Tuesday 25 August 2020

El Tomillar, La Malaha, Cacín Valley and Huétor Fields, Granada Province.

A few hours on the Eastern end of the Patch on the way back from Granada.

A distant Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus).
After a visit to the Solicitor's in Granada which went much quicker than expected I decided to have a run out to the Eastern end off El Temple, my first stop was along a country road just a KM or so from Granada's big rubbish dump. 
Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus).
I parked up and watched a female Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) as it flew past and off towards the dump. I walked along the road for a while and the list grew nicely with Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Dartford (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei) x2 heard only, a Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) which was sat on a pylon and as I walked back down the hill I scanned the ridges picking up 2x Booted Eagles (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) one of each morph, a pair of Bonelli's Eagles (Aguila-azor Perdicera / Hieraaetus faciatus) as well as Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis).
Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus).
As I drove back towards the main road I added a Common Whitethroat (Curruca Zarcera / Sylvia communis), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), a group of Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) and a flock of Jackdaws (Grajilla / Corvus monedula).
I headed past La Malaha and out on to the fields were I made several stops along the road and on one of the main tracks, in this area I found several flocks of House Sparrows (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), masses of Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) which were skimming the ground, both Lesser and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), several Hoopoes (Abubilla / Upupa epops), a couple of Black Kites (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans) which were feeding in a ploughed strip of land, a Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus) which was sat up in the top of a distant Almond tree, a couple more Montagu's Harriers and another pylon with a Short-toed Eagle sat on it.
Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus) in a distant Almond.
As I took to the tracksI saw a Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa).
I came off the tracks after seeing even more Montagu-s Harriers, now around 10 in total, I drove on through Ventas de Huelma and over to Cacín. On the way I had a Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) and as I dropped down into the village I checked an area which had several Capper plants on the roadside and soon found Desert Orange-tips (Colotis evagore) but they were very active and not landing, Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina), Long-tailed Blue (Lampides baeticus) and Small White (Pieris rapae).
Bath White (Pontia daplidice).
I grabbed a roll in one of the bars in Cacín before checking the river just as you leave the village, here I picked up White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and a couple of Bath Whites (Pontia daplidice).
Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and 3 Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus).
Further along the valley I made a stop at the Contra Embalse where there had been quite a large fire resently taking out all the western banks and part of the reed bed, the water level was very high so quite a large area of reeds survived but there were no margins for waders but there was a single Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) sat in a dead tree as well as Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata) x5, Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca) x1, Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and a few Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia) mixed in with the other hirundines.
Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and 3 Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus).
I made two more stops along the river in the more wooded sections but only managed Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus).
Southern Skimmer (Orthetrum brunneum).
I drove back up to Huétor where I checked the fields where the 2 Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus) had been yesterday ut there was no sign of them so I drove towards Mesia as I know there are a few more grass fields in that direction and on the very first which was being irrigated I found them and the Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) but this time there were 3 Ibis mixed in with the 27 Egrets and as there were yesterday large number of Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae) were also feeding in the field.
On m way back to the house I checked the ditches near the model plane airfield and found Southern Skimmer (Orthetrum brunneum), Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea) and Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata).

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