Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

Day two with John Webster and Co, this time in my second favourite place around the locallish patch.

I again met John and friends in the Cortijo de Tajar just off the A92 and had a quick coffee before heading east towards Granada and then out on to the fields around Moreleda. Our first stop was on a dirt track where we checked the verges out for Orchids and soon started to find some interesting species including Ophrys forestieri, Dark Spider (Ophrys incubacea), Bumblebee (Orquídea abejorro / Ophrys bombyliflora), Mirror (Ophrys speculum subsp speculum) and Yellow Bee Orchids (Orquídea Abejera / Ophrys lutea). We also had our first calling Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
We moved on further out on to the tracks and up amongst the Almond grovers where we picked Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Iberian / Southern Grey (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) and Woodchat Shrikes (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) and as soon as we stopped to check an area of abandoned Alomndsat least 5 Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis), more Great Spotted Cuckoo's, Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis) and Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus).
Again we continued on out on to the more open fields and soon found Short-toed (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), Thekla (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) and several spikes of Pink Butterfly Orchid (Anacamptis papilionacea). We also had Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) and Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina) butterflies.
We then drove down into the Cacín Valley and along to the bridge over the Rio Cacín where we had distant but good views of an Eagle Owl (Buho Real / Bubo bubo), heard a singing Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) as well as Garden Warbler (Curruca Mosquitera / Sylvia borin), Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), 4x Common Sandpipers (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Reed (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and Bonelli's Warblers (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli) and a very smart pair of displaying Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus). 
Up at the reservour things were fairly quiet but we did find Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and  Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica). Further down the valley we stopped and had a look at the Roman bridge but added little so we carried on down the gorge where we saw a fly passed by the pair of Bonelli's Eagles (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Rock Pigeon (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs).
Our last stop was down in the pine woodlands around Embalse de Bermejalis where we had a few more Orchids for the list including the uncommon hybrid Ophrys x chobautii, Naked / Italian Man Orchid (Orquídea italiana / Orchis italica) and several species seen earlier in the day. From here the group headed off to Alhama de Granada and I went home.
Photographs from the top: Dark Spider Orchid (Ophrys incubacea), Bumblebee Orchid (Orquídea abejorro / Ophrys bombyliflora), Mirror Orchid (Ophrys speculum subsp speculum), Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), hybrid Ophrys x chobautii and Naked / Italian Man Orchid (Orquídea italiana / Orchis italica).

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