Saturday, 4 October 2014

RAM and Charca de Suarez, Granada Province.

Good number of sea birds and a good charca visit.

Juan Pérez Contreras, Manuel Cayuela López and I met on the outskirts of Granada and made our way down to Peñón de Jolúcar just to the east of Torrenueva where we set up for a sea watch. We were only doing the watch for one hour but the numbers of Balearic Shearwaters (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus) was fantastic and by the finish we had recorded 1023 of which 986 were heading east. We also saw 4+ Med / Yelkouan shearwaters (Pardelas Mediterráneas / Puffinus yelkouan), a single Arctic Skua (Págalo Parásito / Stercorarius parasiticus), Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae).
The three of us then made our way down to Charca de Suarez wetlands where we made our way around the resereve in an anti-clockwise direction calling in at the hide which over looks Laguna del Lirio where we had views of Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Purple Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and the first of the reintroduction Red-knobbed Coots (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata). Over the water there were good numbers of both Lesser (Anax parthenope) and Blue / Common Emperors (Anax imperator), Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea) and on some floating weed there were several Small Red-eyes (Erythromma viridulum). We continued on around to the reopened hide at the Southern end of Laguna del Trébol passing the Dunas area where we had a male Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma) sat on the cros beam of the wooden fencing and several Migrant Hawkers (Aeshna mixta). From the hide we saw two more of the Red-knobbed Coots, Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Red Avadavat (Bengali Rojo / Amandava amandava) and Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula). We continued on around the reserve picking up 2 Booted Eagles (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) and Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa).
From the northern hide over looking Laguna del Trébol which was quiet but we did see Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major). We carried on around to the main hide where we scanned Laguna de las Aneas picking up the female Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo).
We moved on around to the newish Laguna del Alamo Blanco and added singles of  Ruff (Combatiente / Philomachus pugnax), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) and 3 Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina) and 4 Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago). In this area we also saw a couple of Long Skimmers (Orthetrum trinacria), Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii) and Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii). Our last stop was at the Laguna del Taraje hide, on the way around I saw several Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca) and lots of tracks of Wild Boar (Jabalí / Felis silvestris) in the mud. From the hide we saw a fishing Osprey (Águila Pescardora / Pandion haliaetus), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and on my way out I added a Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Small White (Artogeia rapae) and heard Stripe-less Tree Frog (Hyla meridionalis).

Photographs from the top
: Blue / Common Emperors (Anax imperator), Red-knobbed Coots (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope) and 2x Osprey (Águila Pescardora / Pandion haliaetus).

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