Friday 26 December 2014

Malaga and Granada Province coast line, Padul and Ventas de Huelma area, Granada Province.

On the coast and in the hills.

Jayne and I headed down to the coast to change a couple of thing we had bought by mistake and decided that we would make a day of it and have a walk along the beach. On the way down to the coast I saw Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo).
We did the shopping bit at Torre del Mar and then continued on along the coast to Almunecar where we had some lunch and a walk along the prom where I saw Balearic Shearwater (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus), Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) and Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo) and 20+ Sandwich Terns (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis) sat on some rocks with a few Ruddy Turnstones (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres) and singles of  Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba) and Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos).
On our way back up the motorway towards Granada we called in at Padul but just to check the feeding station near the reserve where we I saw two male Siskin (Lúgano / Carduelis spinus) which were the target species for the year list. Along with these two beauties I had a single Dunnock (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Blue  (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Great Tits (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and several Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla).
From here we went on towards Granada before turning towards Ventas de Huelma and checking a spot where in past colder winters there has been a raptor roost but the only one seen was a female Hen Harrier (Aguilucho Pálido / Circus cyaneus) which flew over the road several KM short of the site. I parked up and scanned the much reduced area of over grown fields, several areas had been ploughed since my last visit, I did see several new species for the day including Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa) and dozens of White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
From here we headed home adding a small flock of 8 or so Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) which were leaving there day time roost near Huétor Tajar.

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Western slopes of the Sierra Nevada, Granada Province.

Finches and Buntings in the mountains.

Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula).
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.
Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica).
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), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), , 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). 
Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica).
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.
Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax).
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).
Female Cirl Buntings (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus).
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), Western 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).

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

Moth Trapping.

Ran the 15watt actinic trap last night but with resent night time temps I was not hopeful. It dropped down to -2 and as expected the trap was Mothless but I did catch two bug species, Centrocoris-variegatus and Nezara viridula.
Nezara viridula.