Friday 20 July 2018

Near Archidona, Malaga Province and Moraleda Fields and Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

A days birding with Jacki and Gary from the UK.

Several Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki).
I met Jacki and Gary at their hotel in Salinas and we drove the short distance to Archidona, on the way we saw Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans) and Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus).
Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus).
Once at the first spot in nearby wooded valley we had a walk along the main track where our main target was to find Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) and very soon we heard a male doing it shortened call. As we walked towards the sound we picked up Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis), Wryneck (Torcecuello / Jynx torquilla), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and then the first of the good number of Hawfinches (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes).
A little further along the track we found the male Golden Oriole which was soon found followed by a less showy but welcome female and the first of several Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Collared (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus).
Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
We also was heard several Perez's Frogs (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi) in the river, on the far side of the river a few Rabbits (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus) shot off under the Olive trees and as things warmed up a few Small Whites (Pieris rapae) and Clouded Yellows (Colias Común / Colias corcea) started to fly.
As we returned back to the car where we had views of another male Golden Oriole, a Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta) which was carrying food, European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), a single Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus).
We then headed off towards Moraleda picking up a Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and a fly passed Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Once we were out on the fields we added a roosting Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) on a pile of rocks, several Short-toed (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), Thekla (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and Crested Larks (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and out by the ruin 3 flying Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis) which showed brilliantly as they came round us. Out in the Almond groves we picked up Iberian / Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Feral Pigeons (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia) and as we went off the site we found a female Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) in one of the weedy fields. We stopped again out on the road and had a short break for a drink and watched a large flock of passing Swifts which included mostly Commons but a good numbers of Pallid (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and a few Alpines (Vencejo Real / Apus melba).
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
A bit further along the road we popped in to visit the Little Owl families in the roadside Almonds but only found the a single bird, however he showed well and was quite happy for us to get a few shots. We moved on to a small water pumping house where we found a couple of calling Rock Sparrows (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and out on the ridge on our way down to Cacín we found a couple of Booted Eagles (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), one pale phase and one dark. On the pylons we also picked up an immature Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus) and lower down a couple of Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and lots of plants of the Wild Capers (Capparis spinosa).
Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus).
We next stopped by the side of the Embalse de Cacín where we scanned the water and quickly found Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Common (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) and Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Reed Warblers (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) calling from the reedy margins and just as we were leaving a female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) came in over the reeds.
We also had a nice male Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice) and Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui). Just down the road we called in at the bridge over the Rio Cacín where we had a walk seeing or hearing Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Wryneck, Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) and Carpentor Bee (Xylocopa violacea).
On the drive back to the hotel in Salinas we saw Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and another Black Kite but this time in Granada Provnce.

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Alcala la Real, Jaen Province.

A day out around Alcala and the Fortaleza de la Mota.

Jayne and I headed across country through Montefrio to Alcala, we arrived early and went down into the town for a coffee and some breakfast before returning to the Fortaleza. We paid our €6 and followed then spent a really good 2.5 hours wandering around following a audio tour which was included in the price and well worth doing.
Later we went to the town and had some lunch before visiting the Archiological museum which was also included in the €6 entry fee to the Fortaleza. 
Late in the afternoon it was getting hot so we had a stready drive home after a really good day out.
During the day I saw a few species including White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Turtle (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Common (Urraca / Pica pica) and Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Geranium Bronze (Cacyreus marshalli) and Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).