Friday 23 September 2016

Huétor and Moraleda Fields and Mesia Motorway junction A92, Granada Province.

A dip on the Sandgrouse target but a new Butterfly for my local patch.

Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
I started the day by having a look at the fields and ditches around Huétor and in the 30 minutes or so I had there before meeting Bob, Steve and Elena at the Cortijo de Tajar hotel I saw Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) x1 male, Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) and Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe).
Bob, Steve and Elena arrived at the Cortijo and after a coffee we headed slightly east and started to search for the Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis) and over the next few hours we covered all the areas where I have been seeing these birds regularly recently but as hard as we tried we could not get even flight views. 
Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe).
How ever during the morning we did see some nice species including Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Thekla (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Greater Short-toed (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) and Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis) all in good umbers, Tawny Pipit (Bisbita campestre / Anthus campestris), Whinchat (Tarabilla Nortena / Saxicola rubetra), Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Common Redstart (Colirroja Real / Phoenicurus phoenicurus), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) heard only, Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus). 
Tawny Pipit (Bisbita campestre / Anthus campestris).
We eventually gave in on the Sandgrouse and went just down the road to Balsa de Regidor to see what Dragonflies were on the wing and we soon found lots of tandem pairs of Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii) egg laying as well as Violet (Trithemis annulata) and Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), Small Red-eyed (Erythromma viridulum), Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea), Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii), Blue / Common (Anax imperator) and Lesser Emperors (Anax parthenope) plus Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Large White (Pieris brassicae) and Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous). 
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
Bird species included Willow (Mosquitero Musical / Phylloscopus trochillus) and Reed Warblers (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea). 
Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii).
Instead of jumping on to the motor way we stayed on the service road down to the Mesia junction as I wanted to quickly check an area of Caper plants that I had seen just in case there were any of the uncommon Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore) butterflies. 
Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii).
Before we had even got out of the car we spotted the first and by the time we were leaving we had seen at least 8 of the smart little insects, well pleased with this find so close to home and well and truly on the local patch.
Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore).
Thanks to Steve for driving us around for the morning and to Bob and Elena for their company.

Thursday 22 September 2016

Huétor Tajar, Granada Province.

10,000 steps and a visit to a new bar in town.

Jayne and I finished the day by completing today's 10.000 steps down in Huétor and also trying a bar out that we have not been in before. The bar was called El Sitio and the food / tapas were very good but as usual I was sat in the wrong place. Whilst enjoying our second drink Jayne had a Barn Owl (Lechuza Común / Tyto alba) flying between the buildings, lit by the many street lights.
The Tapa's.

Tuesday 20 September 2016

Monte Hacho, Loja, Granada Province.

Getting the steps in with a pleasant local walk.

My beautiful Jayne.
Jayne and I drove to the Northern side of Hacho and then took the zig-zagging track up to the summit at just over a 1000m. There was a nice breeze which meant even in the afternoon sun it was still a very pleasant walk and this time Jayne made it all the way to the marker post at the summit.
At the Summit.
During the walk I saw lots of Striped Graylings (Pseudotergumia fidia),  as well as several Tree Grayling (Neohipparchia statilinus) and a couple of Common Grayling (Hipparchia semele), Swallowtail (Papilio machaon), Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla) and a single male Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi).
Birds included Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula).
On the way back down.
On the way back down we added Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca), Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Crested (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus) and Blue Tits (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Black (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) and Common Redstarts (Colirroja Real / Phoenicurus phoenicurus). 
At the Summit.
Just a quick foot note: During the morning Jayne and I went up to Granada and in the Huétor Vega area we had three latish Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus). 
Male Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi).