A good day out on the fields.
Leicester Ladies Day Two.
We started the day down on the fields checking out the areas around the Arroya Vilano and then out towards the Mesia road ditches, at the first stop along the Rio fields we picked up a late Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra). A little further down the road we had a walk along the Northern bank of the Arroya and had views of several Tree Sparrows (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus), Iberian (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus) and Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and heard a Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos).
We moved to the ditches and the first bird seen as we got out of the van was a Nightingale which showed well out in the open on a nearby bush, this wa followed by Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), a very nice Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) which flashed across the fields and away and several unseen but heard Iberian Water Frogs (Rana Común / Rana Perezi).
Our next stop was on the side of the A92 at Balsa de Rigedor, a small man made but well naturalised pool where we added Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa) near the van and Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii), Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum) and Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera) along the track.
We moved on to the tracks leading out on to the Moraleda fields and stopped to admire the uncommon Dark Spider Orchid (Ophrys incubacea) which was flowering with Ophrys forestieri on the side of the track. A little further on we stopped amongst the Almond groves and had very good views of a couple of Great Spotted Cuckoos (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis) and Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) before continuing on to an area of abandoned Almonds and having a walk. Here we saw several more Great Spotted Cuckoo's, European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Large White (Pieris brassicae), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina), Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera) and a Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri). Again we moved on and stopped on the edge of an Almond plantation which bordered a large crop field where we had lunch before taking a walk. In the area around the van we picked up a Scarce Swallowtail (Chupaleches / Iphiclides podalirius feisthameli), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and on the walk up the field a very nice male Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax). We headed along the tracks to a nearby ruined Cortijo and scanned the fields but could only hear Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and Short-toed Larks (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) along with a couple of Swallowtails (Papilio machaon). We headed towards Ventas de Huelma and picked up a couple of Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops). Once we were through Ventas we headed for Cacín and soon found Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) and further on whilst parked at a good vantage point we had good views of an immature Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos) in flight and in a tree. As we dropped down in to the Cacín Valley a Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) flew over and whilst we were watching this bird we also had good views of a group of European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster).
Once we were down in the Valey we headed for the southern point and saw the local Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and by the roman bridge a very nice male Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) and several Rock Sparrows (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia). Our final stop of the day was at the Embalse de Cacín where we had very good views of Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) and Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo).
We headed back to the house and I set the Moth trap up before we went through the days list.
Photographs from the top: Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), male Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), female Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Great Spotted Cuckoos (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius), Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina), Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri) and Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus).