Monday, 14 January 2019

Sierra de Loja and Huétor Fields, Granada Province.

A nice days birding with Juliet and David.

Juliet and David.
I left the house earlyish and as I was going out I flushed the roosting male Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) from under the porch and then went down on to the fields where I wanted to check to see where the Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) were hiding, I soon found about 15 birds on the fields on the far side of the Arroyo Vilano along with White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula).
Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Cabra pyreaica).
I meet Juliet and David Hird at the service area on the A92, we quickly headed off up the Sierra and soon found the first of several Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura) in the lowest of all the quarries and just up above this area in the pines we had Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) and Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) and the first of loads of the bueatiful blue flowered Broad-leaved Iris (lirio de invierno / Juno / Iris planifolia).
Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas).
We drove up over the mountain and took the eastern track out to the Hawthorn patch adding big numbers of Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa) on the way as well as Iberian / Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae).
Iberian / Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis).
In the Hawthorn patch things were very quite as 99% of the fruit had been stripped but we did manage to see a couple of female Ring Ouzels ( Mirlo Capiblanco / Turdus torquatus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), several more Blackbirds and Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus).
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) on a rock pile.
We decided to head back to the main split in the track and take a left up passed Charca Negro seeing or in my case hearing but not seeing a couple of Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) by the luxury goat hotel and then out to the far Hawthorns picking up the only Rock Buntings (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia) of the day on the way round.
Alpine Accentor (Acentor Alpino / Prunella collaris).
In the main area we had a walk up through the trees and then David and Juliet continued on down into the last dip whilst I bought the car round. They had good views of an immature male Ring Ouzel and as I parked I had a calling Fieldfare (Zorzal Real / Turdus pilaris) disappear up the gully not to be seen again and a small group of 10 or so Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) which flew up as Juliet and David came down the slope towards me. In the same area we had a single female Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Cabra pyreaica) and several Rabbits (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus).
Alpine Accentor (Acentor Alpino / Prunella collaris).
We searched the trees but did not find anything new so started to make our way down the hill seening a couple of Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) on the Charca down below us, a Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) butterfly and further down we bumped into Barbara and Jerry Laycock on their way up and they said they had had several Alpine Accentors (Acentor Alpino / Prunella collaris) close to the road on the lower crags so we headed off to try and see them. As we drove down we saw a Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) on a rock pile and heard a Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis) at the top of the crags before we made a stop lower down.
Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea).
As we scanned the roadside and the crags I picked up a group of Accentors way up above us right at the foot of main cliffs so David and I slogged our way up there but it was so worth it as we had great views of at least 11 birds.
Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta).
We continued on down and called in at the old quarry but things were quiet and we only boosted the list with Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata) and Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina).
Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica).
After some lunch at the service area we drove up to Huétor Tajar and out on to the Fields there and soon picked up the Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) on the fields near the Arroyo again as well as a single Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), several Common Starling (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulgaris), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) and Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata).
Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica).
We moved just up the arroyo a short way and drove the eastern track were we had a great last half an hour seeing at least 3x Bluethroats (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica), 2x Jack Snipe (Agachadiza Chica / Lymnocriptes minimus), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), 2x Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), 1x Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta), Iberian Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica).
By now it was 16:30 ish so we returned to Huétor and I said goodbye to Juliet and David after a really nice days birding and returned home via the supermarket.
Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica).
Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica).

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