Friday, 15 September 2017

La Malaha and the Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

Birding on the patch with good friends from the UK, John and Sharon Holian.
John and Sharon, Day One.

I picked John and Sharon up at Malaga Airport at midnight and after a short nights sleep we were out birding on the localish patch and started on the fields near La Malaha. We soon started to add birds to the day list including lots of Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and Thekla Larks (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis), a flock of Honey Buzzards (Aberjero Europeo / Pernis apivorus) with a couple of Black Kites (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans) mixed in, Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).
From here we headed off towards the Cacín Valley and added Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and a pale phase Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus).
On the ridge between Ventas de Huelma and Cacín we had good numbers of Small Whites (Pieris rapae), several Desert Orange-tips (Colotis evagore) and Long-tailed Blue (Lampides baeticus).
Once we were in the valley we went North to the Contra-embalse de Bermejalis where we spent some time scanning the sand banks and muddy margins seeing Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), an immature Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), White (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Cetti's (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Reed Warblers (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Sand (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), House (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata) as well as Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Lesser (Anax parthenope) and Blue / Common Emperors (Anax imperator), Bath White (Pontia daplidice) and Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa).
We started to make our wa back to the house but stopped briefly a couple of times in the woodlands on the way adding Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and just before we reached the house we had several European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) on the wires. John and Sharon finished the list off with a Western Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlano / Sylvia hortensis) in the garden and a couple of Orange-winged Dropwings (Trithemis kirbyi) and an Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma) around the pool.

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