Sunday 22 April 2018

La Malaha and the Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

A days birding with Lauren and Julian in the valley.

Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).
I met Lauren and Julian on the edge of the Albaicin area of Granada City and we headed out to the South and then west to a spot where we saw several pairs of Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) which showed well in flight and sat on the farm building.
Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).
In the same area we checked a dry barranco lined with Tamarisks where we saw Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), a very shy but noisy Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), a passing pale phase Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), a couple of Hoopoes (Abubilla / Upupa epops) which were calling and then chasing each other around the trees, Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula).
Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).
We moved down to an area of fields near to La Malaha and we were soon watching a very smart Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius) which was sat in the road at first but then flew up into the field along side the road, Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and Greater Short-toed Larks (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) and at least 6 Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) including at least 4 males chasing down a female, Willow Warbler (Mosquitero Musical / Phylloscopus trochillus), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa) and a Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
We moved on through to the road down into the Cacín Valley and just a short way along the road we parked and scanned the olives and poplars picking up Turtle Doves (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), a male Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and along the road several Yellow Bee Orchids (Ophrys lutea).
On the next bend we scanned the bushes and trees and I was surprised to find a rather late Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos).
Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
Further along the road we saw a Booted Eagle struggling to get up off the ground with a huge Ocellated Lizard (Lacerta lepida) and a singing Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea). 
Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator).
Next we had a stop in a bar in Cacín and then a short walk along the river adding Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), a group of stunning summer plumage Linnets (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and my first Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca) of the year, a nice female.
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
We drove up the valley to the Embalse where we walked down to the waters edge and scanned the muddy margins where we counted at least 20 Common (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) as well as several Green Sandpipers (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), a rather more unexpected Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago) which flushed from the reeds, Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and out on the water Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo). 
Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) and an Ocellated Lizard (Lacerta lepida). 
In the air we saw a pair of soaring Common Buzzards (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) and several Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) mixed in with lots of Commons.
Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur).
We moved just down the road to the bridge over the Cacín adding just a calling Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) and at our last stop up on the fields near to Moraleda a Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus) and Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) before heading back in to the city.
Common (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) and Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus).

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