Friday, 20 July 2018

Near Archidona, Malaga Province and Moraleda Fields and Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

A days birding with Jacki and Gary from the UK.

Several Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki).
I met Jacki and Gary at their hotel in Salinas and we drove the short distance to Archidona, on the way we saw Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans) and Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus).
Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus).
Once at the first spot in nearby wooded valley we had a walk along the main track where our main target was to find Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) and very soon we heard a male doing it shortened call. As we walked towards the sound we picked up Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis), Wryneck (Torcecuello / Jynx torquilla), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and then the first of the good number of Hawfinches (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes).
A little further along the track we found the male Golden Oriole which was soon found followed by a less showy but welcome female and the first of several Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Collared (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus).
Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
We also was heard several Perez's Frogs (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi) in the river, on the far side of the river a few Rabbits (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus) shot off under the Olive trees and as things warmed up a few Small Whites (Pieris rapae) and Clouded Yellows (Colias Común / Colias corcea) started to fly.
As we returned back to the car where we had views of another male Golden Oriole, a Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta) which was carrying food, European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), a single Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus).
We then headed off towards Moraleda picking up a Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and a fly passed Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Once we were out on the fields we added a roosting Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) on a pile of rocks, several Short-toed (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), Thekla (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and Crested Larks (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and out by the ruin 3 flying Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis) which showed brilliantly as they came round us. Out in the Almond groves we picked up Iberian / Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Feral Pigeons (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia) and as we went off the site we found a female Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) in one of the weedy fields. We stopped again out on the road and had a short break for a drink and watched a large flock of passing Swifts which included mostly Commons but a good numbers of Pallid (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and a few Alpines (Vencejo Real / Apus melba).
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
A bit further along the road we popped in to visit the Little Owl families in the roadside Almonds but only found the a single bird, however he showed well and was quite happy for us to get a few shots. We moved on to a small water pumping house where we found a couple of calling Rock Sparrows (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and out on the ridge on our way down to Cacín we found a couple of Booted Eagles (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), one pale phase and one dark. On the pylons we also picked up an immature Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus) and lower down a couple of Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and lots of plants of the Wild Capers (Capparis spinosa).
Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus).
We next stopped by the side of the Embalse de Cacín where we scanned the water and quickly found Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Common (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) and Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Reed Warblers (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) calling from the reedy margins and just as we were leaving a female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) came in over the reeds.
We also had a nice male Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice) and Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui). Just down the road we called in at the bridge over the Rio Cacín where we had a walk seeing or hearing Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Wryneck, Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) and Carpentor Bee (Xylocopa violacea).
On the drive back to the hotel in Salinas we saw Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and another Black Kite but this time in Granada Provnce.

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