Thursday, 19 May 2016

Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

A day with Francis and Sheila in the Cacín Valley and surrounding areas.

I picked Fracis and Sheila up in Granada City and then headed back along the A92 to Moraleda and then out on to the tracks and fields nearby. Our first stop was along side an Asparagus field where a couple pf chaps were out picking, on the wires along side the track we had views of European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and a couple of smartly marked Feral Pigeons (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia). Just a  short way further along the same track w stopped again to watch some more European Bee-eaters and whist we were admiring them we had good views of a couple of Great Spotted Cuckoos (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina).
We continued up on towards the top fields but had a short walk out to a newly ploughed and planted area where we had good flight views of a couple of Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Large White (Pieris brassicae), Small White (Artogeia rapae), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Berger's Clouded Yellow (Colias de Berger / Colias alfacariensis), Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Spanish Marbled White (Medioluto Inés / Melanargia ines) and Spanish Iris (Iris xiphium).
We again moved on and out on to the more open fields where we soon found a Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus) in amoungst the Almond trees as well as Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and as we were walking along side a plantation we heard and saw a Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) in flight.
Our next stop was at a bar for a coffee in El Turro, on the way down we had Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and in the village House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Barn Swallow, Common Swift and Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris).  
We finished our coffee's and then drove to a spot on the roadside amongst the pines in the valley where we could hear but did not see Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) and Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) but we did get Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) and Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and a rather tatty Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).
Our next stop was further down the valley where we had our lunch sat beside the irrigation canal watching the Rio Cacín, whilst we were hear we had a Golden Oriole flash through the trees, Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), a heard only Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), more Red-rumped Swallows, Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and Blue-eye (Erythromma lindenii) and Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii). Just before we left this spot we had a look at some low crags across the valley and found a nice roosting Eagle Owl (Buho Real / Bubo bubo) which woke up whilst we watched and hopped out on to the more open rocks and showed well.
We moved up to the nearby Contra Embalse de Bermejalis but it was quiet and we only saw Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and more Pallid Swifts.
Further along the valley we stopped a couple of times to check the cliffs and have a distant view of the Embalse de Bermjalis's bright blue waters. In this area we had Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Rock Pigeon (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia) and Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax).
We retraced our steps and went through the village of Cacín and along the road towards Ventas del Huelma where we had another Roller, Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) and after a noticable lack of raptors we had 2 Short-toed Eagles (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), 3x Booted Eagles (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) and a Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo). Once we reached Ventas we made our way back towards the city where I dropped Fransic and Sheila at their hotel before heading home.

Thanks to you both for your company and supporting Granada Wildlife with a very nice Trip Advisor review, Thanks again Mick.

Photographs from the top: Spanish Iris (Iris xiphium), Francis and Sheila in the Cacín Valley and below watching the Short-toed Eagle and 2x Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus).

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