Thursday 29 March 2018

Sierra de Mijas and Torremolinos, Malaga Province.

A nice unexpected day out with Jayne.

Atlas Orchid (Ophrys atlantica).
Jayne was having a good day after her treatment so in the late morning we headed down to the coast for a visit to the shops, so after checking on the internet that the shops would be open even though it was the Easter holiday week we set out only to find that google was wrong and everywhere except for Deals was shut. 
Atlas Orchid (Ophrys atlantica).
So after collecting a few bits from Deals in Malaga we went out to the Sierra de Mijas where I checked out a couple of spots for Orchids, at the first there were lots of Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera) along with a lesser numbers of Ophrys Dyris and Yellow Bee Orchids (Ophrys lutea) but the star was a single spike of the beautiful Atlas Orchid (Ophrys atlantica) which is alway a great privilage to see. 
Ophrys Dyris
Birds included Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula).
Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea).
At the second nearby spot I found several more species of Orchid including Pink Butterfly Orchid (Anacamptis papilionacea), Woodcock Orchid (Orquídea becada / Ophrys scolopax) and Mirror Orchid (Ophrys speculum subsp speculum).
Pink Butterfly Orchid (Anacamptis papilionacea).
Other species seen included Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes), Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra), Bath White (Pontia daplidice), Spotted Rockrose (Tuberaria guttata), Barbary Nut (Moraea sisyrinchium), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) and Crested Tits (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus) and Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus).
Pink Butterfly Orchid (Anacamptis papilionacea).
I finished taking my photographs so we headed back down to the coast and went for Lunch at an Italian in Plaza Mayor and then for a walk along the prom at Toremolinos. 
Woodcock Orchid (Orquídea becada / Ophrys scolopax).
On the drive down to the coast we saw Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus) and Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator).
Mirror Orchid (Ophrys speculum subsp speculum).
During the walk along the sea front I picked up Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) and Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus) and several Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis).
Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera subsp tenthredinifera).
Woodcock Orchid (Orquídea becada / Ophrys scolopax).

Wednesday 28 March 2018

Padul Wetlands and La Malaha Fields, Granada Province.

A few hours to the South and West of Granada City.

Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans).
Jayne was at the hospital again for the day so I slipped away for a while and started at Padul Wetland along the board walks at the Northern end of the reserve along the rubbish and sewage filled channel.
Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans).
At the start of the track where I parked I stood for a while and started the list off with Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti).
Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans).
I then walked along the track and then the boardwalk down towards the hide, just past the spot where the old bridge was I sat on the track and waited to see what appeared, almost straight away I could hear my first singing Iberian Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Ibérico / Phylloscopus brehmii) of the year along with several of its commoner relative the Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) and as they were singing it made it easier to work out which was which.
Corn Buntings (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
In the same area I also had singing Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) as well as at least 6 Water Pipits (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta), Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and as I started walk around to the willow scrub area further along the boardwalk I watched a Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) hunting over the reeds.
Corn Buntings (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
On the far side I went up on to the raised viewing platform and soon heard the call of a displaying male Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) showing off to a female which was sat down in the reeds on a dead tree. In the willow just behind me I picked up a nice male Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans) which was my first of the year. 
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta).
I scanned the area seeing several Woodpigeons (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and a little further along the track Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and a couple of butterfly species with 3x Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), Large White (Pieris brassicae) and 2x Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) which were chasing each other around the willows.
Corn Buntings (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
I returned to the smelly channel where I added Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) and a couple of Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago).
I headed back towards Granada and then West out on to the fields where I checked a couple of areas out but on the way I watched a few Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) and a soaring Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus).
Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator).
On the first area of fields there were loads of singing Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), loads of singing Corn Buntings (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae) and Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae).
On the second area I boosted the list with a pair of Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis), at least 4 Great Spotted Cuckoos (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius), 3x Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) and several Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis).
Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).
I then I headed back in to the city and spent the last couple of hours of her treatment with Jayne before we headed back home.

Tuesday 27 March 2018

Huétor Fields, Granada Province.

A local rarity on the patch.

Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
This morning I called in to the Arroyo Vilano on my way down to Huétor and I was pleased to find a pair of Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus) which are locally quite uncommon with less than one record a year. In the same spot I found a couple of  Little Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), a single Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), White (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Meadow (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis) x3 and Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta) x1, Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Sand (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia) and House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) and back at the garden there were still 2 male and 3 female Siskins (Lúgano / Carduelis spinus).
Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).