Thursday, 14 May 2015

Huétor and Moraleda Fields, Cacín Valley, Sierra de Loja and Zafarraya Road, Granada Province.

A day mopping up a few local species before we moved North.
Deb and Renate Day Six.

Deb, Renate and I set off to the fields near Moraleda where we were hoping to catch up with a few gaps in the trip list, on the way there we picked up some of the regular species including Iberian Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus),Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala). 
Once we were out on the fields we took the first track and I had the first Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) of the trip but for now it remained a guide only sighting but soon enough we were starting to fill some of the gaps when we heard and saw a nice male Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) and 2 distant Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis) on a stubble field. We got back to the car and made our way back along the track and took the next one back out to where the grouse were but they as usual saw us before we saw them but we had good flight views. We carried on around the site but apart from Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) we did not see a great deal. On the way off the site we stopped by an Almond plantation and photographed a swarm of Almond-tree Leaf skeletonizer Moths (Aglaope infausta) which were there in their thousands.
We dropped down in to the Cacín Valley via El Turro and spent some time checking out the pine woods and riverside trees and almost straight away we picked up Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) and Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus) which we at first only heard but it came closer and then flew right over our head and started to call from wires nearby.
We continued on lower down the valley to the bridge crossing the Cacín where we had a walk towards the dam wall adding European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), White (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Grey Wagtails (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Reed (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula). Our next stop was at the small embalse just above the dam, on the mud and water we had good numbers of Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) and on the margins, in the reedbeds and surrounding woods we caught up with Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica).
We retraced our way back along the valley past Moraleda and along the motorway to the exit for Venta del Raya and then down the Valley towards Zafaraya. On the way we stopped at the roadside and had very nice views of several Montagu's Harriers (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) flying over partly harvested crop fields. We continued on again and stopped in the Oak woodlands North of the town where we searched amongst the trees and built up quite a nice list of species including
Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans), Common Quail (Codorniz Común / Coturnix coturnix), Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Melodious (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta) and Bonelli's Warblers (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Lange's (Androrchis langei), Lizard (Himantoglosum hircinum) and Late Sawfly Orchids (Ophrys Ficalhoana). 
Our last stop of the day was up on the Sierra de Loja where the target species was the locally commonish Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis), we drove quickly across the mountain to the crags just beyond the pools at Charca del Negra and started to search the ledges. After a couple of minutes I pick up a cracking male sat on a rock not far from the car, it sat there singing for a few minutes whilst we both cracked quite a few shots off. Up on the mountain we also saw Black-eared (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica) and Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura),Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Spectacled Warbler (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) and Sharp-ribbed Salamander (Pleurodeles waltl).
We finished off on the mountain and headed back towards the house, later we sat out and listened to the calling Red-necked Nightjars (Chotacabras Cuellirrojo / Caprimulgus ruficollis).
 
Photographs from the top: Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis), 2x Almond-tree Leaf skeletonizer Moths (Aglaope infausta), Deb and Renate, Lange's Orchid (Androrchis langei), Lizard Orchid (Himantoglosum hircinum) and Late Sawfly Orchids (Ophrys Ficalhoana), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), 2x Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis) and Sharp-ribbed Salamander (Pleurodeles waltl).

1 comment:

Bas said...

wat lopen jullie daar heerlijk te genieten.