Thursday 30 October 2014

Cañete la Real, Malaga Province.

A visit to a Vulture feeding station that has no food as usual !!!

Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
Jayne and I were heading back home today after our short visit to Sue and Sam's, so once Sam was off to school we went back to the ouse briefly and said thanks and goodbye to Sue before heading into Ronda for a morning around the shops.
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
Once we had done what we wanted in Ronda we started to head back towards the house but called in at the feeding station on the outskirts of Cañete la Real but as expected there was not food at the site t there were still a few Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) flying passed the site heading along the nearby ridges towards Ronda. I also saw a single male Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) but liitle else.
From here we headed to Antiquera and the home.

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Grazalema and Montejaque areas in Cadiz and Malaga Provinces.

Ring Ouzels and Dragons near Montejaque.

Ring Ouzel ( Mirlo Capiblanco / Turdus torquatus).
Whilst Jayne and Sue got young Sam ready for school I had a quick look in the garden and almost straight away picked up a Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus) which upset all the local passerines including Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Long-tailed (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) and Crested Tits (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla) and Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs).
Western Willow Spreadwings (Lestres viridis).
I walked a little way down the garden and added Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
Western Willow Spreadwings (Lestres viridis).
Once Sam was ready we had a walk down to meet the bus at the nearby bar with Sam on his little plastic motorbike.
We returned to the house briefly for Sue's second breakfast and then headed out to wards the Libar Valley as I was hoping to see my first Ring Ouzel (Mirlo Capiblanco / Turdus torquatus) of the year.
We parked just a KM or so up the valley with a slope of Hawthorn bushes on our left and a small pool on the right, within seconds the first of around 30 Ouzels did a fly passed followed by small groups over the next twenty minutes or so.
Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum).
We walked a little way up the track seeing more Ouzels all the time and adding new species to the day list including Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) and Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura) as well as seeing more Goldfinches, Griffon Vultures, Black Redstarts and a Iberian Green Woodpecker.
On the walk back I went a little ahead of Sue and Jayne and found what looked like a newly arrived Ouzel which was more interested in a drink than in me and allowed me to get some nice shots.
In the same area we also had singles of Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous) and Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) plus several Painted Lady's (Vanessa cardui).
Egg Yolk Fungus (Yema de huevo / Amanita cesarea).
We left the bird by the pool and headed off through Montejaque to a track on the far side of the village and drove as far as we could along it before leaving the car and walking for an hour or so along the Rio Campobuche.
On the walk out to the Presa we had more Blue, Great, Long-tailed and Crested Tits, NuthatchShort-toed Treecreepers, Sparrowhawk and added Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Southern / Blue Hawker (Aeshna cyanea), Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum) and dozens of Western Willow Spreadwings (Lestres viridis).
At the dam Sue showed me some over with spike of the uncommon Autumn Lady's Tresses (Spiranthes spiralis) and we found several more Desert, a couple of Common Darters (Sympetrum striolatum) and hundreds of Western Willow Emeralds
Mediterranean Scorpion (Escorpión Amarillo / Buthus Occitanus).
Another intriguing insect was seen which Jayne spotted on the far side of the pool which flew towards us briefly before whizzing off down the pool never to be seen again, intriguing due to it's very deep blue colour.
In the same area we had nice views of a Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), two Little Grebes (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa), Iberian Water Frog (Rana Común / Rana Perezi), Andalucian Wall Lizard (Podarcis vaucheri), Small White (Artogeia rapae), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina), Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea), lots of Hornets (Vespa crabro), Mediterranean Scorpion (Escorpión Amarillo / Buthus Occitanus), Sticky Fleabane (Dittrichia viscose) and Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium).
During the walk back we recorded Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata). 
Southern / Blue Hawker (Aeshna cyanea).
Whilst we were walking amongst the Oaks we also saw several species of Fungi but the only one named so far is Egg Yolk Fungus (Yema de huevo / Amanita cesarea). Just before we got back to the car we saw a very nice Southern / Blue Hawker which perched in a tree and let me get some shots but at a funny angle. 
Once we were back at the car we headed towards Grazalema to collect Sam from Clive and Ellies but on the way we stopped to have a look at some Southern Crocus (Crocus serotinus).
We got to the Village and picked up Sam and as he had some homework from the school we headed back to the house to give him time to work on it.
Narcissus cavanillesii.
Once there I headed back out for a hour down the Campobuche river but from the near end, in amongst some Hawthorn trees near the track I had brief views of several more Ring Ouzels, Common Chiffchaffs, Chaffinches, Spotless Starling, Grey Wagtail, Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus) and Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata).
I continued on along the track a bit further and saw several Corn Buntings (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), a single Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) and a small flock of Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea) before spending some time searching for the very small Narcissus cavanillesii.
Most of this uncommon little plant were in seed but I did manage to find three or four which were just about hanging on.

Tuesday 28 October 2014

Laguna Dulce, Malaga Province and Grazalema area in Cadiz Province.

A quick visit to see friends Sue and Sam over near Grazalema. 
Day one.

Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
Jayne and I headed off over towards Grazalema at around 11:00 after a couple of appointments in Loja during the morning. On the way I saw House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki),  White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis) and Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris).
Fungi Species.
Our first stop was for a coffee and toast at a BP garage just the far side of Antequera and the second was for 20 minutes or so scan of Laguna Dulce near Campillos. The Laguna was surprisingly quiet but after some hard searching I did pick up a few nice species out on the water or around the margins including White-headed Ducks (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala) 2 females and a single male, Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) 1 female, Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina) 1 female, Eurasian Wigeon (Sibón Europeo / Anas penelope) 1 female,  Ferruginous Ducks (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca) 2 males, Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera) 20+, Northern Shovelers (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata) 50+, Mallards (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Little (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) x20+, Black-necked (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis) x15+ and Great Crested Grebes (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) x1, Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio) x2, Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) x6 immatures, Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus) x2, Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago) x8 and Kentish Plovers (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) x2. In the surrounding vegetation I picked up Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) and a very fresh looking Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta). 
Fungi Species.
We continued on over towards Grazalema via a market in Campillos seeing Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax).
Round-leaved fluellin (Kickxia spuria).
We had lunch just outside Ronda and then headed in to Grazalema where we met Clive, Sam, big and little Ellie and their new little chap Antonio having their lunch in the town. We sat and spent some time chatting with them before heading to Sue's with Sam. We spent the rest of the evening there catching up and g entertained by Sam. In the garden I saw or heard Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Crested (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus) and Long-tailed Tits (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei) and Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius). We also saw several Fungi and a small patch of  Round-leaved fluellin (Kickxia spuria).

Sunday 26 October 2014

Huétor Fields, Granada Province.

A few hours birding on the local patch with Manuel Cayuela López from Zaragoza area.

Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros).
I started the morning by having a look at the fields which are favoured by the Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) flock but the area was surrounded by several gun totting hunters who as far as I could see were blasting branches of Asparagus plants but hitting little else. I had a quick scan of the area but only saw Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and several Northern Lapwings (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) which were disappearing in to the distance.
I moved on around to the far side of the town and out on to the Mesia fields but this was where I made the big mistake of the day by parking at the start of the ditch where I have seen a Jack Snipe (Agachadiza Chica / Lymnocriptes minimus) several times in the last week or so to set up the camera which was still on the back seat in a rucksack.
Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica).
As I stopped I glanced down in to the ditch and there right in full view was the Snipe, I reached over got the bag and started to grab the bits I needed and just as I was ready and I pointed the camera out of the window the bird flushed and dropped down in to the ditch 20 meters or so further on but into a dense patch of reeds. I again approched the spot but it flew off and dropped into the smalled ditch which crosses the fields and out of sight.
I checked the rest of the ditch, fields and the two small pools where I found a fine male Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Skylarks (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula). 
White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
I next moved over towards the river and checked the fields and pylons in the area and soon added Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), 40+ Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus), my first Song Thrushes (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos) of the winter, Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), a couple of Common Starlings (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulg aris) in a mixed flock with Spotless and a single Stock Dove (Paloma Zurita / Columba oenas) which were all feeding on a newly ploughed field. 
Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
I next checked out the other end of the river which had recently been dredged so I did not expect to find much but did manage to add a Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), a calling Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major) and a Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) which was perched on a concrete well top.
As I was returning along this track when Manuel gave me a ring and we met a few minutes later down by the ditch where the Jack Snipe had been earlier. We checked the area and had a couple of brief views of the Jack, a couple of Green Sandpipers, Bluethroat, Kingfisher, Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and then the bigest surprise two Common Quail (Codorniz Común / Coturnix coturnix) which flushed up from the edge of a Lucerne field as we checked the far ditch. We finished off at this spot and went to check the fields
Flocks of Woodpigeons (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) seen during the morning.
 along the river but we did not see any thing new here so we checked the fields again for the Bustards but there were still hunters there so we checked another track out in to an area of Lucerne fields and found just a dozen of the scattered Little Bustard flock. Our next stop was up at the house and then we made our way back to Manuels car and both made our way off after a good morning.  51 species on the local patch, not back in just 3 hours.