Friday 20 February 2015

Huétor Fields, Granada Province.

An hours birding with Juan Pérez Contreras on the local patch.

Jack Snipe (Agachadiza Chica / Lymnocriptes minimus).
Juan and Beatriz arrived at our's about 16:30, Beatriz and Jayne stayed at the house while Juan, Chika and I went out for an hours birding down on the fields. We started on some fields near the Northern edge of the town and were soon watching a small group of 16 Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), 25 or so Golden Plovers (Chorlito Dorado Europeo / Pluvialis apricaria), Northern Lapwings (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), 2x Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), 30+ Linnets (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), 20+ Skylarks (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros).
Jack Snipe (Agachadiza Chica / Lymnocriptes minimus).
We moved on and had a drive along the Arroyo Vilano, we parked on the to of the far bank and scanned the far fields and along the banks of the Rio seeing Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), good numbers of both House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Iberian Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major).
From here we move out to the pools and ditches on the far side of the town where we soon had a couple of Reed Buntings (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus), Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).
We started to walkalong the ditch and soon had brilliant flight views of a Jack Snipe (Agachadiza Chica / Lymnocriptes minimus) as it whizzed passed us fairly close and in perfect light. We walked back along the ditch to the track where we found the first of 3 Bluethroats (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica).
White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
We walked along the main ditch down to the road and then checked the shot stretch on the other side but we only added Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa). 
Once we were back at the car we headed back towards the house to have a chat with the girls, on the way we made one last stop when we picked up a single Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) flying amongst a large flock of other hirundines. We also saw Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and a single Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) on the wires before we arrived back at the house.

Thursday 19 February 2015

Rio Velez and Rio Guadalhorce, Malaga Province.

Two coastal sites in one day.

Spotted Crake (Polluela Pintoja / Porzana porzana).
Jayne and I drove down to the coast at Torre del Mar, on the way down I picked up a few species including Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Crested Lark (Cogujada /
Spotted Crake (Polluela Pintoja / Porzana porzana).
Galerida cristata), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula).
I dropped Jayne off in the centre of town and went down to the river for a few hours birding, as soon as I arrived I met a Spanish birder (Antonio) who told me that the Spotted Crake (Polluela Pintoja / Porzana porzana) seen a few days earlier was still in the area and gave me directions. After a few minutes of searching I had cracking views of this cracking little bird which showed very well on a boggy patch of weeds right in the centre of the river.
Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo).
Whilst watching this bird I also had a couple of Little Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), a single Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula), several Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Eurasian (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and a single collared Red-knobbed Coot (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
After a while I walked down to the beach and soon notice the large numbers of Mediterranean Gull (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) on the sea, lazing on the beach and bathing on the freshish water pool which was being topped up from the sea by a rather heavy swell. Also amongst the Meds if found several Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), a small goup of Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and a single Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii).
Mediterranean Gull (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus).
Also in the same are I saw several Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), a Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Western Cattle (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and Little Egrets (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus) and Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos).
I walked back up to the spot for the Crake and stood watching it with four other birders before having a walk with Antonio and another chap up the track back towards the motorway bridge checking the trees for some Siskins (Lúgano / Carduelis spinus) they had seen earlier but we did not locate them and once we reached there car they headed in to Torre and I continued on up the river adding Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros).
Mediterranean Gull (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus).
I walked back down to the Crake spot after ringing Bob Wright to tell him it was still about and he said I will be there in half an hour so I walked slowly back down the track checking the trees again. Just before I reached the two birders still there I heard a watched a stunning male Penduline Tit (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus) which flew off just as I got the bins on but the reason it flew was that a fine male Siskin chased it off. I continued on and added Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) and Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia) before Bob arrived.
We watched the Crake for a while and then had a short walk up the river again and located single Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina) and Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta) before walking back and had a last look at the Crake, a male Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) and a couple of Water Pipits (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta).
Male Siskin (Lúgano / Carduelis spinus).
During the three hours here I also saw several Small Whites (Artogeia rapae), 2 Large Whites (Pieris brassicae), 2 Clouded Yellows (Colias Común / Colias corcea) and a Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta).
I said goodbye to Bob and walked back to the car and went and met Jayne for Lunch which we had in a very nice little place on the main road through Torre called Restaurant Vintash. We then headed along the coast and called in at Brico, Leroy Merlins and Worten looking for a few bits, later I dropped Jayne at Plaza Major and went and had a quick look at Guadalhorce. I first of all had a look at the beach where I was much the same species as at the morning site but I did add a Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and a Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax). I then moved on to a fairly quite reserve, from the main hide I picked up Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), 3x Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) and a single Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).
Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus).
From the next hide I saw several Little Grebes (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), 2 White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus) and a small flock of very nicely plumaged Greenfinches (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris). I then went back to the car via the far pond but it was totally empty and then made my way over to Jayne and we made a quick second visit to Leroys before heading home via Loja.

Tuesday 17 February 2015

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

A couple of newly arrived summer visitors.

Just a quick trip down to the supermarket in Huétor produced a couple of nice sightings, the first was a group of 5 Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and a single Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia) all perched on a roadside wire in the heavy rain looking well hacked off. The next nice bird was an immature Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus) which was hasseling a flock of Northern Lapwings (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) and Spotless Starlings (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor).