Saturday, 21 November 2015

Huétor Fields, Huétor Tajar, Granada Province.

A few hours birding on the local patch with Manuel Cayuela López.

I started off by having a drive down towards Huétor and checked a couple of fields on the way where I had relocated the wintering Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) flock, on the one side of the road there were just four birds but further away on the opposite side of the road there were 22 more birds feeding in a Lucerne field. In the same area there were several Northern Lapwings (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Tree (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus) and House Sparrows (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and Common Magpies (Urraca / Pica pica).
I drove around to the far side of the field with the 22 birds in it for a better view which worked well, in the same area I had Iberian Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).
Next I went around to the fields where the Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) roost during the day and did a quick count and soon reached 400 but then gave up as they were well mixed in Asparagus fields. 
I continued on to the track which leads out on to the central fields near the railway and found a third group of around 30 Little Bustards as well as more Northern Lapwings, Meadow Pipits, Crested Larks and Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus). 
I moved around to the tracks along the Rio Vilano and added Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), a cracking female Merlin (Esmerejón / Falco columbarius) which was sat on one of the higher ridges in the large fields on the far side of the river, Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), a female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) and a calling Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major). I cut across towards the track to Mesia adding Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Cetti's Warblers (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).
I then moved up to the pools and ditches on the Mesia road end of the site where I met up with Manuel and we had a look around the pool and picked up Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) and Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago). Manuel and I then had a coffee in the bar at the end of the road adding a nice male Siskin (Lúgano / Carduelis spinus) on the way. Later we retraced the route I had taken during the morning seeing all the birds again and adding a cracking male Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus) which was out on the field ridges again. We returned to the pools and added a Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) and a very nice male Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica). Time had drifted on to 1 o'clock so Manuel headed off back to Granada and I headed Home.

Photographs from the top: 3x Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) and 3x Common Stonechats (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).

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