Thursday, 24 November 2016

Huétor Fields and Sierra de Loja, Granada Province.

A morning with Pau from Valencia and an afternoon on a cold hill.

I met Pau Lucio a Birding Guide from the Valencia area at the bar at the bottom where we had a coffee before heading out on to the patch. A started by going out along the Rio Vilano picking up White (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Grey Wagtails (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) and on the road near to the model aeroplane runway we added Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis) and Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita).
We moved on around to the town and walked a track out on to the fields follwing an irrigation channel, here we found more Tree Sparrows, Common Stonechats, a male Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), 3+ Dartford (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata) and several Sardinian Warblers (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), lots of Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Northern Lapwings (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) and Corn Buntings (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
Again we moved on around towards the central track still looking for the Bustards which have become elusive, on the way in we saw and photographed one of the regular Little Owls (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and the found the first 11 Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) on a Lucerne field. A little further along the track we found another 40 odd Bustards mix in with Northern Lapwings, Spotless and Common Starlings (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulg aris) and 8+ Golden Plover (Chorlito Dorado Europeo / Pluvialis apricaria) and quite a few Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
We headed back to the bar and said our goodbyes before I headed home. Later I dropped Jayne off at the craft groups meal at Flatti's in Loja and went up Sierra de Loja. I started off in the lower quarry where I had views of Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Common Stonechat, Black Redstart, Meadow Pipit, Blackbird, Common Chaffinch, Linnet and a pair of very well behaved Dartford Warblers.
After a while I drove up to the Northern crags and spent the rest of the afternoon watching a single stretch of rocks looking for a wintering Wallcreeper (Treparriscos / Tichodroma muraria), I always think that if you do not try you will never find one, anyway I did not but got great views of a flock of 15+ Alpine Accentors (Acentor Alpino / Prunella collaris) which eventually came right down in front of me whilst I was sat in the car. In the same area I added Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) and Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa). I later picked Jayne up and we headed home.

Photographs from the top: 2x Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), male Dartford (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), female Dartford Warbler,  2x Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and 4x Alpine Accentors (Acentor Alpino / Prunella collaris).

1 comment:

Andy Mountford said...

A FLOCK of alpine accentors?! I'm looking forward to June Mick!!