Thursday, 8 January 2015

Huétor Fields, Granada Province.

A few hours on the local patch picking off a few year ticks.

Jayne and I headed in to Loja where we sorted a few things out before Jayne dropped me at the Cortijo de Tajar hotel just off the A92 before heading over to Trabuco for the Ladies group meeting and later craft group. I started the walk back to the house which took me around three hours as I took a roundabout sort of route over the fields, in total I covered just over 10KM at birding pace. The first species seen on the way into Ventanueva included Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and on the end of a large factory building I found a Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) sunning it's self.
On my way around the town and along the river I did not see much but just after I went back out on to the fields I started to pick up new species including Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), 3x Grey Herons (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), 5x Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) which was sat on wires out on the fields. Along the track I passed a large Poplar plantation and had nice views of a couple of Short-toed Treecreepers (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), a flock of Azure-winged Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus) and Long-tailed Tits (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus). Once I was passed the woods I followed the lower stretch of the Arroyo Vilano and soon had good views of a pair of Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), a Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta),  masses of Common Chiffchaffs, Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) and a Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus). 
I checked some track side ditches and soon flushed up the first of 5 Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago) and eventually after almost an hour of searching I found one of the two Jack Snipe (Agachadiza Chica / Lymnocriptes minimus) that were wintering in the area but on a different stretch of water to usual. In an area of reeds and Bullrush I had views of three Reed Buntings (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus) which was a new species for my local patch, two males and a probable female. In the same area I had two male Bluethroats (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus) and Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis).
From here I crossed the railway line and took a track out across the fields to a different stretch of the Arroyo Vilano and straight away I had a group of three very smart male Bramblings (Pinzón Real / Fringilla montifringilla) feeding under some poplar trees with large numbers Common Chaffinches, a Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) which came up off the river and several Common Starling (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulg aris) which were mixed in with a large flock of Spotless
I continued on along the river and headed back along the road up to Realenga, on the way I added Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Rock Pigeon (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) before I reached home.

Photographs from the top: Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) X2, Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).

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