Saturday 22 August 2020

Charca Suarez, Balsa de Regidor and Home near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

A morning birding with good friend Andy.

Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus).
I met Andy at the hotel where he was staying, on the way up to Granada I saw a couple of Little Owls (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) which were sat up on wire before I reached Huétor Tajar.
I met Andy a bit late but at least I got a lye-in, Sorry Andy and once we were masked up we set off south towards Charca Suarez but we arrived a bit early so we checked the track known by some of the birders as Turtle Dove Alley where we had good numbers of Common Waxbills (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), a few Red Avadavats (Bengali Rojo / Amandava amandava), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and several bueatiful Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus) butterflies, one of which sat nicely for us.
Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos).
We made our way around to the entrance of the reserve and after finding a parking place we went in and headed up to the hide over looking the new Lagoon, on the way we had Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Reed Warbler
Mediterranean Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon).
The hide was full of photographers, not a pair of bin between them so we moved on as we knew they would be sat there all morning and went on around the reserve. In the next hide we did not see much as the light was all wrong so again we continued on towards the main hide, on the way we had good views of Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Willow (Mosquitero Musical / Phylloscopus trochillus) and Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Great Tit and Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis).
Turtle Doves (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur).
Once in the main hide over looking the main lagoon we started to add a few new species to the list even though the light was really bad including Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) x3, Night Heron (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax) x2, Grey (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) x2 and Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides) x1, Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) x3, Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis),  Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) heard only, Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca) x2 and just outside the hide the first of 4 Mediterranean Chameleons (Chamaeleo chamaeleon). At the next two hide we found Red-knobbed Coot (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) x2 and 3 more Chameleons.
Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis).
Further round we had Lesser (Anax parthenope) and Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator),
Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) x2, another Turtle Dove and back at the first hide we tried to go in the same photographers who quite obviously had not given anyone else a chance to go in the hide, normally its not a problem as there is plenty of room to stand at the back but as there is a restriction because of the virus of 6 in the hide it meant there was no chance of getting a view. From a gap in the reeds just a little further on we added a White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia) before we headed for the exit.
Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis).
We decided to go and have a look around Cerro Gordo so headed off West along the motorway but this turned out to be a mistake as both ends of the road were closed as a film crew were there filming something or other so we headed back east. 
Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur).
At Almunecar we took a left and headed up into the mountains back to Granada rather than using the motorways, after a few KM we stopped and had some tappas and a sin alcohol beer. Whilst we were sat down we popped a few bits on to the day list including Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and a couple of very flighty Two-tailed Pashas (Charaxes jasius).
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We continued on along the roads up through the mountains which were very nice with some stunning views but due to the time of day things were quiet and we only added Pallid (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and a calling Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea).
I dropped Andy off at his hotel and then headed back towards home but made a quick stop at Balsa de Regidor on my way, on the waterI only saw Eurasian Coot, Common Moorhen, Mallards, a few Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) and on one of the dead tree trunks lying in the water I counted 23 Common Sandpipers (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) resting on there way somewhere.
Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea).
I walked along the one bank looking for Dragonflies and had soon found Black-tailed (Orthetrum cancellatum) and Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria), Lesser and Blue / Common Emperor, Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea), Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata), White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes) and Iberian Bluetail (Ischnura graellsii).
Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria).
I then continued on towards the house but as I came to a spot along the service road where a few years ago we had several  Desert Orange-tips (Colotis evagore) I saw a small butterfly which I was sure was one again so I stopped and after a few minutes I had seen 6 of them but they were very active and did not land.
Pleased with this find I headed home for a few hours. Later I went for a walk along the road from the house in the Loja direction and almost straight away I had a pair of Little Owls (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) cross the road and fly off into the Olives.
Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata).
This was quickly followed by the first of three views of Red-necked Nightjar (Chotacabras Cuellirrojo / Caprimulgus ruficollis) and then just as was about to turn round a Eurasian Eagle Owl (Bubo bubo) did a flight right across the ridge infront of me, just a silhouette but still a great view.

1 comment:

Andy Mountford said...

Thanks for the great day Mick. I see you had the energy to keep going until nightfall! Till next time!....