Saturday, 3 December 2016

Peñón de Jolúcar (RAM), Playa de las Azucenas, Charca Suarez and Huétor Fields, Granada Province.

A cracking mornings birding and survey work.

I met Juan Pérez Contreras and we went down to Peñón de Jolúcar where we did the monthly sea bird count, on the way up to the high point on Peñón de Jolúcar we saw Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and a large flock of Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris).
Once we were up on the watch point we picked up Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Mediterranean Gulls (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis),  Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Balearic Shearwater (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus), Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), several Razorbills (Alca Común / Alca torda), 3x Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) and more surprisingly 3x Common Crane (Grulla Común / Grus grus) which were heading east quite a way out to sea. These were soon followed by a second surprising fly past by 27 Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) which were also heading East.
On the walk back to Juan's car and the drive to Playa de las Azucenas we boosted the list with Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), 9x Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti). As we arrived a Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) flew along the channel followed by a Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), we also had a Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata) fly across the channel and on the way down to the beach we picked up Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Red Avadavat (Bengali Rojo / Amandava amandava) and Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea).
On the beach we had 4x Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), a Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) and Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea). 
We moved on again and made our way to Charca adding Common Starling (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulgaris) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).
Once we were on the reserve we went and had a look over Laguna del Liriowhere we found more, lots more Common Chiffchaffs, Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and Red-knobbed Coots (Focha cornuda / Fulca cristata), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and a cracking Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago) which sat nicely for the camera infront of the hide.
We changed direction and went around to Laguna del Taraje finding just Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and at the other end of the pool a Purple / Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio) and several Migrant Hawkers (Aeshna mixta).
From the new hide we Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), a Jack Snipe (Agachadiza Chica / Lymnocriptes minimus), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) and a good number of Common Snipe and Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca). 
We moved on around to the main hide a bit later and added quite a few new species to the day list including a nice male Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca), a female Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina), several Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Eurasian Wigeon (Sibón Europeo / Anas penelope), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) and a single Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) amongst a large group of Crag Martins.
After a while we returned back to the new hide, the only new species was a Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) but the best thing were views of three Jack Snipe at the same time which were pushed from cover by a wandering Purple / Western Swamp-hen as it clattered through the reedbed.
Our last stop on the reserve as back in Laguna del Taraje where we heard a couple of Penduline Tits (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus) and saw a female Northern Pintail (Ánade Rabudo / Anas acuta).
We started to make our way home but went via the tracks at the back adding Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia) and back up nearer to Granada several Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus).
After leaving Juan I headed home but called in at a couple of spots on the fields and bought the day list up to 81 with 56 Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Golden Plover (Chorlito Dorado Europeo / Pluvialis apricaria), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and the locally very common Iberian / Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus).

Photographs from the top: Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Common Cranes (Grulla Común / Grus grus), Dunlin (Correlimos Común / Calidris alpina), Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), 2x Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Jack Snipe (Agachadiza Chica / Lymnocriptes minimus) and Northern Pintail (Ánade Rabudo / Anas acuta).

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