Monday 21 October 2019

Moraleda and Huétor Fields, Granada Province.

Back out with some of the Axarquia Bird Group.
All Photo's from Bob Wright, Thanks.

Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis).
9 of us met up at the Cortijo de Tajar at 09.30, not quite the same 9 as a few days earlier but very close, we started by heading across the A92 to Moraleda and out on to the fields near there.
Just off the road along one of the many tracks we parked up on the edge of an Almond grove and soon found the first of the days target species, in total we saw a groups of 16 Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis) out on the field but they were some what distant.
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
Through the scopes we had nice views of this uncommon species and whilst we watched them we also added Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and a fine adult Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) which sat high on a dead branch.
We contnued on around the site and along the next track we picked up Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Spotless (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and Common Starling (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulgaris), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and out on a track side field there were several White Wagtails (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), a single female Western Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava flavissima), a few Meadow Pipits (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis) and at least 4x Northern Wheatears (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe).
On the opposite side of the track there were good numbers of Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), a few more Thekla's and a small flock of Skylarks (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis).
We continued on towards a ruin, on the way we had another Iberian Grey Shrike, Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and on the ruin the first Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) of the day.
Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo).
Again we continued on and headed off the site towards Huétor Fields finding a Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) sat on one of the many telegraph poles.
We came on to the Huétor site from Mesia and parked by the Irrigation channels and walked down to the Rio Vilano looking for Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) but this was our only target species dip of the day, we however did find Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), a latish Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and more Crested Larks, House Sparrows. At the furthest point we checked a reed bed finding Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and more Common Waxbills.
We walked back to the cars and went round to the other side of the railway line and followed another stretch of the Vilano where we found Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), a male Spanish Sparrow (Gorrión Moruno / Passer hispaniolensis) seen by a couple of the group as was a flushed Jack Snipe (Agachadiza Chica / Lymnocriptes minimus) both of which I missed. 
Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).
Also seen were Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago) and a small flock of Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
Our last stop of the day was over on the Loja side of the area where we quickly found a flock of 25 or so Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) in a Lucerne field along with Northern Lapwings (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) efore we split up, Bob nd some of the group went for a coffee before heading of whlst Barbara abd Derek came up to the house to collect an item to take back to the UK. On their way back out to the motorway they stopped and walked another of the tracks picking up 16 more Little Bustards and 12x Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus).

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