Sunday 20 December 2020

El Temple, Cacín Valley, Balsa de Regidor and Huétor Fields, Granada Province, Spain.

A few hours birding with good friend Bob Wright.
Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).
We started off by checking the Lucerne fields at Huétor finding 29 Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), 2 Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), a Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Spotless Starlings (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).
We continued on along the track to the Poplar plantation seeing a good number of Iberian  Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) and Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), a flock of Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo).
We drove up the A92 towards Granada and out on to the fields, we soon found Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis) and as we scanned the fields dodging the many hunters three Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis) flew in and landed on a ridge at the top of a nearby field.
Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).
In the same area but lower down the site we had large numbers of Corn Buntings (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Meadow Pipits (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), a female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) did a flyby and we also had Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo).
In a row of Almond trees we also had a Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus), more Corn Buntings and a smart Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis).
In the same area we recorded Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa) and as we were leaving the area in amongst all the Larks and Corn Buntings we had a large flock of Sparrows made up mostly of Spanish Sparrows (Gorrión Moruno / Passer hispaniolensis).
We move on towards Cacín crossing the fields picking up a flock of several Red-billed Choughs (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) which were flying so high they were disappearing into the clouds or maybe the cloud levels were low.
In the same area we also saw Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major).
Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
We dropped down into the valley picking up Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) and then went North to the Contra-embalse where we had another 3 Marsh Harriers over the reed beds and out on the water we caught up with Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Northern Pintail (Ánade Rabudo / Anas acuta), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus), a Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) and a Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo) drying out on a dead tree.
Around the margins and in the trees we heard and saw Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) and Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae).
In the Pines just up the road we parked and found Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Crested (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra) and a couple of Firecrests (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus).
We moved up the road to scan the cliffs below Moreleda, we found Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura) and at Balsa de Regidor on the way back to Huétor fields we only added Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos) but also saw Northern Shovelers, Common Pochards, Mallard, Little Grebe and Eurasian Coot.
Back on the fields we again saw the Little Bustards, Western Cattle Egret and along one of the irrigation channels White (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) and Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta).
Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
Further on we added Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus) and Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus).
We returned to Bobs car and he headed off back to the coast and I went on to do my walk along the Arroyo.

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