Friday, 17 October 2014

Huétor Fields, Granada Province.

A couple of hour's bimbling around the local fields and ditches.

Jayne dropped me off at the start of the road out to Mesia and I started to walk further out of town towards the fields checking the ditches along the way. On this first stretch I picked up Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and on the first water filled ditch a single Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) which flew off calling loudly. Next came a very smart Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) which sat on a low stump in the mud and a couple Meadow Pipits (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis) which came up from a roadside Lucerne field. A little further along the road I turned off on to the right hand track and checked the ditches, first up came a couple of Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago) which flew off calling and dropped down into the Arroyo Vilano nearby. In the ditch I also found a fine male Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and a couple of Zitting Cisticola's (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis). On the track on the far side of the track I saw Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus). I followed the bank of the Arroyo around to the road adding Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), a second male Bluethroat and Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) to the list. I walked along the road and then along the track back towards the railway checking the ditch and pools on the track side, the first bird seen was the Jack Snipe (Agachadiza Chica / Lymnocriptes minimus) which had turned up again a few days earlier. I saw it in the ditch for a few seconds before it saw me and flushed off across the fields and dropped down in the far ditch, I also saw 2 more Kingfishers, Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Zitting Cisticola, Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Small (Artogeia rapae) and Bath Whites (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Long-tailed Blues (Lampides boeticus) and Iberian Water Frogs (Rana Común / Rana Perezi). I walked further along the track crossing the railway line and the Huétor road and on up to the banks of the Arroyo Vilano where I scanned the fields on the far side picking up a small flock of 25 Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), a Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus) and a Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo). In a small garden with several Fig trees there was a flock of about 40 Azure-winged Magpies, lots of Blackcaps, Tree Sparrows and a very nice Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes) which was feeding on the ground below a small Walnut tree. I passed the bar and headed off up to the house, I did not see any new species of bird but I was very pleased to see a cracking Southern / Blue Hawker (Aeshna cyanea) which flew around my feet for a few seconds before heading off in to our garden and a couple of Western Willow Spreadwing (Lestres viridis) which were in a large Ivy hedge in a friends garden.

Photograph: Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).

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