Saturday 5 November 2016

Bar El Sitio, Huétor Tajar, Granada Province.

A very nice evening with Jayne in Huétor at Bar El Sitio.

Jayne and I spent a very nice couple of hours in one of the bars, El Sitio having some good tapas, food and drinks. The beer was especially nice.

RAM, Charca Suarez and local fields, near Motril, Granada Province.

80+ species seen on the Granada Coast and the local patch.

Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis).
I met Juan Pérez Contreras at just after 07:00 and we headed off down to Peñón de Jolúcar to do the RAM sea watch, on the way down we started the list with a Northern Goshawk (Azor Común / Accipitor gentillis) which flashed across the motorway in front of us before it was properly light.
Eurasian Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia).
We reached the watch point, on the way up to the top of the cliffs we saw Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and several fly over Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
Eurasian Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia).
Once we were up on the cliffs we started counting good numbers of Cory's (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris diomedea) and Balearic Shearwaters (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus), Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), Great Skua (Págalo Grande / Stercorarius skua) x3, Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis) x4, Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Audouin's Gull (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii) and Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Shag (Cormorán Mondudo / Phalacrocorax aristotelis) x3, a single immature Eurasian Spoonbill (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia) and a hunting Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus).
Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus).
Once we were finished counting we headed for the wetlands at Charca Suarez, on the way we saw Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus) and Common Starling (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulg aris).
Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio).
Once we were in the reserve we went to the small hide at the end of Laguna del Taraje where we saw and heard Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus), Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta), Penduline Tit (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata).  
Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).
On the same pool we had Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa) and Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi).
Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca).
We walked along the edge of the pool to the hide at the opposite end of the laguna where we had nice views of a Eurasian Spoonbill, Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca) and a Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus). 
Red-knobbed Coot (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata).
We moved to the new hide over looking a much fuller new pool which was a bit of a let down as we had hoped the mud might produce some interesting visitors. 
Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus).
However we did see Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus), Common Kestrel, Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Red Avadavat (Bengali Rojo / Amandava amandava), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus) and Juan had views of a female Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica).
Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea).
We had a walk after a while around to the main hide over looking Laguna de las Aneas, on the way we had good views of Common Waxbills (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild) along with a single Black-rumped Waxbill (Estrilda troglodytes) as well as a male Spanish Sparrow (Gorrión Moruno / Passer hispaniolensis).
Great Egret (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba).
From the hide we soon had views of another Eurasian Spoonbill, Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Great White Egret (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba), White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Eurasian Wigeon (Sibón Europeo / Anas penelope), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), a female Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina), 2x Northern Pintails (Ánade Rabudo / Anas acuta), Red-knobbed Coots (Focha cornuda / Fulca cristata), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and in the air above the pool there were several Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) x5. 
Northern Goshawk (Azor Común / Accipitor gentillis).
Just before we were going to move on to the next hide all the birds on the island suddenly scattered and when we looked we were pleased to see a stunning immature female Northern Goshawk which crossed the lake and briefly perched in a pool side tree before heading off again, I got some very bad shots as it moved on so quickly.
Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina) female and a male Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos).
Next we looked in on the two hides looking over Laguna del Trebol but we only added Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) as well as Mediterranean Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon), Stripe-less Tree Frog (Hyla meridionalis), Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta), Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea) and Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator).
Mediterranean Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon).
We called in at the hide over looking Laguna del Lirio but added nothing so we carried on back to our starting point at Laguna del Taraje and then the new hide where I added nothing but Juan had a quick view of a Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago) as it landed.
White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
We exited the reserve and drove out on to some nearby fields where we scanned several areas and added a few new species to the day list including Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Thekla (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and Skylarks (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), lots more Western Cattle Egrets, hundreds of White Wagtails, the Black-winged Kite again and a Monarch (Danaus plexippus). 
Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
From here we headed back North to Granada adding just Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) before I dropped Juan off and headed home via the fields at Huétor where I picked up Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Mistle (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and Song Thrushes (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major).
Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus).

Thursday 3 November 2016

Huétor Fields, Huétor Tajar, Granada Province.

Winter visitors return and some summer / passage birds still linger on.

Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild).
I had a couple of hours to kill so I dropped down on to the fields and had a wander around my local patch, I started by checking central fields where I found one of the regular pairs of Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) sat on the roof of an old out building on the roadside. Out on the fields nearby I had good numbers of Northern Lapwings (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) and a nice flock of Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild).
I moved down on to Mesia road and did a walk along one of the irrigation ditches which cross the fields where I saw 5+ Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), a single but very welcome returning Jack Snipe (Agachadiza Chica / Lymnocriptes minimus), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis) and a male Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus) which is locally a rare bird. 
Along the way I had single males of Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma) and Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum) as well as Lang's Short-tailed (Leptotes pirithous) and African Grass Blues (Nina esmaltada / Zizeeia knysna), Small White (Pieris rapae) and Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).
Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild).
Back at the start of the ditch I found Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina). Just before I crossed the road I had a look through the dozen or so Common Chiffchaffs (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) hoping for something more unusual but only managed a Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and several Blackcaps (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla).
Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum).
On the opposite sde of the track I checked an area of reeds in a disused fild and bumped the list up after finding a nice male Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) along with Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) and Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea).
White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
Just down the road I made a stop near a well over grown irrigation ditch which had a small unused orchard made up of mainly dead trees, here I started off with House Sparrows (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), a late male Common Redstart (Colirroja Real / Phoenicurus phoenicurus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and in the nearby poplar trees a Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major). Later I made my way back to the house and got on with a few more jobs.

Tuesday 1 November 2016

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

Moth Trapping.

6496 Evergestis isatidalis
I put the Actinic trap out in the garden and was pleased with the contents, all of which were photographed and relased during the morning. Identified species included 0707 Monopis imella x1, 6496 Evergestis isatidalis x2, 9454 Hoplodrina ambigua (Vine's Rustic) x1, 9591 Agrochola lunosa (Lunar Underwing) x1, 9616 Episema glaucina x2, 9621 Episema gruenri x3, 10034 Mythimna loreyi (Cosmopolitan) x1, 10212 Xestia xanthographa (Square-spot Rustic) x1, 10215 Xestia kermesina x1, 10326 Eucoptocnemis optabilis x6 and 10238 Peridroma saucia (Pearly Underwing) x1 with a few still needing names.
9616 Episema glaucina

9591 Agrochola lunosa (Lunar Underwing)

10238 Peridroma saucia (Pearly Underwing)

10326 Eucoptocnemis optabilis

9621 Episema gruenri
0707 Monopis imella

10215 Xestia kermesina

10212 Xestia xanthographa (Square-spot Rustic)

10034 Mythimna loreyi (Cosmopolitan)
10326 Eucoptocnemis optabilis

9454 Hoplodrina ambigua (Vine's Rustic)


Monday 31 October 2016

North of Zafarraya, Granada Province.

A morning looking for Ochids with Ian Phillips from Malaga.

Sternbergia colchiciflora.
I drove down to met Ian near Zafarraya but arrived a bit early and found Sternbergia colchicifloraBiarum arundanum and some spikes of Autumn Lady's Tresses (Spiranthes spiralis), Crocus serotinus, and lots of Rosettes of Giant Orchid (Himantoglossum robertiana) as well as Small White (Pieris rapae), Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) and Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea).
Autumn Lady's Tresses.
Ian arrived and we found several more spikes of the Autumn Lady's Tresses which was the main target for Ian. 
Autumn Lady's Tresses.
Birds included Green (Pito Real / Picus viridis) and Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Mistle (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and Song Thrushes (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus).
Autumn Lady's Tresses.
We moved slightly further up the road but found few new species but we did find Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes).
Autumn Lady's Tresses.
Biarum arundanum.
Crocus serotinus.
Giant Orchid (Himantoglossum robertiana).