Friday 24 February 2017

Huétor Fields and the Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

A day on the Patch with Dominique and Bruce.

Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).
I met Dominique and Bruce at the Cortijo de Tajar before we headed out on to the fields North of the town and soon started the list off with Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) and Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius). 
Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).
We moved out on to the central fields and along the Arroyo Vilano where we found over 30 Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), Common Waxbills (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), Tree (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus) and House Sparrows (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Water (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta) and Meadow Pipits (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), White and Grey Wagtails (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Blackbird, Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) and Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus).
Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).
We moved on to the Almond Groves and fields near to Moraleda seeing Somber Bee Orchid (Ophrys fusca / O. forestieri) on the way and in the Almonds we spent some time searching for Great Spotted Cuckoos (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius), we soon found several calling birds which we had nice views of and Bruce got some shots of. 
Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).
In the same area and out on the larger fields Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and Skylarks (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei).
Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
We stopped for lunch in El Turro and then drove right down the valley in to the gorge where we had a pair of Bonelli's Eagles (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus) as well as Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major).
Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus).
We retraced our way back up the valley to the Embalse de Cacín where we had 16+ Common Pochards (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), 4 Eurasian Teals (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), 21+ Northern Shovelers (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Mallard, Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Cetti's Warbler, Iberian Green Woodpecker, Northern Goshawk (Azor Común / Accipitor gentillis) as well as lots of Barn and Red-rumped Swallow, House and Crag Martins.
Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus).
On our way back to the Hotel we crossed the ridge towards Ventas de Huelam and the back towards Moraleda across the fields part of the way, things were quiet but we did added Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia) and Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica).

The shots below were all taken by Bruce during the day tour.
Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia).
Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius).
Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae).
Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis).
Great Spotted Cuckoos (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).
Great Spotted Cuckoos (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).
Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita).
White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
Northern Shovelers (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata).

Thursday 23 February 2017

Huétor Fields, Granada Province.

A quick look at the Mesia ditches.

The weather was terrible but as I had to pop down to Huétor I had a look at the main channels along the roadside. Wintering birds still hanging around including Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) and the Jack Snipe (Agachadiza Chica / Lymnocriptes minimus) which was sheltering in the weeds on the roadside. These winterng birds were seen along side some newly arrived summer birds including lots of Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and  a few Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), and House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and in the Rio Vilano I saw recently out of the nest 2 young Common Moorhens (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and 5 Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) chicks.

Monday 20 February 2017

Sierra de Mijas and Fuengirola, Malaga Province.

Looking for some early Orchids.

Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera).
I dropped Jayne off at the shops in Fuengirola before heading inland towards Sierra de Mijas where I parked and searched the Pine Woodlands for Orchids. 
Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera).
During the couple of hours I was there I found a good number of Woodcock Orchids (Ophrys scolopax), as well as a few Sawfly (Ophrys tenthredinifera), Somber Bee (Ophrys fusca), Fan-lipped (Anacamptis collina) and a single just about open Pink Butterfly (Anacamptis papilionacea). 
Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera).
I was looking down most of the time so the only birds I saw were the ones that attracted my attention by calling and they included Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea), Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla).
Fan-lipped Orchid (Anacamptis collina).
I dropped down to Fuengirola and on the way had Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Black-headed  (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis). 
Woodcock Orchid (Orquídea becada / Ophrys scolopax).
I met up with Jayne and we continued shopping.
Woodcock Orchid (Orquídea becada / Ophrys scolopax).
Woodcock Orchid (Orquídea becada / Ophrys scolopax).
Woodcock Orchid (Orquídea becada / Ophrys scolopax).
Pink Butterfly Orchid (Anacamptis papilionacea).