Sunday, 12 February 2017

Huétor Fields, Granada Province.

A possible Spanish Lifer slips through the net on the local patch.

I had a run down to Huétor to the supermarket and on the way back I had a look around the fields and out on to the Mesia Road. Along the ditches I saw Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and a male Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica). From the bridge over the railway I had 57 Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).
A little further along the road I checked a field of short grass and was instantly drawn to a small group of Pipits about 30 meters away and to one bird in the group. 5 birds were obviously Meadow Pipits (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis) but the sixth bird was not. It was distinctly larger and longer legged than the others and paler looking, I immediately thought it was a Richards Pipit (Bisbita de Richard /Anthus richardi). I watched it for a few minutes becoming more and more convinced (99%) all the time with my first Id but just at that moment a ****** on a trials bike came past and they all flushed and dropped into a Lucerne field nearby. With the bird out of sight I decided to drive home unload the shopping and then return with the camera to try and get that 1% to be sure as it is a rare bird down here in the South but when I returned I found no Pipits at all and in the next hour or so none returned to the more open field. On my way back to the house I went via the Rio Vilano and added Iberian / Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) before getting back.

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