Monday 21 August 2017

Osuna and Fuente de Piedra, Malaga Province.

A day with Adrian from the UK.

Well, I have heard the area between Osuna and Sevilla called the Frying Pan of Andalucia but today it was more like a fan assisted oven, the heat was intense and the hot wind made it even worse but we gave it a try anyway.
I met Adrian near Campillos and we drove north towards Osuna and then out along the nowhere near finished rail link between Sevilla and Granada where we started off seeing Greater Short-toed (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) and Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) on some fields near the road as well as Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto).
We moved on a short way along the road and found Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) on the roadside fences, several Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) on fields near the first bridge, Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), the first of several Ravens (Cuervo / Corvus corax) and a Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo).
We drove out on a track from the bridge and had a stunning male Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) fly past us on the fields and a bit further on two Great Bustards (Avutarda Común / Otis tarda) which were also in flight but as we watched them they landed so we drove along the track a bit further and got better views on the ground, from this range we could see that there was 1♂ and 1♀. Whilst we were watching them we also had a Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) and a ♂ Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii).
Further on we picked up Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) in some smaller olives, a ♂ Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica).
We turned around and moved on to the track out to the second bridge where we saw another group of 6♀ and 1♂ Great Bustards but at a good distance, along with Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra). 
As we went further along the track to the next bridge we saw Rabbit (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus), Iberian Brown Hare (Liebre ibérica / Lepus granatensis), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica).
At the last bridge we saw nothing extra so we went along several track off the main road down to a large Cortijo seeing Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), a distant group of Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) hunting over stubble fields and as we were heading back to the road we had immature and an adult Short-toed Eagles (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) and another Montagu's Harrier.
We made our way around to Lantejuela seeing European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) on the way, as we arrived at the Laguna's on the far side of the town we met a guy with the key to the hide which meant we could spend some time scanning the roadside pool. From here we saw 20+ Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus), Western Cattle (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta), Common (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) and Green Sandpipers (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti). 
By now it was stinking hot so we headed east to Fuente de Piedra and walked up to the Mirador near the visitor center where we scanned the Greater Flamingo flock but found nothing unexpected but we did add Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa) to the day list. 
We went a short way around the eastern shore and had closer views of the Flamingo flock but decided it was just to dam hot to carry on so we headed back to Campillos and Adrian headed south and I made my way home.

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