Monday 26 November 2018

Huétor Fields and Hacho, Granada Province.

Back out on the local patch again with Nicky.

26 Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).
We started the day right on the Northern edge of Huétor Tajar and walked out on what is unfortunately a favourite place for dog walkers who do not clean up after their hounds so we spent some of the time dodging the remains.
As we started out and soon found several Common Chiffchaffs (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), a hundred or so Northern Lapwings (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), 2 stalking Grey Herons (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) which were plundering the Lucern fields and the first of around 400 Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus).
Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus).
Behind the Curlews we also found 26 Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) waddling aroud on a newly cut Lucern field along with good numbers of White Wagtails (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Collared Doves (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and a male Spanish Sparrow (Gorrión Moruno / Passer hispaniolensis) which is a rare bird on the patch.
As we walked back towards the car we found Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) as well as a couple of Tree Sparrows (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus).
Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus).
Once we were back at the car we went and checked the Loja fields side of the site but the Lucern was too long to find anything in the fields but on the cross track back to the rio we picked up a flock of finnches including Linnets, Goldfinches, Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus). Whilst Nicky had her eye to the viewfinder on her camera a Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) flashed out of the Olives and out over the fields too quickly for her to get on to it.
Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).
Our next areas were the two lengths of the Arroyo Vilano to the north of the town, as we stood beside the Western end of the River a flock of around 100 Iberian  Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) came upstream and past us and off in to the fields, we also had 2 Cetti's Warblers (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) which were getting annoyed with each other in a bramble patch and along the Eastern end of the river a Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus) was hasseling the large numbers of Woodpigeons whilst a Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) sat quietly on one of the distant pylons. 
Red Squirrel (Ardilla común / Sclurus vulgaris).
In the Juncus patch we had Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), Dartford (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), a flushed Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago) and up on the river again as we were on our way out a Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus).
We moved around to the Mesia side of the site and checked the ditches, channels and reedbeds and apart from the amount of mud it was a success full 40 minutes. We started with a walk along the long ditch and quickly found a male Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) but it was flighty and did not give us great views, a group Red-legged Partridges (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), four more Snipe, Black Redstart, Cetti's Warbler, Common Chiffchaffs, a Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and our first flight views of a Jack Snipe (Agachadiza Chica / Lymnocriptes minimus) which we watched all the way across the track behind us and down into the field next to the reedbed.
We walked back to the track and then out into the reedbeds where we heard and had fleeting views of a Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), more Common Waxbills and as we returned to the car we again had flight views of the Jack Snipe.
We walked along the main Irrigation ditch and crossed the road to Mesia and out to the river bank where we walked the bank to the road and back to the car only adding a very smart Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea).
Firecrests (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus).
Our next stop was at Bar Pedro where we had a good lunch before going up past the house and up to the Northern side of Hacho where we parked and started to walk the upper track where we had a Red Squirrel (Ardilla común / Sclurus vulgaris) ran across in front of us and tried to hide up in a Pine but we refound it and had some shots of it. As we came back out on to the track we had brilliant views of a soaring Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos) which dropped down into one of the oak trees on the next ridge where it was mobbed by several Iberian Magpies before it flew up again and headed off. 
Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).
This species was at the top of Nicky's target list so she was rather pleased with it. We continued on along the lower track adding Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), 4x Common Crossbills (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra) on the overhead power cables, another noisy Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), a very late male Spectacled Warbler (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata) and back by the car a party of at least 4 Firecrests (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus) which showed extreamly well. We also had Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) and both Small (Pieris rapae) and Large Whites (Pieris brassicae).
We drove back to the Hotel across the fields seeing more Western Cattle Egrets, Jackdaws (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Grey Heron, Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and loads of Spotless Starlings.

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