Saturday, 10 January 2015

RAM and Charca de Suarez, Granada Province.

Fran Espinosa Alemany, Juan Pérez Contreras and I do some birding on the Granada Coast.

I met Juan outside his place and once we put all my kit into his 4X4 we set off down to Peñón de Jolúcar on the eastern side of Torrenueva near Motril where we carried out the monthly sea bird count, half way through the count we were Joined by Fran. During out time at the site we recorded 187 Balearic Shearwaters (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus), a single Great Skua (Págalo Grande / Stercorarius skua), good numbers of Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Lesser Black-backed  (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) and Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Sandwich Terns (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis). Also seen out at sea was quite a desent sized pod of what looked like Common Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) numbering around 15 amimals.
Other species seen included Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis). Once the count was over we moved on to Charca but took the steep track down to the cars to check the bank for Orchids and before long we had found a dozen or more flowering spikes of the local member of the Fusca group Ophrys forestieri.
Once we were at charca we headed for the small hide which is the first one you come to on a clock-wise loop as a wintering Moustached Warbler (Carricerin Real / Acrocephalus melanopogon) had been recorded from here and soon Juan spotted it moving along the bottom of the reeds just above the water. From this hide we also recorded Purple Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) and dozens of Common Chiffchaffs (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita).
From here we made our way back towards the entrance and to the first anti-clockwise hide seeing Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) on the way, the hide was quiet and we only added one of the reintroduction Red-knobbed Coots (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata). We walked further around the reserve to the next hide where I met Dave Jefferson and his wife and we had a good chat whilst photographing a very smart Water Rail in the reeds. We also saw three more of the Red-knobbed Coots, Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago). Again we continued on and called in at the main hide, on the way I had a couple of Speckled Woods (Pararge aegeria) and Small White (Artogeia rapae) all appearing now it was warming up a bit. As I approched the hide I could hear a couple of Stripe-less Tree Frogs (Hyla meridionalis) and in the hide we saw several Stripe-necked Terrapins (Mauremys leprosa). Birds from here included most of the species we had already seen, we did add the female Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca) and at least one of the Common Pochard Hybrid she had produced last year. Juan checked through the Great Cormorants on the island and found two ringed birds, one from Romainia. Again we continued on, Juan and Fran went to the left at the junction between the main hide and the new pool and I went right and had good but brief views of a Wryneck (Torcecuello / Jynx torquilla) before it dropped in to cover. I continued on and met the others by the pool where we picked up a Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta) and a Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) which was the first Dragon of the year. 
We made our way back to the first hide but did not add anything except for a Yellow-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta scripta) which was floating amongst the reeds.
Once back to the cars we all headed back towards Granada, Juna and I did a short detour around the backs of the factory units and had a look at the fields there but only added Red Avadavat (Bengali Rojo / Amandava amandava), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops). We made our way back to Juan's where I collected my motor and headed home, on the way I saw Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).

Photographs from the top: Sun rise at the sea watch point, Ophrys forestieri,  2x Moustached Warbler (Carricerin Real / Acrocephalus melanopogon), Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus), Red-knobbed Coots (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata) and Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros).

2 comments:

NickMorgan said...

Wow, amazing to hear that you are seeing butterflies already. It will be a couple of months before I see any here again. I am still enjoying thinking back to my visit to the Sierra Nevada last summer. Can't wait to be back in southern Spain.

bas said...

een prachtige opening en daarna geweldige ontmoetingen ook heel mooi verteld.