Saturday 12 January 2019

RAM, Carchuna and Charca Suarez, Granada Province.

First proper days birding of the year with good mate Juan.

Ophrys fusca / foresteri.
I drove up to Granada and met Juan Pérez Contreras and we went down to Peñón de Jolúcar in his car seeing just a single Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis). We parked up and the walked to the beach for a quick look as we were there slightly early and started the day list off with House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris).
Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio).
Once we had finished we walked up to the watch point where we did the RAM seawatch. On the way up we had Fleshy-leaved Thymelaea (Thymelaea hirsuta), Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima), Yellow Sea Aster (Asteriscus maritimus), Bermuda Buttercup (Oxalis pes-caprae), Purple Bugloss (Echium plantagineum) and Field marigold (Calendula arvensis).
Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio).
We set up on the top of the cliff and started the count with Balearic Shearwater (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus), Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus), Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), a single Razorbill (Alca Común / Alca torda), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Audouin's Gull (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii) and on the landward side of the area Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus). During the watch we were joined by two local agents for the environmental agency, Veronica and her boss.
Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio).
We finished the count and dropped down off the hill where we found several spikes of Ophrys fusca / foresteri and at the bottom of the hill a patch of Climbing Groundsel (Senecio Angulatus).
Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus).
Our next stop was at the beaches of Carchuna where we were looking at the area's that Juan and Veronica wanted to get protected for breeding waders, on the way we saw Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula).
Spotted Crake (Polluela Pintoja / Porzana porzana).
Once we got there and whilst the others talked things through and took messurments I picked up Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba), Kentish (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) and Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula) as well as Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) and Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis).
Red-knobbed Coots (Focha cornuda / Fulca cristata).
We dropped Veronica and her boss off at Torrenueva where they collected the van and followed us down to Charca where we had about an hour and a half around the hides. We made our way to the hide looking over Laguna Blanca and very quickly picked out Purple / Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and just on the other side of the reeds a cracking wintering Spotted Crake (Polluela Pintoja / Porzana porzana).
White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
Back in the hide we added White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), Red Avadavat (Bengali Rojo / Amandava amandava) and Juan also had a Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) and a Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago) which I missed.
Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo).
We moved around to the main hide and boosted the wildfowl list with Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Eurasian Wigeon (Sibón Europeo / Anas penelope), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Red-knobbed Coot (Focha cornuda / Fulca cristata), along with Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis).
Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) female.
We moved to the bittern hide but we did not see much and only added Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto).
Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) female.
We left the reserve at 13.00 and we headed back towards Granada seeing Common Starling (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulgaris), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) on the way.

Tuesday 8 January 2019

Huétor Fields, Granada Province.

Back home at last and out on the Patch briefly.

As soon as we got back to Spain Jayne unfortunately went straight down with a nasty dose of the Flu and was staying bed so I went down to get some shopping from Mercadona in Huétor. On the way down and back I crossed the fields and started my year list off with Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Golden Plover (Chorlito Dorado Europeo / Pluvialis apricaria), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Song (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos) and Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).
Whilst I was down there I bumped into Jenny and John from Salar and they told me that they had seen a Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus) at the nearby Balsa de Rigedor so I went down after doing the shopping but could not find it. Jenny and John showed up and they had not found it either. On the pool there were a good number of Northern Shovelers (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla).