Thursday, 21 April 2016

La Malaha and the Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

A days birding with Pierre & Magdalena from Luxembourg.

I met Pierre and Magdalena up in Granada City and then west heading for La Malaha calling in at a semi derilict Cortijo on the way where we had some good views of 20 or so Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), lots of Feral / Rock Pigeons (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia) and some noisy Jackdaws (Grajilla / Corvus monedula).
We moved on just down the road and took to the minor roads and tracks for a while, on the road we had very nice views of two male Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) chasing each other across the fields. Whilst we were parked we had hoards of hirundines around us including Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia) and House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) as well as both Common (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica) and Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra).
We continued on along the road and had two more Little Bustards on the ground before turning off on to one of the many tracks adding Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Short-toed Larks (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) to the list before reaching the road to Ventas de Huelma. After passing through Ventas we stopped on the road side and had a walk alng a rather muddy track where we heard or saw Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta),
Turtle (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and Collared Doves (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) and both a dark and light phase of Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus). After a well earned coffee we continued on down the Cacín Valley and in to the Gorge where we made a couple of stops seeing a very smart male Golden Oriole, Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Moroccan Orange-tip (Anthocharis belia), Small White (Artogeia rapae) and Yellow Bee Orchid (Orquídea Abejera / Ophrys lutea).
We turned around and headed back to Cacín for a sandwich and the on up to the Contra Embalse de Bermejalis where I was pleased to see two Black Terns (Fumarel Común / Chlidonias niger) which were migrating through the area along with the usual Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra),
Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
Our next stop was at the bridge across the river where we had distant views of the Eagle Owl (Buho Real / Bubo bubo) and two chicks on the crags but we added little else here so we decided to have a look at the fields near to Moraleda before heading back up to the city, almost straight away we had a pair of Rollers (Carraca / Coracias garrulus) sat on the branch of a dead tree before we had reached the cortijo. Further on we had Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae) and to finish off a very pleasant day 8 Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis) on a ploughed field on our way out of the area on our way to the motorway.
Thanks to Pierre and Magdalena for their company and for supporting Granada Wildlife by taking this tour.

Photographs from the top: Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and a view in to the disused Almond Groves.

1 comment:

Magdalena said...

Dear Mick!So we can see now already our Birding -Day with you on your blog :),we are at home now and very happy to remember that wonderful day!You have that great ability to open up one's eyes--we would never have thougt before to get the chance to see so many different birds in a single day,an in a relatively restricted area around Granada!Heartful thanks for everything!
Magdalena