Saturday 16 February 2019

Huétor Tajar and Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

Out on the patch again.

Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).
Well this is a touch embarrassing 😕😕😕as I know I went birding but I cannot remember who with and I have lost the messages, Sorry. If you recognise the day please get back to me, thanks Mick.

Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).
OK, back to the birding, We met up at the Cortijo de Tajar Hotel and we headed out to the Western end of the Arroyo Vilano where we scanned the fields from the far bank and soon found the wintering Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) flock but what we thought were just 10 or so birds turned out to be 39 when they all flew up and dropped down a few meters further out into the field. In the same area we could hear several singing Corn Buntings (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Crested Larks (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), a single passing Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), a Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) feeding out on the fields, Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), House (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) and single Brambling (Pinzón Real / Fringilla montifringilla) which was very difficult to locate in amongst a field of Artichokes.
Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica).
We moved just along the river to the Eastern end and soon found a very smart Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), the first patch Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) of the spring, Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), a good sized flock of Iberian  Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) came over the river and away down stream and in the Tamarisk bushes Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) were all seen.
Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).
Futher along the river near the railway bridge we added House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), 11x Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia) and a huge great big female Northern Goshawk (Azor Común / Accipitor gentillis) which flew west and gave the Woodpigeons a scare in the Poplar Plantation.
On the middle fields we had a Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and several roosting Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) line along one of the field rigdes.
Out on the Mesia side of the site we checked the ditches and irrigation channels where we soon had good views of a male Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) and in the reeds opposite where we added Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) and a couple of Red-legged Partridges (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa).
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
As we passed Balsa de Rigedor on our way to the fields near Moraleda we only found a single Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo).
We drove out on the tracks through the Almond Groves and parked in an area of abandoned trees and had a walk hearing the first of 8 Great Spotted Cuckoo's (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius), in the Almonds we had good views of two male birds.
In the same birds we also saw a male Siskin (Lúgano / Carduelis spinus), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Corn Bunting, a soaring Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), 5x Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), 3x Iberian Grey Shrikes (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), 1x Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis), 2 more Common Buzzards, 18x Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), 21x Skylarks, Zitting Cisticola, 1x Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), 26x Meadow Pipits and a second Brambling.
Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater).
We dropped down in to the Valley and spent some time checking the Pine woodland and the mixed woods near the bridge over the Cacín. During these to stops we found Woodpigeon, Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Iberian  Magpie, Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Cetti's Warbler, Snipe and Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra).
Up at the Embalse we scanned the water for new species for the day list and soon found Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), a pair of Northern Pintail (Ánade Rabudo / Anas acuta), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen, Zitting Cisticola, a pair of  Marsh Harriers (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) and a second female which was chased off, a pair of displaying Common Buzzards, Common Kestrels and a male Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus).
Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor Perdicera / Hieraaetus faciatus).
We dropped further down the Valley and checked the gorge and were soon watching a soaring Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor Perdicera / Hieraaetus faciatus) as well as a few Rock Sparrows (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia).
The day was coming to an end but on our way back towards the hotel we again stopped off at the Embalse where a few new species were Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Crag (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and House Martin, Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), 2x Water Rails (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) and a male Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica).

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