Friday, 21 October 2016

Huétor Fields and the Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

A day around the local patch and down the Valley with Richard and Augusto.

I met Richard and Augusto near Moraleda and we made our way back over the motorwy and to the small irregation pool called Balsa de Rigedor where we scanned the water and reeds. On the water there were good nubers of Northern Shovelers (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata) x40+, Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca) x15, Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and probaby the rarest bird of the day locally a winter plumaged Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus). In the trees and on the margins there were Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) x55+, Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Grey (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and White Wagtails (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), a Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata) which was sat in the top of a large willow tree and a fly over Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) as we were leaving the site. 
We continued on to the fields near Huétor Tajar and parked on the mesia road track and soon found both Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Thekla Larks (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), a flock of Iberian / Azure-winged Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus) mixed in with a lot of Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and just over the bank in the Arroyo Vilano 4+ Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and a Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago) which flushed up.
We walked back past the car and further on along the ditch adding Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), a Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) and a Common Redstart (Colirroja Real / Phoenicurus phoenicurus). 
On the opposite side of the road amongst the reeds we found a small flock of half a dozen Common Waxbills (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), a female Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and a Common Starling (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulgaris) which was sat amongst several Spotless. On the opposite side of the site we checked the fields nearer to the town where we found Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), 300+ Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) and 2 Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) which were sat on the edge of the Curlew flock. 
Our next stop was back past the meeting point and out on to the fields near Moraleda, we took to the tracks straight away and boosted the list with a couple of Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis) first spotted by Augusto, Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia) and Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia).
We dropped down into El Turro where we had a coffee and collected some sandwiches before driving down to the Embalse de Cacín where we spent quite a while checking the mud and reeds as the water was quite low. We saw more Eurasian Teal, Mallards, Northern Shovelers as well as Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), a Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) which moved along the reeds on the far bank, Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), 8x Green Sandpipers (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), a juvenile Wood Sandpiper (Andarrios Bastardo / Tringa glareola), 16x Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), 2x Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta), a single Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae) and on the far shore a female type Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca) in the top of a dead pine tree.
We moved back up the Valley making a stop by the bridge but only added Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) and a little further up the valley in the pines we picked up a singing Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea) which was on a distant wire. We also heard but failed to find Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla) and Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater).
Our last stop of the day was at the crags just below Moraleda where we finished the day list off with Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) and Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura).

Photographs from the top: Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), female Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), 3x Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), 2x Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe) and Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).

Below are some shots from Richard taken on the day. 





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