Saturday 20 January 2018

Sierra de Loja and Huétor Fields, Granada Province.

A mornings birding with good friend Juan Pérez Contreras in the mountains and later down on the fields.

I met Juan on the far side of Huétor and we headed along the motorway and entrered the Sierra from the service area and made our first stop at the small lower quarry where we soon started the day list off with Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / E-rithacus rubecula), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula).
Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia).
We then drove up along the crags seeing Common Starling (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulgaris), more Rock Buntings and as we crossed over to the area of Hawthorn trees where the wintering Thurshes are usuall seen we added Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Cabra pyreaica) and Broad-leaved Iris (lirio de invierno / Juno / Iris planifolia).
Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa).
Once we arrived at the Hawthorn tree area but the Thrushes had been very busy since my last visit and all the trees were bare and there we very few Thrushes around but we did find Blackbirds (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes). We parked on the top track and then walked down to the lower pools and then back up to the far point on the track and then back to the car, during this stroll we picked up Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), a pair of Mallards (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) on one of the pools, Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and eventually we found a couple of Ring Ouzel (Mirlo Capiblanco / Turdus torquatus).
We dropped down off the hill and stopped at a passing place in the pine woods where we added Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) and Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla).
Next we headed out towards the Huétor Fields site and started off on the Loja side of the area where we picked up Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), Northern Lapwings (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Golden Plover (Chorlito Dorado Europeo / Pluvialis apricaria), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
We moved then over to the Mesia side of the site where we picked up White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and finished the morning of seeing several Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus).

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