Sunday 25 November 2018

Moraleda Fields, the Cacín Valley and La Malaha Fields, Granada Province.

A cracking day out on the local patch with Nicky.

Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis).
I met Nicky and as the weather was not great we decided to stay down on the fields, so we headed out to Moraleda where we picked up White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) on our way out on to the way out to the fields nearby.
We spent a while driving the tracks and exploring the Almond and Olive groves where we had views of several Black Redstarts (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Thekla Larks (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), a noisy Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), lots of Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Meadow Pipits (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), the first of a good many Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), 3 Tree Sparrows (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Linnets (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Nicky's first Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), a Merlin (Esmerejón / Falco columbarius) which buzzed through whilst Nicky was in amongst the Olives photographing a Hoopoe and missed it, good numbers of Skylarks (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis) which were pushed up by a couple of Bunny Blasters that crossed a nearby field, a flash by male Siskin (Lúgano / Carduelis spinus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), several Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and a couple of very sluggish Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea) butterflies which were struggling around in the cool morning sunshine.
Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra).
Just down the road from the fields we had views of our first Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Song (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos) and Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and one of the regular Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
We turned around and headed back towards Moraleda and as we passed a field newly sprouted winter cereal crop we had a female Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) sat on a ridge and as we were watching this I was very pleased to see 3 Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis)fly across in the back ground and then even more pleased when they circled around and dropped in on to the same field. We spent a good while watching the 1 male and 2 female Sandgrouse before dropping down through El Turro and into some nearby Pine woods where we had some good views of several species including Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Crested (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) and Long-tailed Tits (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) and a fine Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea).
Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Just a little further along the valley we stopped again and checked the woodlands along side the rio again and we soon had Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major canariensis).
Again we moved just up the road to have a look over the Embalse de Cacín and the list was quickly boosted with Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), a calling heard only Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), 2x Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and our first views of Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) which flew between the pines distantly on the far shore.
Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
We had some lunch in Cacín before heading up over the ridge towards the fields of La Malaha adding Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Common Starling (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulgaris) and a Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus).
Out on the fields we finished the day off with a couple of female Marsh Harriers (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) and a couple of Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) before we headed back to the hotel.

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