Friday, 19 February 2016

Huétor Fields, Granada Province.

Some good birding around the fields seeing 51 species in 2 hours.

The car was due in the garage for its pre-birding season service but I was out and about a bit earlier than planned so I spent a very enjoyable hour picking up a few species that I had no chance of on the walk back home. I started down by the Arroyo Vilano where the first species seen was a male Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus) which flashed across the track in front of the car chasing a smaller bird. Once I was down by the river I found as usual loads of Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), a skulking Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and in the bushes above the water the first of several flocks of Iberian / Azure-winged Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus).
I crossed the Rio at the ford and continued along the far bank scanning the fields as well as the water adding Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago) x2, Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).
Next I drove to the far side of the site where I parked by the pools and ditches near the Mesia road and quickly found a very smart male Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) which was feeding in an irrigation channel running along side the ditch as well as Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Thekla (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea).
My last spot before the mechanics was on the opposite side of the area, on the way I added Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis) and several Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus) on Huétor airfield.
On the far side I picked the wintering Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and a Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) in a tree by the railway bridge.
I then dropped the car off at the Mechanics and started to walk back and within just 5 minutes right on the edge of town I had a very smart Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes) which was sat in a tree with Goldfinches and Linnets. Just North of Huétor there were a small number of Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) on their usual fields along with Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and I finished off with Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Great Tits (Carbonera Común / Parus major) before I reached the house giving me a total of 43 species for the morning.
At around 16:00 Jayne and I set off from the house to walk back down to Huétor to collect the car and call at the supermarket, on the way we walked along the Arroyo Vilano and I was pleased to see my first Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae) of the year along with a single Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta), several House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) with a single Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica). Once down in the town we had a coffee and the continued to the garage and collected the car adding Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) and Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) to finish the list.

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