Tuesday 22 October 2019

Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

Visiting Friends in Cacín and then a mornings solitary Birding.

I drove down to the village of Cacín where I spent a while with friends Jane and Bob before working my way back up the valley doing some birding on the way. My first stop was along the Rio Cacín just out of the Village but it was quiet and I only managed to find Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major).
 I drove North to the Embalse de Cacín where I parked and walked down towards the water, straight away I could hear a yaffling Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei) on the far bank and several Corn Buntings (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) singing from the wires behind me.
Out on the water there were good numbers of wildfowl including Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) and Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca).
Other species on the water and around the margins included Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus), Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia) x2, Green (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) and Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago) and in the reeds a Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Cetti's (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
Whilst I was at the lake I also recorded Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and Great Spotted Woodpecker.
I drove back through the village and up to the cortijo where I spent some time scanning the fields there seeing Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Rock Dove (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis) and Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis).
I dropped back down to the village and made a quick stop at the river again but just checked out the area to the left of the bridge where I saw Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), a calling male Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus) and a new in stunning Brambling (Pinzón Real / Fringilla montifringilla) down for the winter.

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).