Saturday, 5 November 2016

RAM, Charca Suarez and local fields, near Motril, Granada Province.

80+ species seen on the Granada Coast and the local patch.

I met Juan Pérez Contreras at just after 07:00 and we headed off down to Peñón de Jolúcar to do the RAM sea watch, on the way down we started the list with a Goshawk (Azor Común / Accipitor gentillis) which flashed across the motorway in front of us before it was properly light.
We reached the watch point, on the way up to the top of the cliffs we saw Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and several fly over Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
Once we were up on the cliffs we started counting good numbers of Cory's (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris diomedea) and Balearic Shearwaters (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus), Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), Great Skua (Págalo Grande / Stercorarius skua) x3, Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis) x4, Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Audouin's Gull (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii) and Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Shag (Cormorán Mondudo / Phalacrocorax aristotelis) x3, a single immature Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia) and a hunting Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus).
Once we were finished counting we headed for the wetlands at Charca Suarez, on the way we saw Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus) and Common Starling (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulg aris).
Once we were in the reserve we went to the small hide at the end of Laguna del Taraje where we saw and heard Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus), Purple / Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta), Penduline Tit (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata). On the same pool we had Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa) and Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi).
We walked along the edge of the pool to the hide at the opposite end of the laguna where we had nice views of a Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca) and a Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus). 
We moved to the new hide over looking a much fuller new pool which was a bit of a let down as we had hoped the mud might produce some interesting visitors. However we did see Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus), Common Kestrel, Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Red Avadavat (Bengali Rojo / Amandava amandava), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus) and Juan had views of a female Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica).
We had a walk after a while around to the main hide over looking Laguna de las Aneas, on the way we had good views of Common Waxbills (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild) along with a single Black-rumped Waxbill (Estrilda troglodytes) as well as a male Spanish Sparrow (Gorrión Moruno / Passer hispaniolensis).
From the hide we soon had views of another Spoonbill, Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Great White Egret (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba), White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Eurasian Wigeon (Sibón Europeo / Anas penelope), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), a female Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina), 2x Northern Pintails (Ánade Rabudo / Anas acuta), Red-knobbed Coots (Focha cornuda / Fulca cristata), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and in the air above the pool there were several Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) x5. Just before we were going to move on to the next hide all the birds on the island suddernly scattered and when we looked we were pleased to see a stunning immature female Goshawk which crossed the lake and briefly perched in a pool side tree before heading off again, I got somme very bad shots as it moved on so quickly.
Next we looked in on the two hides looking over Laguna del Trebol but we only added Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) as well as Mediterranean Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon), Stripe-less Tree Frog (Hyla meridionalis), Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta), Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea) and Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator).
We called in at the hide over looking Laguna del Lirio but added nothing so we carried on back to our starting point at Laguna del Taraje and then the new hide where I added nothing but Juan had a quick view of a Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago) as it landed.
We exited the reserve and drove out on to some nearby fields where we scanned several areas and added a few new species to the day list including Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Thekla (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and Skylarks (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), lots more Cattle Egrets, hundreds of White Wagtails, the Black-winged Kite again and a Monarch (Danaus plexippus). 
From here we headed back North to Granada adding just Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) before Idropped Juan off and headed home via the fields at Huétor where I picked up Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Iberian / Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Mistle (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and Song Thrushes (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major).

Photographs from the top: Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), 2x Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Purple / Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Red-knobbed Coot (Focha cornuda / Fulca cristata), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Great White Egret (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba), Goshawk (Azor Común / Accipitor gentillis), a female Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina), Mediterranean Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and the Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus).

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