Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Western slopes of the Sierra Nevada, Granada Province.

Finches and Buntings in the mountains.

Jayne spent the morning in Granada City whilst I spent a few hours on the lower slopes between 1430 and 1500 meters where I was following up information from Juan Pérez Contreras who had seen three Yellowhammers (Escribano Cerillo / Emberiza citrinella) which winter in this area each year. I parked and had a walk around the usual area for the birds but could not find the target species but had good views of several Rock Buntings (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Cirl Buntings (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Song (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos) and Mistle Thrushes (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and several Redwings (Zorzal Alirrojo / Turdus illacus), Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis), Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Coal Tits (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater). 
After not catching up with the Yellowhammers here I decided to go and have a look at some nearby crags where Juan had seen several Ring Ouzels ( Mirlo Capiblanco / Turdus torquatus) a few days earlier. As soon as I got out of the car I heard several Ouzels calling from some nearby Hawthorn bushes and within a few second five birds had exploded from cover and flew up the slopes to other bushes. I checked out a flock of birds which were feeding under several Walnut trees, in the flock there were several Bramblings (Pinzón Real / Fringilla montifringilla), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia) and a single winter plumaged male Yellowhammer which flew up and perched nicely in a nearby Hawthorn. Also seen in the area were Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Dartford Warblers (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Rock Pigeon (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
I dropped back down to the main road again and then back down to Granada adding Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura) and Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius) to the list on the way.
Once we were in Granada Jayne and I did a bit of shopping before we headed back towards home, on the way we saw a fine male Hen Harrier (Aguilucho Pálido / Circus cyaneus) along with Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).

Photographs from the top: Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), 2x Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) and a female Cirl Buntings (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus).

No comments: