Friday 19 February 2016

Huétor Fields, Granada Province.

Some good birding around the fields seeing 51 species in 2 hours.

The car was due in the garage for its pre-birding season service but I was out and about a bit earlier than planned so I spent a very enjoyable hour picking up a few species that I had no chance of on the walk back home. I started down by the Arroyo Vilano where the first species seen was a male Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus) which flashed across the track in front of the car chasing a smaller bird. Once I was down by the river I found as usual loads of Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), a skulking Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and in the bushes above the water the first of several flocks of Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki).
I crossed the Rio at the ford and continued along the far bank scanning the fields as well as the water adding Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago) x2, Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).
Next I drove to the far side of the site where I parked by the pools and ditches near the Mesia road and quickly found a very smart male Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) which was feeding in an irrigation channel running along side the ditch as well as Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Thekla (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea).
My last spot before the mechanics was on the opposite side of the area, on the way I added Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis) and several Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus) on Huétor airfield.
On the far side I picked the wintering Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and a Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) in a tree by the railway bridge.
I then dropped the car off at the Mechanics and started to walk back and within just 5 minutes right on the edge of town I had a very smart Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes) which was sat in a tree with Goldfinches and Linnets. Just North of Huétor there were a small number of Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) on their usual fields along with Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and I finished off with Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Great Tits (Carbonera Común / Parus major) before I reached the house giving me a total of 43 species for the morning.
At around 16:00 Jayne and I set off from the house to walk back down to Huétor to collect the car and call at the supermarket, on the way we walked along the Arroyo Vilano and I was pleased to see my first Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae) of the year along with a single Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta), several House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) with a single Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica). Once down in the town we had a coffee and the continued to the garage and collected the car adding Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) and Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) to finish the list.

Wednesday 17 February 2016

El Faro and Guadalhorce, Malaga Province.

Dipped on both target species down on the coast in Malaga Province.

Mediterranean Gull (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus).
Jayne and I headed down to the coast where we visited Guzman Garden centre before going to Fuengirola where I dropped Jayne at the Miramar before going to the rocks at El Faro. 
Mediterranean Gull (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus).
I parked and crossed the coastal highway to the path and turned west towards the hide on the way I saw Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres), Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), Ringed (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula) and Kentish Plovers (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), Whimbrel (Zarapito Trinador / Numenius phaeopus), White (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Grey Wagtails (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor).
Ruddy Turnstone (Vuelvepiedras Común / Arenaria interpres).
Once I was at the hide I sat for an hour or so and watched the sea to see what passed by, species seen included Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Audouin's Gulls (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), a single Razorbill (Alca Común / Alca torda) and several Sandwich Terns (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis).
Whimbrel (Zarapito Trinador / Numenius phaeopus).
Later I met Jayne and then we went to the River mouth at Guadalhorce looking for but again dipping on the flock of Common Scoters (Negrón Común / Melanitta nigra) but I did add Black-necked Grebe (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), Balearic Shearwater (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus), a single Kittiwake (Gaviota Tridáctila / Rissa tridactyla) which hung around for a few minutes just off the rocks, House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), and Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus).
Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus).

Audouin's Gull (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii).
Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus).
House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus).

Tuesday 16 February 2016

Huétor Fields, Granada Province.

Some new arrivals along the Rio Vilano.

Today I just managed a quick flick around a couple of the areas on the local patch on my way down to the supermarket. On the way down I went via the Lucerne fields near to the town and was surprised to find that the flock of Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) had grown in size and was now holding 102 birds which is probably the best count of the winter. In the same area there were also just 6 Northern Lapwings (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), a single Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Skylarks (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and a male Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus). 
Next stop was the supermarket and then I went out to the opposite side of the patch and crossed the fields before following the Rio for a while, on the fields I had Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula). I then checked a small patch of Fig trees next to a plantation of larger Poplars and added Mistle (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and Song Thrushes (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) and just before I reached the river there was a flock of Common Chaffinches (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) feeding in a weedy patch in the corner of a small field and mixed in with the 40 or so Chaffinches were 8 Bramblings (Pinzón Real / Fringilla montifringilla).
Along the river there we around 30 or so House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) which had been around for a few days now but this morning they were joined by 20+ Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and at least 3 Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) all feed low over the slightly swollen river. Also seen along the margins were White (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Grey Wagtails (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), 2 Water Pipits (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and masses of Common Chiffchaffs (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita). 
I headed back up towards the house and finished a productive hour or so with a fine male Siskin (Lúgano / Carduelis spinus) on the feeder in the garden.