Wednesday 19 December 2018

Huétor Fields, Granada Province.

A few hours down on the local patch.

I started by driving down to the bar at the bottom of the road seeing House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
I took the track along the Arroyo and scanned the Rio and surrounding stubble fields finding several Tree Sparrows (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus) mixed in with the much commoner House Sparrows and Common Chaffinches (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs). Also on the stubble were quite a few Collared Doves (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Feral Pigeons (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), Crested Larks (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and a second Common Kestrel which kept flushing the feeding birds up into the Poplar trees.
Down by the water there were lots more feeding White Wagtails, Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) which were fly catching from the reed patches, Meadow Pipits (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis) and a very large flock of around 200 Iberian  Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) which were coming along the river through the reeds and Tamarisk trees and then passed me into several leafless Pomegranate trees on the far side of the stubble field and then on again.
On the ploughed fields over the river there was part of the wintering Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) flock which was difficult to count as the birds merged in well and dropped into the ridges between the ploughing ridges but later they moved out onto a newly sprouting cereal field and made a count of 41 much easier.
I turned around and went along the road to Huétor and stopped at the fields where the Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) spend their days at the moment and luckily there had been no desturbance so the birds were still happily sat there and allowed a count of 277. In the same area I had Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis) x45, Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), 2 of 4 Grey Herons (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) seen, Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and 11x Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis). 
I did the loop around to the Airfield but as they were flying there I carried on up to the bridge and found the Golden Plovers (Chorlito Dorado Europeo / Pluvialis apricaria) x21 and the Northern Lapwings (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) x34, as well as a distant soaring Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), a Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) which flashed passed following the irrigation channel and a very smart Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea).
I dropped down from the bridge and turned out towards the Mesia road and checked the ditches and reed beds along there, I failed to find any sign of the usual wintering Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) but put up a single Jack Snipe (Agachadiza Chica / Lymnocriptes minimus), 2x Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago) and a Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) whilst searching.
On the opposite side of the track in the reed beds there was a single wintering Wryneck (Torcecuello / Jynx torquilla), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), another flock of a 100 or so Iberian Magpies and in the air an even bigger flock of 500+ Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus). 
On the eastern track along the Rio I added a small flock of around 10 Common Waxbills (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), a locally uncommon Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Jackdaws (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa) x5, Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), a single male Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus) in winter plumage, several Mistle Thrushes (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) in the poplars, another couple of Green Sandpipers and a male Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala).

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