Friday 7 July 2017

Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

A day birding with Taylor and Sean from New York.

Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus).
I arrived at the meeting point near Moraleda a little early and whilst I was there I saw Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor).
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
Once Taylor and Sean arrived we headed straght out in to the Almond and Olive groves seeing several of the above species and adding Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), a couple of fly over Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) which gave us good views, European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Spotless Starling, Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and Jackdaws (Grajilla / Corvus monedula). Out on the more open fields we had Thekla (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and Greater Short-toed Larks (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), a half seen Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) which was hiding amongst some rocks, at least two pairs of stunning Rollers (Carraca / Coracias garrulus) and a couple of the uncommon resident Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis). 
Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).
On the far side of the area we went and checked a row of Almond trees on the side of the road where we found yet another Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and at a water storage building a colony of Rock Sparrows (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia).
On some fields near La Malaha we found a couple of ♀ Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), Iberian Grey and Woodchat Shrikes (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), another 2 Rollers, 30+ Hoopoes (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and several Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni).
On our way back across to the Cacín Valley we went through an area of intense Olive and Almond groves where we made a stop on a roadside after seeing a dead Roller on the road, in some trees near this spot we found an amazing number of Rollers including 5 adult birds and at least anothe 8 immature birds. Further on we parked again and had a distant and then a fly over Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Pallid (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and Common Swift, Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and a calling Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei) which was heard but not seen.
We dropped down into Cacín where we had a lunch stop before going do down the valley and into the gorge where we made two stops and found Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Sardinian Warbler, Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Red Squirrel (Ardilla común / Sclurus vulgaris), Carpentor Bee (Xylocopa violacea), Small White (Pieris rapae) and Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra).
Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus).

We retraced our way back up the valley to the Contra-embalse de Bermijalis and quickly found a pair of Egyptian Geese (Ganso del Nilo / Alopochen aegyptiaca) which put my year list up to 285 species, we also added Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) and Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis).
Just up the road we stopped along the river and again in the Pine woods, during the two stops we saw and heard Grey (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and White Wagtails (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Golden Oriole, Blackcap, Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi) and Copper Demoiselle (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis) x3♂ and 2x♀ Orange-winged Dropwings (Trithemis kirbyi) and in the Pines Crested (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Long-tailed Tits (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla) and a very well behaved Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus).
Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus).

Our last stop was near to Moraleda below the crags but added just ♂ and ♀ Common Stonechats (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata). We went through Moraleda and back to Taylor and Sean's car before I went home. Thanks to you both for a great days birding.

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