Saturday 19 December 2015

Cerro Coros and Campobuche, Cadiz Province.

A lovely walk in some superb countryside.

Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus).
I started the day with a walk around the garden and saw Crested (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Great Tits (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei) and Great Spotted Woodpeckers (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major) and a couple of Meadow Pipits (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis) on the newly dug veg patch.
Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus).
After breakfast Sue, Sam, Jayne and I headed off through Grazalema and up to Puerto de las Palomas seeing a small herd of Spanish Ibex (Cabra pyreaica hispanica). Once we were parked up we started out on the track around the northern side of Cerro Coros and almost straight away we picked up a couple of Ring Ouzels ( Mirlo Capiblanco / Turdus torquatus) as well as Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) and Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs).
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
We continued on and soon started to see good numbers of Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) and whilst watching these we picked out the adult transmitter carrying Black / Cinereous Vulture (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus) which had been knocking around for a while.
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
We continued on around to the southen side of the ridge where we were treated to superb views of the Griffons whilst we sat on an out crop having a break. Again we continued on and came back on to the Northern side of the rigde, from here I left the others and went up to the trig point and had a chat with a Spanish birder up there who was watching a Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea).
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
After a while I dropped back down and met the others picking up Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae).
Black / Cinereous Vulture (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus).
As we reached the car we talked to a Spanish couple when a single Alpine Accentor (Acentor Alpino / Prunella modularis) did a fly past.
Coros Peak.
We dropped back down to the Venta near Sue's and had some lunch and later I dropped the others off at the house and continued on down to Campobuche river where I boosted the list with Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Dartford (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius) and Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus).
Jayne, Sue and Sam watching the Vultures.

Friday 18 December 2015

Travelling to Grazalema, Cadiz Province. Province's.

A visit to Ronda on the way to Sue and Sam's.

Cueva del Gato pool.
We had a leisurely start and headed over to Ronda, on the way we had the usual pair of Little Owls (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) sat on a roof before we reached Huétor and a little further down the road several Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) with around 50 standing out on a newly ploughed field, Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), a couple of Common Kestrels (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) sat on the wires and both Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) which flushed up off the road. As we past around Huétor Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) were added and between Huétor and the Observatory Penarrubia I picked up Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) and around 15 Common Cranes (Grulla Común / Grus grus).
Cueva del Gato pool.
Once we were past Campillos we pulled off at the raptor watch point Observatory Penarrubia where I found a couple of Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), several Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and down on the Embalse below there were several Great Crested Grebes (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) and Great Cormorants (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo). 
Railway bridge on way to pool.
We reached Ronda and had a nice walk around the town and then unsuccessfully looked for some where to have lunch and in the end went just out of the town to a place where we have had good food in the past and we were very happy yet again.
After a nice Lunch we drove out to Cueva del Gato and had a walk across the river to the pool below the cave, on the way we saw Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) and Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) as well as singles of Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous), Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) and Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui). 
Broad-leaved Iris (lirio de invierno / Juno / Iris planifolia).
We drove further on through Benaojan and Montejaque before making a short stop on the far side of Cerro de Tavizna, on the rocks there were lots Broad-leaved Iris (lirio de invierno / Juno / Iris planifolia) along with Southern Daisy (Bellis cordifolia), Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima) and a very fresh looking Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychlorus). Birds included Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina).
Our last stop before we arrived at Sue´s was just below her house on the Rio Campobuches area where we saw a single Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Long-tailed (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) and Crested Tits (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus) and Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris).

Thursday 17 December 2015

Fuente de Piedra, Malaga Province.

A mornings birding with the Axarquia bird group.

View over the Salt Lake.
I drove over to Fuente de Piedra calling in at Antequera on the way where I checked the fields out to the North of the Motorway. I only drove along the one track as I was starting to run out of time but I started my day list off with a very nice male Hen Harrier (Aguilucho Pálido / Circus cyaneus) which was hunting over a new plantation of young Olive trees, a small group of 5 Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis). I continued on adding Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) on the way to the visitor centre car park for the meeting. 
The Group at the Mirador.
I was in fact a little early and none of the others had arrived but Bob and Jenny Wright soon turned up and we picked up Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) before Marcus and Liz Rootes joined us, so the five of us walked up to the view point and scanned the main salt lake which had a small amount of water which held a couple of hundred Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), several Shelducks (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna), lots of Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Lesser Black-backed Gulls (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus).
Distant Common Cranes (Grulla Común / Grus grus).
Whilst we were there we were joined by Steve and Elena Powell and Eric and Pat Lyon and continued to add species including Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), a couple of Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Small White (Artogeia rapae) and loads of Rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus).
View from the Mirador.
We continued on around to the back hides where the water level in the main pool was surprisingly high and held good numbers of Northern Shovelers (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), a few Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), a single male Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and at least 4 Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago). We walked back to the view point and then took the lower track back towards the car park via the board walk, on the way we saw a single male Spanish Sparrow (Gorrión Moruno / Passer hispaniolensis), 20+ Corn Buntings (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo) and a female type Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus).
Common Cranes (Grulla Común / Grus grus).
At the far end of the board walk the scopes were trained on some distant pylons where we saw two large raptors which were almost certainly Golden Eagles (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos). We got back to the cars and started to make our way around the lake along the Western side and just before we reached the Mirador a few KMs along this road we stopped and saw a very nice Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus), several Skylarks (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Woodpigeons (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and a Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) which had a quick but unsuccessful go at a Iberian Brown Hare (Lepus europaeus / capensis).
From the view point we added Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos) and the first of the days Common Cranes (Grulla Común / Grus grus).
Common Cranes (Grulla Común / Grus grus).
We again continued on around the lake and soon found out where the rest of the Common Cranes were when we came across between 700 and 900 birds feeding on a couple of fields South of the road. In the same area we had Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and just down the road a second Black-winged Kite. We moved on again to a small ruin next to the lake but we could not find any new species so most of the group went for lunch but I headed of home.