Tuesday 11 September 2018

Huétor Fields, Cacín Valley and La Malaha, Granada Province.

Enjoying a day showing Bona and Ron from Canada my local patch.
Day one.

Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Bona, Ron and I headed out on to the fields to the North of Huétor Tajar where we started off the trip list along the Arroyo Vilano where we saw Iberian  Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) bathing in the shallow water, Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala). 
Corn Buntings (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
We crossed over to the Eastern side of the site and again followed the Arroyo down to the railway bridge adding Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), a female Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), several Corn Buntings (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) which sat up nicely on the dry flower heads of the many Milk Thistles (Silybum marianum) and a new species for the site a Western Osprey (Águila Pescardora / Pandion haliaetus) which flew away from us along the Arroyo and in to the distance. 
False Mallow / Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus tripolinus / alceae).
Further along the track the first of what was going to be the commonest species of the tour was seen, a female Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) which was quickly followed by a smart male. In a near by willow tree we had more Iberian Magpies as well as a passing Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), a flock of high flying European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) which passed over head unseen but heard well, a Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), an immature Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild) and as we got out of the car to check the rush fields a flash of blue came passed in the shape of a Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis).
Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica).
We had a walk through the juncus fields having good views of a Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), heard both Dartford (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata) and Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and once up on the side of the rio we saw a Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta) in weeds on the far bank along with Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), heard Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and saw a False Mallow / Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus tripolinus / alceae).
Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur).
We left the area and headed out over the A92 to Moraleda where we went out on to the fields nearby bt things were geerally quiet but we did add Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Rock Pigeon (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia), Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica), several flighty Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), a couple of Little Owls (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and a soaring Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus).
Little Owls (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
On our way towards La Malaha we called in on the regular Little Owls in a row of Almond trees and found two adult birds perched in the shade.
Once we were out on the fields near La Malaha we picked up a distant Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos) which landed on a large pylon, so we drove towards it and stopped on the track just as it flew off and right over our heads.
Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos).
We dropped back on to the lower fields and soon found good numbers of Northern Wheatears, a few migrating Tawny Pipits (Bisbita campestre / Anthus campestris), a couple of Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and as we dropped down to the road we added Ocellated Lizard (Lacerta lepida), Scarce / Spanish Swallowtail (Chupaleches / Iphiclides podalirius / Iphiclides feisthameli) and Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice).
Ocellated Lizard (Lacerta lepida).
Once down on the road we made a couple of stops by parking on the stubble fields, whilst there we were scaning the skies picking up Sand (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia) and House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and on a Pylon another Short-toed Eagle.
On our way out to the road to the Cacín Valley we picked up a pale phase Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) and in an area of scrub on the road to Cacín we spent a while searching the brambles and bushes finding Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Garden Warbler (Curruca Mosquitera / Sylvia borin) and a very smart Southern / Blue Hawker (Aeshna cyanea) which sat nicely for the camera.
We dropped down into the Village of Cacín and then had a walk along the river seeing Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and a Common Whitethroat (Curruca Zarcera / Sylvia communis) but Bona and Ron missed this I think.
Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus).
Further down the valley we stopped at the Embalse de Cacín and scanned throught the many wildfowl on the water and I was particullarly pleased to find 3 Ferruginous Ducks (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca) 2 male and 1 female, 150+  Mallards (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), 80+ Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), 10+ Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), 7 Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), 100+ Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and single Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus). In this area we also heard several crocking Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi) and  Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii).

Southern / Blue Hawker (Aeshna cyanea).
Southern / Blue Hawker (Aeshna cyanea).
Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo).
Ferruginous Ducks (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca).

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