Stripe-necked Terrapins (Mauremys leprosa).
It was getting on towards lunch so we headed down the valley towards Cacin Village but just before we got there we had another walk along the River, during this short walk we recorded Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), a cracking Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes) which Lynda picked up on the edge of the river drinking, Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), calling Golden Oriole, Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes).
We stopped for lunch in the town before driving the ridge road over to Ventas de Huelma, it was generally quiet and we only added a Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe) to the butterfly list, so we headed down towards Embalse de Bermijalis and looked for an Eagle Owl (Buho Real / Bubo bubo) which decided to disappear in to a cliff hole before I got the group on to it. Down at the embalse we did not get much bird wise but saw several still good conditioned spikes of Yellow Bee Orchid (Orquídea Abejera / Ophrys lutea), Small Woodcock Orchid (Orquídea abejera becada / Ophrys picta) and Mirror Orchid (Espejo de Venus / Ophrys speculum subsp speculum) along with Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Common Blue (Icaro (Dos Puntos) / Polyommatus icarus), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus F lyllus) and Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).
We continued on and headed back North up the valley seeing another Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Turtle (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and Collared Doves (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and on the crags near Moraleda a Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius).
From here we headed back in to the Hotel as the group were having an early evening meal so that they could come up to visit our house to watch for the newly arrived Red-necked Nightjars (Chotacabras Cuellirrojo / Caprimulgus ruficollis). We sat up on the back terrace where we could hear Little Owls (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and just before dark we had a brief but decent view of a Nightjar as it flashed between our and the next house. Once every one had finished there wine I returned them to the hotel.

Photographs from the top: The group out on the fields watching Little Bustard, Roemeria hybrida, Scarce Swallowtail (Chupaleches / Iphiclides podalirius feisthameli), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe) and Small Woodcock Orchid (Orquídea abejera becada / Ophrys picta).

1 comment:

stiefbeen said...

het is altijd al heerlijk om met meerdere te gaan fotograferen en dan ook nog in z,on geweldig mooi gebied.