Friday 15 July 2016

La Malaha and the Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

A day in the Cacín Valley and surrounding fields with Charlotte, Adrian and Gwyn from the UK.

Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus).
I met Charlotte, Adrian and Gwyn near Padul and then we made our way to a semi-derelict Cortijo where we had good views of several Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni), Rock Pigeon (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) which crosseda field on the far side of the road. 
Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus).
We moved down the road to a road bridge just outside La Malaha where we had Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto).
We next made a roadside stop to view a Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) which was perched on a distant pylon as well as Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) and Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis).
Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus).
Just up the road we turned on to the tracks over the fields were we very quickly found a female Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) trying to hide from us but failing. In the same area we had Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) and Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica).
We came back on to tarmac and then headed through Ventas de Huelma and made a stop on the roadside and had a short walk trying to find a calling Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) but it remained hidden. We did however find Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and then a distant pale phase Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus).
Immature Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos).
Just down the road we again hit the tracks and straight away we had the booted Eagle right over head and then a cracking Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus) which flew around and showed well for us. We checked the areas futher along the track seeing hundreds of Common Swift and at least three very smart Hoopoes (Abubilla / Upupa epops). As we got back to the road we had our second but much darker Short-toed Eagle and we had better views of the Roller sat in a dead tree along with several Rock Sparrows (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia).
Just down the road we had European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) and a male Golden Oriole which flew across us giving nice views. Near the Cortijo an immature Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos) which gave us super views and in the same area we had Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and on another pylon our third Short-toed Eagle.
European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster).
Once we were down in the valley we drove to the end of the gorge but it was quiet and we only added Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes) as well as another fine male Golden Oriole and two more Short-toed Eagles
Back up the valley we called in at the Contra-embalse where we found Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).
Our last stop of the day was on the fields near Moraleda where the target bird was Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis) which we eventually found at the far end of the site where we also had nice views of some European Bee-eaters before hitting the motorways back to Padul.

Wednesday 13 July 2016

Torrecilla, Nerja, Malaga Province.

A quick sea watch.

Whilst Jayne, Barb, Sue, Brenda, Keith and Peter were sun bathing by the pool at the Rue Monica I went and sat on a rock on the out crop at Torrecilla. Whilst I was there I had some cracking views of several Cory's Shearwater (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris diomedea), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Audouin's Gull (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and plenty of immature Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) which were heading west down the coast in quite large numbers.

Tuesday 12 July 2016

Coastal headland, Granada Province.

4 species of Swift in the air at the same time.
Little Swift (Vencejo Moro / Apus affinis).
After making sure Jayne and her family where set up on the beach I headed down the coast to a site just over the border in to Granada Province. 
White-rumped Swift (Vencejo Cafre / Apus caffer).
I visited a spot where in the passed I had seen White-rumped Swift (Vencejo Cafre / Apus caffer) and I quickly found a pair in amongst dozens or so Pallid (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Common (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and 2 or three Alpine Swifts (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) which I was very pleased with. 
White-rumped Swift (Vencejo Cafre / Apus caffer).
I also saw Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Crag (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica),  Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and a couple of Spanish Ibex (Cabra pyreaica hispanica).
Two-tailed Pasha (Charaxes jasius).
Later I went to another spot near by and took some nice shots of a couple of Two-tailed Pasha (Charaxes jasius) and I also saw Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus).
Two-tailed Pasha (Charaxes jasius).
Later I joined the other for the afternoon on the beach were I saw several Geranium Bronze butterflies (Cacyreus marshalli) where we had lunch.
Two-tailed Pasha (Charaxes jasius).