Friday, 26 February 2016

Huétor Fields, Moreleda Fields, Ventas de Huelma and Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

Trying to get the year list over 200 before the end of the month.

First thing I headed down to Huétor to get a few bit for a job I was doing but went across the field instead of the direct route and found 41 Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica). I then visited the hardware shop and returned via the opposite route along the rio Vilano where I saw good numbers of newly arrived House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and Barn Swallows, Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), 4x Green Sandpipers (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and then a small flock of Common Waxbills (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild) flew up from the weeds which got the year list to 199.
Later in the day Jayne and I headed out to the fields near Moreleda hoping to catch up with a couple of the species there, as we drove along the A92 passing the small pool called Balsa de Rigedor I got the 200th species for the year list when 2 Great Spotted Cuckoo's (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius) flew over being chased by a group of Common Magpies (Urraca / Pica pica).
We arrived on the track to the fields where I found several spikes of Ophrys forestieri growing on the verge along with Broad-leaved Iris (lirio de invierno / Juno / Iris planifolia), Field marigold (Calendula arvensis), Hollow-stemmed Asphodel (Asphodelus fistulosus), Southern Daisy (Bellis cordifolia) and Violet cabbage (Moricandia moricandioides).
On the upper tracks we had the first of several Iberian / Southern Grey Shrikes (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), a female looking Merlin (Esmerejón / Falco columbarius), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Iberian / Azure-winged Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), several Hoopoes (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa) and several spikes of Fan-lipped Orchids (Anacamptis collina). On the top fields I parked by the ruin and then scanned the crop fields and soon found a fine male Little Bustard which was strutting around in a distant field, a small group of Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and then I eventually picked up just 2 Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis) which flew from one distant field to an even more distant one. On the way off the site we had a nice male Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis) and Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus). We drove across country to Ventas de Huelma and took the 14KM road to the village of Cacín and then up to the Contra-embalse de Bermejalis seeing nothing of interest until just before the village when I had views of a flying Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus) and thenjust short of the lake we saw a pair of Common Buzzards mobbing an adult Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos). On the lake wildfowl were in good numbers including Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis). Over water there were large numbers of migrating Barn and Red-rumped Swallows, House and Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) but no Sand Martins (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia) yet.
From here we headed home along the valley but added nothing new and got back just as it started to rain. 

Photographs from the top: Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos) and Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) and Iberian / Southern Grey Shrikes (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis).

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