Saturday 19 December 2020

Peñón de Jolúcar, Playa de las Azucenas, Charca Suarez, El Temple and Huétor Fields, Granada Province, Spain.

Birding the coast and the planes.
Sun Rise from Peñón de Jolúcar.
I left the house as the 07:00 Curfew ended and drove down to Torrenueva where I followed Juan Perez to the spot where we usually park, on the way there was a morning murmuration of around 250 Spotless Starlings (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor). 
Yacht just off the Coast.
We then walked up onto the clifftops but on the way we were surprised to find the damage done by the diggers which had destroyed the one area where there had been Orchids growing, shame.
Balearic Shearwaters (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus).
We set up the scopes and spent a couple of hours seeing what passed the cape, species included Balearic Shearwaters (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus) x281, Cory's Shearwaters (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris borealis) x3, Arctic Skua (Págalo Parásito / Stercorarius parasiticus) x1, Great Skua (Págalo Grande / Stercorarius skua) x1 and two other unidentified Skua's which were just too far out to be sure of.
Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus).
There were also good numbers of Northern Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus) x33 and Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo) x18.
Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto).
Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto).
Gulls and Terns included Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) x5, Mediterranean  (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) x30, Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) x50 and Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) x20 and Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis) x2.
Cutters on the blades of a wind turbine.

Whilst we were scanning the sea we also had brilliant views of a pair of  Peregrine Falcons (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus) with one of the birds carrying a sizable prey item.
Stripe-less Tree Frog (Hyla meridionalis).
Stripe-less Tree Frog (Hyla meridionalis).
We also saw Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia) x2, Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) x2, Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) x1, Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) x1, Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) x1, Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) x1, Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) x1, Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) x1, Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) x3, Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) x1, Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) x1, House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) x3, Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) x1, Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) x4 and Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) x6.
Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros).
We packed our kit away and the headed back towards the port and on to Playa de las Azucenas where we crossed the bridge and walked out to a new covered building and then to the beach, along the boardwalk beside the river we found Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) x2, Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) x4, Black-rumped (Estrilda troglodytes) x2 and Common Waxbills (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild) x4, Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) x1 and Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea).
Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica).
Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica).
On the beach there were Lesser Black-backed x50, Yellow-legged x10 and Black-headed Gulls x2 and in the weeds above the area we also had Serins x2,
Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) x4, Goldfinches x25 and a single Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus).
Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica).
As we walked back towards the car we added
Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) x1, Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula). 
Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica).

Further along the concrete channel and on the fields we found Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) x6, Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) x4, Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) x2, Common Chiffchaff, Spotless and Common Starling (Estornino Pinto / Sturnus vulgaris) x1.
White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
On our way back to the car I got a Whatsapp message from good friend Bob Wright to say that he had just seen the Moustached Warbler (Carricerin Real / Acrocephalus melanopogon) which had been around for a week or two so we made our way there. 
Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata).
We parked and then walked straight round to the hide with just a short stop at the hide over looking Laguna Tarajes where we saw
Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Mallard, Eurasian Coot and heard a calling Penduline Tit (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus).
Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea).
We made another quick stop at the main hide seeing an immature Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina).
Moustached Warbler (Carricerin Real / Acrocephalus melanopogon).
We moved around to Laguna Trebol where we saw Hamish Nicol who was photographing a very confiding Bluethroat as well as a smart Black Redstart.
Moustached Warbler (Carricerin Real / Acrocephalus melanopogon).
After a short wait the Moustached Warbler showed low down on some reeds opposite giving us nice but brief views a couple of times, each time it was in the same place and was right into the sun.
Moustached Warbler (Carricerin Real / Acrocephalus melanopogon).
We stayed in the hide for some time adding Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus), Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Red-knobbed (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata) and Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata) and Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis).
Moustached Warbler (Carricerin Real / Acrocephalus melanopogon).
Time was running out so we walked back towards the gate but had a very quick look over Alamo Blanco where we saw a single White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca).
White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia).
We reached the gate where we saw Manuel and Bob Wright, I stopped and had a chat with Bob whilst Juan headed back off home.
Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo).
After finishing my chat with Bob I headed North again but cut off the motorway and went out on to the fields of El Temple where I drove several odd the rather muddy tracks but could not go on my usual route as it was still not passable.
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
During the drive I saw two stunning Black-winged Kites (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus), the one bird was out hunting and the second was chilling in one of the many Almond trees. 
Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus).
In the same area I had a Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), good numers of Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), House and Spanish Sparrows (Gorrión Moruno / Passer hispaniolensis) and as I drove back to the road I scanned the more distant Almonds finding an adult Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos) perched on an old stump.
Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus).
I crossed the fields to the road to the Cacín Valley, on the way I found a female
Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Iberian Grey Shrike and a couple of Hoopoes (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
I dropped down into the valley and then drove North to the Embalse seeing a Northern Goshawk (Azor Común / Accipitor gentillis) as it dropped off one of the pylons on the roadsidewhere the two male Marsh Harriers were still very actively displaying to the loan female, also in the air above the lake were a good number of
Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos).
Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris).
Down on the water the numbers of ducks had swapped around a it with there being just 50 or so Eurasian Teal today but with a big increase in flock Common Pochard which was up from 3 to 66.
Another ground feeding Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo).
Other species included Mallard, Northern Shoveler x13, Northern Pintail (Ánade Rabudo / Anas acuta) x1, Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) x11, Great Cormorant x2, Eurasian Coot, Common Moorhen and a showy Water Rail.
Northern Goshawk (Azor Común / Accipitor gentillis).
I moved just up the road to the bridge over the Cacín and had a look in the woods there and soon found Song (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos) and Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra) and Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major).
Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) one of the males.
My last stop of the day was on the fields ner the house were I finished the list off with
Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) x28, Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) and Golden Plover (Chorlito Dorado Europeo / Pluvialis apricaia).

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