Wednesday, 20 March 2019

La Malaha and the Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

A day out on the patch with Bob and Christine.

Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni).
I met Bob and Christine up in Granada and we headed out to the south and then to the west to a spot where we started the list off with good views of several Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) and in the same are Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), calling Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and as we were leaving the site a couple of Hoopoes (Abubilla / Upupa epops) flew in and one sat for a picture.
Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni).
Our next stop was on the fields near to the village of La Malaha, on the way through we saw the first of many Spotless Starlings (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and Collared Doves (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto).
Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Out on the fields we soon started to hear the first Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) of the day along with both Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Thekla (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and a couple of fine male Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), later we also had a female which was being chased down by aother fine looking male.
Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).
On one of the Almonds we had a smart looking Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) and several more calling Corn Buntings, Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), a male Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa) and a fine looking female Hen Harrier (Aguilucho Pálido / Circus cyaneus) which came up out of a weedy fallow field.
Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).
We moved up on to the top fields adding Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis) and an immature Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos) which Christine picked up as it flew across the fields.
Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
We cut through to the fields near Morleda and out to the Cortijo and soon found the resident Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), a Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus) which was sat under a tree eating lunch and in the olive plantations large numbers of Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina),  Serins, Goldfinches, Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and a few Rock Sparrows (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia).
Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
We dropped down in to the Cacín Valley we saw a fine male Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and down in the Pines where we soon had a male Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra) at the top of a pine tree along with a few other birds including Long-tailed (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) and Great Tits (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Common Chaffinch and a couple of Orchids including Ophrys fusca / foresteri and Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera subsp tenthredinifera).
Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
Down by the Rio a little further along the valley a calling Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus), a fly over Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula).
Just up the road we stopped again by the Contra Embalse de Bermejalis and scanned the water and margins picking up good numbers of Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca) and duck of the day were a group of 21 Garganey (Cerceta Carretona / Anas querquedula) which were the first of the year but right at the far end of the lake.
On the margins there were several Common Moorhens (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), a Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) and further out lots of Eurasian Coots (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), a single Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae) and several White Wagtails.
Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra).
Other species seen during this stop included Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Marsh Harrier, Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and Barn Swallow.
Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra).
Further down the valley we checked the cliffs and turned up a male Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) and a couple of Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus).
Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis).
We started to make our way back towards Granada via the road road from Cacín to La Malaha where we only added a couple of Common Buzzards (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) to the list.
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
I dropped Bob and Christine back into the City and I made my way back home.

Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera subsp tenthredinifera).

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