Friday, 23 February 2018

Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

A few hours in the sun shine with Jayne.

Bee on Almond Blossom.
After a visit to the hospital in Loja Jayne and I decided to head out down the Cacín Valley via the fields near Moraleda where we made a couple of stops amongst the Almond trees and the growing number of Olives looking at the blossom and seeing Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Rabbit (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus) and quite a few not yet in flower orchid spikes including Dark Spider Orchid (Ophrys incubacea), Fan-lipped Orchid (Anacamptis collina), Bumblebee Orchid (Orquídea abejorro / Ophrys bombyliflora) and Somber Bee Orchid (Ophrys fusca / O. forestieri).
Iberian / Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis).
Up on the higher parts of this site where there are more open areas of cereal crop amongst the Almonds I added Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Iberian / Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), a single House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), at least two more calling
Almond Blossom.
Great Spotted Cuckoo's, Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and along with the birds there were some butterflies on the wing in the sun including Bath (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Green-Striped (Euchloe belemia) and Small Whites (Pieris rapae).
Sierra Nevada from the fields.
The butterflies were settling on the flowering plants on the field margins which included Field Gromwell (Lithospermum arvense), Field marigold (Calendula arvensis), Common Fumitory (Fumaria officinalis), Andalusian Storksbill (Erodium recorderi) and Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis).
Field Gromwell (Lithospermum arvense).
We dropped down in to the valley and drove down to Cacín and had some lunch before coming back north to the Contra-Embalse picking up Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), a couple of Redwings (Zorzal Alirrojo / Turdus illacus) on the edge of a group of Poplar trees, a male Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus) which flew up from the roadside along with a couple of Rock Sparrows (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia). 
Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice).
Once we reached the lake I walked down to waters edge and scanned through the duck seeing Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus). 
Immature Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos).
Also seen were 50+ White Wagtails which were fly catching all around the margins along with loads of Common Chiffchaffs, a male Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), an immature Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), 13 Common Waxbills (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild) which were the first I had seen at the site, Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) and up in the air and low over the water there were a good 100 Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), 25+ Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), 3+ House Martins and up near the road 2 Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica). 
Somber Bee Orchid (Ophrys fusca / O. forestieri).
As we headed back towards the house I made one last stop on the roadside where I found a couple of flowering spikes of Somber Bee Orchid and heard or saw Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) and Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Iberian / Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus) and Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes).

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