Sunday, 9 November 2014

Huétor Fields, Granada Province.

A couple of hours down on the fields with Juan Francisco Jiménez López and Sergio Martin.

I headed out on to the fields waiting for a text from Juan when they arrived, whilst I was waiting I had a look along the river and started the list off with Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) and a small group of distant Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).
Whilst I was watching the Bustards the text came through and I made my way over to the nearby garage where I met up with Juan and Sergio. We got into my car and we went just up the road to a field where we counted a group of around a 100 or so Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), 50+ Northern Lapwings (different to the 100+ seen earlier), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis). Just as we were about to leave the first site a small group of dogs came across the fields where the Curlews were and flushed them all up and they all settled in the open and we did a second count and found that there had actually been well over 200 of these incredibly well camouflaged birds in the stubble. 
We moved on and checked the fields along the river and checked the fields adding Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis). 
Again we moved on and went to the farside of the site and checked out a couple of ditches and pools. We had great views of a very nice male Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica), Cetti's Warbler, Common Stonechat, Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), lots more Tree Sparrows, Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and eventually the target Jack Snipe (Agachadiza Chica / Lymnocriptes minimus) which got up out of the ditch and flew low round a corner and out of sight all to quickly. We continued on down the ditch seeing another Bluethroat, Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra). In this area we had several Small Whites (Artogeia rapae) which were still on the wing.
Our final stop was on the oposite side of the area where we had nice views of the Little Bustards on the ground in one of the many Lucerne fields, we watched these cracking birds for a while and then headed back to where Juan and Sergio had parked and then headed our own ways.

Photographs from the top: Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) in flight, Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) in flight, Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) looking for frogs, Little Bustards on the ground and Juan and Sergio.

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