Thursday 5 October 2017

Huétor Fields and Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

Out on the local patch with Jenny and John.

Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore).
I met Jenny and John at the Cortijo de Tajar where we had a Coffee before heading out onto the nearby Fields where we went out on to the spot where I had earlier seen some of the wintering Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), when we arrived the Bustards were still there and we had nice views through the scope as they moved to the edge of a Lucerne field and started to feed. 
In the same area we also saw Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe) and Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata).
Our next stop was on the roadside near the town where we found 200+ Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), 25+ Northern Lapwings (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), another Grey Heron, more Northern Wheatears and a couple of fly over Corn Buntings (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore).
We again moved over to the Mesia side of the area where we checked the a couple of Irrigation channels and an area of burnt off reeds and found Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Whinchat (Tarabilla Nortena / Saxicola rubetra), Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild) and a female Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) which sat up on the chain link fence along the railway line, along with a male Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta) and several Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii).
Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae).
We drove over to the Rio Vilano via the ford and along the upstream track, along here we found Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Reed (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and Willow Warbler (Mosquitero Musical / Phylloscopus trochillus), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus), Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).
We moved on heading towards Balsa de Regidor but picked up a dark morph Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) soaring in the distance, on the service road we spent a while photographing some butterflies including Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore) x5, Swallowtail (Papilio machaon), Long-tailed Blue (Lampides baeticus), Bath (Pontia daplidice) and Large White (Pieris brassicae) and Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea).
Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis).
On the lake we saw Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) as well as several more dragon species including both Blue / Common (Anax imperator) and Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope), Violet (Trithemis annulata) and Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii) and Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria).
Our next site was the fields near Moraleda where we had good flight views of 8 Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
We dropped down into the Cacín Valley and stopped in amongst the pines where we had good views of a pair of Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), as well as Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and a Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes) and Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) but we only heard these two.
Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis).
Up on the embalse near by there were good numbers of wildfowl including Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), more Northern Shoveler and a splendid male Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca) which was for me find of the day. We also had the immature Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) which has been around for a while now, Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), a calling but unseen Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) along with Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa) and Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi).
Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra).
From the lake we dropped down to the gorge adding Crag (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Common Redstart (Colirroja Real / Phoenicurus phoenicurus) and some very flighty Rock Buntings (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia).
We retraced our tracks back to Cacín and the crossed the ridge to the halfway point near the Cortijo where we saw Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus), and Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus) and on our wa back to the hotel we finished the list off with Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), a very nice Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and several Rabbits (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus).

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