Monday, 19 December 2016

Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

A day down the Valley with David Drake from Texas.

I picked Dave up from the Albacin on the edge of Granada City and then headed back down the A92 to the Balsa de Rigedor where we scanned the water seeing Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) and in the reeds and surrounding trees and bushes we had Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), lots of Blackcaps (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), several House (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and at least one male Spanish Sparrows (Gorrión Moruno / Passer hispaniolensis), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo). 
We later drove over the A92 and out on to the fields nearby looking for but failing to find Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis), guessing that there had been quite a lot of disturbance by hunters over the weekend which meant that the birds were keeping low. We did however see Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Thekla (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and Skylarks (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Common Starling (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulgaris), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Iberian / Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus).
Our next stop was down in the valley along the Rio Cacìn, we made two stops and boosted the list with Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Crested (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus) and Long-tailed Tits (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra) and a pair of soaring Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus).
Just up the road we had a look at the Embalse and scanned over the water and found Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and in the air a good sized flock of Iberian / Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus) and lots of Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris).
as we continued on along the valley we added a male Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) and a fly over female Merlin (Esmerejón / Falco columbarius).
We drove back up the valley and then across the ridge to the field areas near La Malaha, on the way we saw Rock Pigeon (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia) and out on the fields we were very pleased to finish the day with a cracking female Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus) sat on a post in the fields and four winter plumage Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) which showed well along the roadside.

Photographs from the top: Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and Iberian / Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis).

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