Friday 26 April 2019

La Malaha and the Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

A run around the local patch with Sheila and Phil from the UK.

Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
I meet Sheila and Phil in Granada and we headed out south west to the first site at a semi derelict Cortijo where we were soon watching a good number of Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) which were perched on the roof and flying around calling.
We also had a walk along a nearby dry barranco seeing Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Melodious (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), Bonelli's (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli) and most unexpected a Western Olivaceous Warbler (Zarcero Pálido Occidental / Hippolais opaca).
We headed to the fields near to La Malaha but stopped near to the village on the way and had good views of Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
Once we were out on the field we soon had a female Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) on the list along with the first of several male Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) in the scope.
Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus).
In the same area we also had views of Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and Short-toed Larks (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), 2x Golden Eagles (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) and heard Common Quail (Codorniz Común / Coturnix coturnix) before we saw the main target species Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis).
After watching the Sandgrouse fly off we drove across the fields towards Cacín, on the way we had a male Ortolan Bunting (Escribano Hortolano / Emberiza hortulana) on it's way North, Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), more migrants including Whinchat (Tarabilla Nortena / Saxicola rubetra), Common Redstart (Colirroja Real / Phoenicurus phoenicurus) and Common Whitethroat (Curruca Zarcera / Sylvia communis) x2, Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) x2, Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) and Rock Sparrows (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia).
We continued on towards Cacín but made a roadside stop on the way were we had good views of a singing Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Booted Eagles (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) x2, Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis) and a Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus) which did a runner before we had a chance to get the scope on it.
We dropped down in to the Cacín Valley collecting some food from a bar on the way and made our way down to the gorge where we spent some time eating the food a waiting to see what turned up.
Species recorded included Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans), House (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Pallid (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and a couple of Blue-rock Thrushes (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) which showed so briefly only I saw them.
Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
We moved north back along the valley and stopped at the Contra-embalse adding Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) and several Sand Martins (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia).
 Just up the road we walked along the irrigatin canal in amongst the woods picking up Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus) and Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus).
The final stop of the day was on the fields near Moreleda but we only managed to boost the list with a Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) before heading back into the city.

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