Friday 4 July 2014

Travelling to and from Baza and at Venta del Molinillo, Granada Province.

A run out with Jayne and son Alan.

Male Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo).
For a while we had been meaning to visit this part of Granada Province and thought that we would have a run up there for a day out whilst Alan was with us. On the way I saw a couple of Carrion Crows (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone) on pylons and just as we entered the town we saw three more mobbing a pale phase Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus). Whilst we were travelling there and back I also saw Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus).
Female Beautiful Demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo).
The town was not what we had expected, I will say no more but whilst walking around I did see Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus).
We spent a while walking around and then headed off to Purullena where Jayne looked around the ceramic shops before we went and had some lunch. After eating we headed back towards Granada as Alan wanted to get a new camera before he headed off on hoilday to Italy, on the way we stopped at Venta del Molinillo and I had a walk along the river.
Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychlorus).
Whilst here I found several Beautiful Demoiselles (Calopteryx virgo) and a couple of Large Pincertails (Onychogomphus uncatus). Birds included Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) and Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla). Whilst I was getting some shots of the Beautiful Demoiselles a Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychlorus) landed nearby and allowed me to get a few shot which was very nice as I have not got a decent upper-wing shot before. From here we headed in to the City and then home.

Thursday 3 July 2014

Balsa de Regidor and Moraleda Fields, Granada Province.

A few hours birding with friend Andy Mountford from the UK.

Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus) immature.
Unfortunately Andy and I only got to spend a few hours birding during his trip to Spain this year but we saw a few really nice species whilst we were out. We started off from the house and headed out to the small pool on the side of the A92 called Balsa de Regidor and found a few pairs of Common Pochards (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) with young, along with at least 2 families of Little Grebes (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and several Mallards (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos). Other breeding species on and around the lake were Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) and Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto).
Due to the wind dragonflies were scarce but we did see several Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), along with a few Broad Scarlets (Crocothemis erythraea), Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum), Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii) and a single Small Red-eyed (Erythromma viridulum). In the water and on the dead trees around the margins we saw lots of Stripe-necked Terrapins (Mauremys leprosa) and Iberian Water Frogs (Rana Común / Rana Perezi).
We moved on through Moraleda and out on to the nearby fields taking a roadside track through a large area of Almond Groves. Just after entering the grove we located a beautiful adult Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus) followed a few seconds later by an immature bird both of which flew off before I could get the camera pointed in the right direction.
Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus) adult.
We continued on through the trees to a field on the far side, on the way through we saw Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei) and Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops). 
From here instead of going back to the road we crossed a harvested field to the track near the disused cortijo seeing the Rollers again on the way across as well as Pallid (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and Common Swifts (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis).
Once we were up on the track we passed the cortijo and dropped down towards the Solar Panel farm picking up the Rollers yet again but this time they sat a little longer and allowed a couple of shots, on the way we also saw Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina).
Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
At the far side of the site we picked up what we were guess was a second family of Rollers in the Almonds along with Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis). We dropped down out of the site through yet more Almond trees and parked on the track side and had a walk through one of the groves, on the way we saw two Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), a Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) and three cracking Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis) which were the main targets of the morning.
During the walk we saw a few butterflies including Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto), Small White (Artogeia rapae), Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera) and  Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus).
We returned back to the car and headed back to the house for some lunch before Andy continued on down to Malaga Province for the last few days of his Spanish break.

Wednesday 2 July 2014

Arroyo Vilano bridge, Granada Province.

An afternoons walk with Chika along the river.

Chika and I went down to the river and parked just North of La Fabrica and walked the river looking for Dragonflies but they were few and far between. However I did see a couple of Southern (Orthetrum brunneum) and Epaulet Skimmers (Orthetrum chrysostigma), Broad Scarlet (Crocothemis erythraea), Orange-winged (Trithemis kirbyi) and Violet Dropwings (Trithemis annulata), Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes) and Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii). Birds were scarce dure to the time of day but I did see several Little Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator). 
During the walk I also saw lots of Iberian Water Frog (Rana Común / Rana Perezi), Water Messurer (Hydrometridae), Carpentor Bee (Xylocopa violacea), Swallowtail (Papilio machaon), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea), Bath White (Pontia daplidice) and African Grass Blue (Zizeeia knysna).