Thursday 10 September 2020

The Cacín Valley, Granada Province, Spain.

Out on the patch again for Monica and Ed's last day in the area.

Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and a Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus).
The three of us headed out towards Sierra de Loja via the fields where we saw the Eurasian Dotterel (Chorlito Carambolo / Eudromias morinellus) a couple of day ago but again there was no sign but we checked the Lucerne field where the farmers were watering, there were several Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and a single Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus) which is still a rare bird locally.
In and around the same area we also saw House Sparrows (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), lots of Western Yellow Wagtails (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava flava and flavissima), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe).
Eurasian Eagle Owl (Búho Real / Bubo bubo).

We continued on and drove up to the second quarry on the lower slopes of Sierra de Loja, the main Sierra is still closed for another month or so. We parked at the turning circle and then walked up to the quarry, on the way we saw Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), as we walked into the quarry Dartford (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Willow (Mosquitero Musical / Phylloscopus trochillus) and another Sardinian Warbler, Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Maritime Squill (Urginea maritima) and a Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina).
Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus).
We dropped back down the hill passing the lower quarry where we made a short stop for Ed to get some shots of another Black Wheatear, we also had Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra) and Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis).
We drove up the motorway to the Moreleda exit and checked the crags below the town and quickly Monica came up with the goods when she found a very nice Eurasian Eagle Owl (Búho Real / Bubo bubo) sat up in one of the many small caves.
In the same area we had Blue Rock Thrush, Black Wheatear, Crag Martin, Common Redstart (Colirroja Real / Phoenicurus phoenicurus), Common Stonechat and above the crags three raptors, Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) and Booted (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) and a Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus).
Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum).
Next stop was down at the Embalse de Cacín where we scanned the lake and margins finding Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus).
In the sky we had our second Northern Goshawk (Azor Común / Accipitor gentillis) in two days, Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), a Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) which I think was my first for the site, Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Sand (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), Crag and House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and both Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica).
Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum).
We continued on down the valley to the gorge, the road was in very bad condition but we managed to make it through but it produced very little but we had nice views of lots of House Martins clinging to the cliffs where they nest naturally on the crags.
We moved on to our final stop of the day at a nearby Embalse and in a channel there we found several male Desert Darters (Sympetrum sinaiticum), along with Iberian Bluetail (Ischnura graellsii), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra) and a skulking Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus).
From here we drove back across country to the house.

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