Sunday, 16 August 2015

Charca Suarez and Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

A cracking days birding again, dragging Steve further towards the dark side.

Lynn, Steve and I headed out past Granada and down to the coast, on the way we saw Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Iberian Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa).
We were a little early to entre the reserve so we had a look at the back road where we heard a couple of calling Common Quails (Codorniz Común / Coturnix coturnix), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), House Martin, Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata).
Once we were on the reserve we made our way around the track in the usual anti-clockwise direction with just a fleeting look at the first hide but apart from Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) and Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis). We continued on around to the second hide and soon boosted the list with a very smart Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides), Red-knobbed Coot (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Red Avadavat (Bengali Rojo / Amandava amandava), a fly over Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus). A few dragons were also seen and these included several Long Skimmers (Orthetrum trinacria) and Black Perchers (Diplacodes lefebvrii). Whilst I was watching the birds Steve and Lynn were checking the trees and bushes along the track out side and Lynn soon came to tell me that they had found a very smart Mediterranean Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon). I joined them and we had cracking views of this reptile and found a smaller female, we got some nice shots even though the light was almost directly behind the target. After a while we moved on and around to the next hide where we added Purple Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope), Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea) and Small Red-eyed (Erythromma viridulum).
Around at the main hide Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) were seen.
Our next stop was down at new hide over looking the large pool and soon found several Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Green Sandpipers (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), another Squacco Heron, Red Avadavats, Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), a nice Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus), Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus), White (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Yellow Wagtails (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae).
13:00 soon came around so we headed back north and the across country and back to the house via the Cacín Valley and Morelade Fields. On our way we picked up Iberian Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and out on the fields several Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur).

Photographs from the top: Mediterranean Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), 2x Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), another Black-winged Stilt,  immature Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus), adult Water Rail, Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope) and a female Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis).

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