Sunday, 3 January 2016

Sierra de Loja and Huétor Fields, Granada Province.

Birding in the rain, mist and Mud with Juan and Beatriz.

I left the house and started to make my way down to the Cortijo de Tajar where I was going to meet Juan, Beatriz and Chika for a trip up Sierra de Loja but I was a little early so I checked the fields to the south of the town. In a weedy fallow patch I found several Goldfinches (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Common Chaffinches (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and male and female Brambling (Pinzón Real / Fringilla montifringilla).
Down by the rive there were calling Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Grey (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and White Wagtails (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Spotless Starlings (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor).
I met Juan and Beatriz and we made our way towards a cloud covered hill, we started to make our way up and as we hit the top the weather started to deteriorate.
Once we passed over the ridge and found several Thekla Larks (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and then a pair of Bonelli's Eagles (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus) which Beatriz picked up in the drizzle which was getting worse.
We continued on passing Charca del Negro and out to the Hawthorn scrub adding just Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa).
Out at the furthest point the weather was very unpleasant so we did not hang around long before we retraced our way down the hill and back to the hotel as things got no better.
On my way back to the house from the hotel I added Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Common (Urraca / Pica pica) and Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus) and Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata).
Once I was back at the house I was pleased to add another species to the garden list when a cracking male Siskin (Lúgano / Carduelis spinus) joined the dozen or so Serins (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) on the feeder.

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