Tuesday 22 December 2020

Sierra de Loja and Huétor Fields, Granada Province, Spain.

Birding and catching up with friends.

Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Cabra pyreaica) a youngster in it's winter coat.

I met up with Bob, Andy, Barbara and Derek, Barbara and Jerry for a socially distanced and masked days birding, we left the abades service area and drove up the hill right over to the far side. 
During the drive we saw lots of the purple flowered Broad-leaved Iris (Iris planifolia) on the lower slopes and amongst the Pines, Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) and from Dereks car a Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra).
Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Cabra pyreaica).

Further on up on the tops there were
Red-legged Partridges (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), lots of Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and a couple of very smart Rock Buntings (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia).
Just after passing Charca del Negro we had what I think was one of only a couple of Rock Sparrows (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia) perched up high on the crags amongst the Spotless Starlings and mush nearer and all around ua a group of female and young Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Cabra pyreaica) which seemed totally unphased by us being there and taking photographs of them
We parked at the far end of the area and had a walk but things were quiet, we did add White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), several nice pure looking Rock Doves (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) and Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura).
Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Cabra pyreaica).
We returned to the cars and dropped back down the track to Charca del Negro where we had our lunch and just
Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) for the list.
We dropped back down the hill seeing 2 Little Owls (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and a sizable flock of Red-billed Choughs on the way, as we descended we made a stop at the quarry lower down where we had nice views of three Dartford Warblers (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata) and a pair of Greenfinches (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris).
We dropped back to Abades and after a loo stop we headed east along the A92 to Huétor Tajar where we had a good look around the fields and Irrigation channels. On the small model aircraft field we found more White Wagtails, Meadow Pipits and a few Northern Lapwings (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus).
Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Cabra pyreaica).
Out on the Lucerne fields we soon had the wintering flock of
Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), several Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and along the Arroyo Iberian  Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), a Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) and Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica).
Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
We moved further along the arroyo and then did a short walk finding Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Derek had a Reed Bunting (Escribano Palustre / Emberiza schoeniclus), Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis) and 4 Tree Sparrows (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus).
Part of our view from the fields.
We moved a bit further along the road where we stopped by the Poplar Plantation seeing
Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) and along the Mesia road Irrigation Channels we had another walk seeing Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and another Iberian Grey Shrike before we all headed our ways home.

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