Sunday 6 December 2015

Moraleda Fields and Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

A day on the local patch with Alisa and Indigo from Australia.

I met Alisa and Indigo in Plaza Nueva then we walked back to the car and then made our way out of the city and along the A92 to the fields near Moraleda. On the way through the nearby urbanisation we started the list with several species sitting on the wires including White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and on a small area of waste ground a flock of Linnets (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) with a couple of nice male Serin's (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) in the same mix. Out on the fields we did a loop along the main track and during this drive we picked Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and our main target birds with 3 Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis) being seen at first at quite a distance but later we had better views but in flight.
Our next stop was down in the Pine woods along the road down in the Cacín Valley just above the river where we had a walk and recorded Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Crested (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Long-tailed Tits (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Mistle (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and Song Thrushes (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula).
We made another stop along the river at the bridge but we did not add anything new to the list so we pushed on up to the reservoir and scanned the water picking up Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo) and Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea). On the way along the road towards the gorge we had a very nice Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus) and several Woodpigeons (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) sat on the wires.
In the gorge we stopped a couple of times seeing a good flock of Jackdaws and a pair of Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus) which sat on the cliff giving us nice views and then equally good flight views. 
We worked our way back along the Valley and then up on to the ridge above Cacín where we looked for raptors but only added Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) as well as Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and Small White (Artogeia rapae) butterfly on the fields near La Malaha before heading back into the city.

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