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).

Tuesday 19 March 2019

Laguna Dulce, Fuente de Piedra, Travelling to La Rambla and back home via Ecija, Malaga, Sevilla and Cordoba Provinces.

A mornings birding, a bit of cermic shopping and a nice visit to Ecija for lunch and a wander around the town.

Female Little Crake (Polluela Bastarda / Porzana parva).
Jayne and I were up and out earlish and made our first stop of the morning at Laguna Dulce near Campillos where almost straight away I had the target species in the bins, the female Little Crake (Polluela Bastarda / Porzana parva) had been around for a few days and I had already missed it once so I was very happy to get good views.
Female Little Crake (Polluela Bastarda / Porzana parva).
After standing by the last post of the shielding fence for a while the bird wandered into view and I managed to get a few shots but the light was not great. A little later I had good views in a slightly better light.
Female Little Crake (Polluela Bastarda / Porzana parva).
Out on the lake I also recorded Black-necked (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), Great Crested (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) and Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Red-crested (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina) and Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), 2x Eurasian Curlew (Zaoaito Real / Numenius arquata), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus).
We moved on and made our way to Fuente de Piedra visitor's Centre, on the drive in there were several more Greater Flamingo's on the pool on the left along with Eurasian Coot, Common Moorhen, Black-winged Stilt, Snipe and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
I scanned the main lake from the mirador seeing huge numbers of Greater Flamingo's, Northern Shovelers, Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), a single Gull-billed Tern (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica) which flew out over the lake, Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and Black-headed Gulls.
Spotted Crake (Polluela Pintoja / Porzana porzana).
Around the back on the fresh water pools I added Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Red-crested and Common Pochards, Gadwall, Mallard, White-headed Duck, Little and Black-necked Grebe, Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and Cetti's Warbler.
Spotted Crake (Polluela Pintoja / Porzana porzana).
I walked down to the board walk where I bumped into several Spanish birders who were watching at least 3 Spotted Crakes (Polluela Pintoja / Porzana porzana) which I had good views of and got some distant shots of and just a few meters away a Sedge Warbler (Carricerin Común / Acrocephalus schoenobaenus) was singing from deep in a Tamarisk bush but I did manage a brief view as it flew from one to another.
I returned to the car and we drove off up to the town seeing a couple of White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia) on the pool by the road and a pair of Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) on the field near the main road.
Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus).
We had a coffee and toast in the town before heading North towards La Rambla via Puente Genil adding Red Kite (Milano Real / Milvus milvus), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), a Marsh Harrier and by the Rio de Cabra a big surprise as there were around 300 Black Kites (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans) some of which were bathing down in the River whilst loads were passing over much higher. Down on the Rio there was a single White Stork, a dozen or so Black-winged Stilts, a single Redshank, 8 Avocets and a pair of Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica).
Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans).
Once we arrived in La Rambla we found everything we wanted surprisingly quickly so after a coffee we headed to the town of Ecija, a place a friend had recently recommended as a good place to visit and he was spot on. 
We had a very nice lunch sat out in the sun at Bar Canarias before wandering around the streets looking at the Churches and plaza'sand after a cracking afternoon we headed back home.