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.

Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae).
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), Western 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).
Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos) and Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo).
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 Grey Shrike (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  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), 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), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis) and Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus). 
Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis).
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. 

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