Saturday 7 October 2017

RAM at Peñón de Jolúcar and Charca Suarez, Granada Province.

Counting the Sea birds and a visit to the wetlands, a busy morning.

Shags (Cormorán Mondudo / Phalacrocorax aristotelis).
I met Juan Pérez Contreras and then later we picked up John Ross on our way down to Peñón de Jolúcar on the coast near Motril.  On the way we were pleased to see a flock of 20 Shags (Cormorán Mondudo / Phalacrocorax aristotelis), some on the rocks and others on the sea, most were immature birds but there was at least one nice adult amongst the and a ringed bird which had come from a site in Mercia.
Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis).
We arrived and walked out to the watch point seeing the usual hoards of Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) with a few Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and an adult Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii).
Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos).
During the time we were carrying out the watch we saw good numbers of both Balearic (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus) and Cory's Shearwaters (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris diomedea), Great Skua (Págalo Grande / Stercorarius skua) x1, Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), Razorbill (Alca Común / Alca torda) x2, Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis) and a single Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio).
Other species seen during the time there were several migrating Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Willow Warbler (Mosquitero Musical / Phylloscopus trochillus).
Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).
On our way to Charca Suarez we boosted the list with Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Red Avadavat (Bengali Rojo / Amandava amandava), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea).
Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus).
Once in Charca we made our way to Laguna del Taraje seeing Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild) and from the hide we had good views of three squabbling Western Swamp-hens (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major).
Common Moorhens (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus).
We moved on to the hide at the far end of the same pool and found three female type Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca) but there was little else so we had a look at the hide over looking Álamo Blanco. 
Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta).
The water level was very low and there were not many birds around, however we did see a female type Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), 2 very distant Black Storks (Ciguena Negra / Ciconia nigra) which were circling with a dark and a light phase Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) as well as Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta), Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope) and Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii).
Immature Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus).
We walked around to the main hide over looking Laguna de las Aneas, here we picked up 2x Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca), single females of both Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera) and Eurasian Wigeon (Sibón Europeo / Anas penelope), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), 2x immature Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Great Cormorant, Little and Western Cattle Egrets, Grey Heron, Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula).
Immature Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus).
We moved further on around the reserve visiting the last three hide over looking Laguna del Trébol and Laguna del Lirio finding Red-knobbed Coot (Focha cornuda / Fulca cristata), Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica), Small White (Pieris rapae), Monarch (Danaus plexippus), African Grass Blue (Zizeeia knysna), Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea), Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii), Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi), Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa), 2x Mediterranean Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon) and several of the introduce Tortoise but I am not sure which species they are. 
Mediterranean Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon).
On the way home I added a Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) on the side of the motorway just north of the coast and then on the local patch Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and a male Whinchat (Tarabilla Nortena / Saxicola rubetra).
Mediterranean Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon).

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).

Wednesday 4 October 2017

Huétor Tajar, Granada Province.

In the Garden.

The new garden pool, even though it is far from finished is starting to bring in some interesting species which included a new bird species today when 3x Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra) dropped in to have a drink but they were disturbed when I went clattering in, quite an unexpected species here in amongst all the olives groves. 
A little later when things had warmed up it was more like a scene from a WW2 movie with 5 male dragons of three species, Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi) x3, Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) x1 and Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma) x1 fighting over the 3m x1.5m pool. In between all the male action females of the Red-Veined Darter and Epaulet Skimmers were both egg laying, very nice to see.
Also seen whilst I was gardening were Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) as so quite scarce here, Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and a couple of fly through Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore) butterflies.