Monday 5 October 2020

Cacín Valley, El Temple and Sierra de Baza area, Granada Province, Spain.

A morning on the patch and then the afternoon with Juan further afield.

Eurasian Eagle Owl (Búho Real / Bubo bubo).
I started the morning by checking the cliffs near Moreleda and soon found a roosting Eurasian Eagle Owl (Búho Real / Bubo bubo) in one of the many small cave. I also checked the trees and rocky outcrops finding Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), a couple of male Blue-rock Thrushes (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura).
Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
I continued on down the valley and made a stop in amongst the Pine Woodlands and up in the trees around me I could hear a roaming pack of noisy
Iberian  Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra) and a couple of Rock Sparrows (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia).
In the same area I also had a singing Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea) on the hillside above me, a calling Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) along the river elow me, as well as Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus).
Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus).
Just down the road I stopped by the Embalse de Cacín where there were good numbers of the common ducks out on the water including
Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) as well as Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and in the reed beds at least three calling Water Rails (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus).
Also around the lake there were 3 Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild).
Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus).
As I walked back up to the car I saw a group of 5
Short-toed Eagles (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) just starting off for another days of migrating towards Africa but the local Jackdaws were happy to make their progress more difficult.
In the same area I had Willow Warbler (Mosquitero Musical / Phylloscopus trochillus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca) and Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius).
Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus).
I drove on down the valley making a stop on the way when a pale morph Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) flew over the road and then started to look for a thermal and whilst I watched this bird I added Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and along the river near Cacín Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) and a passing Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo).
Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla).
I drove up the road behind the village and up on to the area of Almonds and Olives heading over to the El Temple area, on the way I found
Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis).
Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).

I turned into the El Temple area and took to the tracks and was pleased when a Hoopoe flew in and sat for a while flicking it crest up and down several time which allowed me to get my first crest up shot. As I continued on I picked up Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), a Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) which sat on the wires by the large Solar farm, Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), Western Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava), Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and a very smart Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus).
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).

Time was moving on so I started to make my way towards Juans where I was picking him up for a trip up to Sierra de Baza, I met Juan and we set off and eventually reached a point where we headed up in to the mountains.
Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra).
As we drove up through some really nice countryside we saw the first of 7 Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Common Magpies (Urraca / Pica pica) and once we reached the first spot we were going to check we had several Common Kestrels, Northern Wheatears, Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa) and in the neary pine woods calling Crested Tits (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus) x2 and 3x Long-tailed (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus).
Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus).

We had a walk around the area, Juan went along one side of the area and I took the other, as we walked between us we recorded Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea) x9, lots of Linnets (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Goldfinches and a few Serins, Tawny Pipit (Bisbita Camprstre / Anthus campestris) x2, Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia) x6, Whinchat (Tarabilla Nortena / Saxicola rubetra), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Thekla Larks and good numbers of Skylarks (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis).
Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus).

Once we were ack at the car we drove out to another area of flat open grassland where we had more Common Kestrels,
Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei) but nothing else, even so the site was good and would be good for further checks. By now it was nearly 18.00 so we made our way back down to the motorway and home.

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