Saturday 5 September 2020

Peñón de Jolúcar, Torrenueva and Charca Suarez, Granada Province, Spain.

A mornings bird with friend Juan.

Click on the link below for Ebird list for seawatch. 
Click on the link below for Ebird list for the Charca visit.

Pallid Swift  (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus).
I set off from the house at just after 06.00 and on my way down to Huétor had a Iberian Brown Hare (Liebre ibérica / Lepus granatensis) run along the road in front of me for a while.
I met Juan and we made our way down to the sea watch point on Peñón de Jolúcar where we were going to carry out the RAM sea bird count, it had been well over a year since I had taken part. On the way we only had a single Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) as we drove along the coast road.
Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea).
We struggled to park so Juan went on up to the watch point getting a Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus) x1 on the way and to make sure that at least one of us was there on time but I found a spot quite quickly and I was soo up there as well seeing Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) x3, Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) x2, Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) x2, Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) x1, Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) x4, Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) x10 and a Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) x1.
Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera).
I got to the spot on the cliff top and set up just in time for us to get started, all around us there were good numbers of migrants feeding up including 4x Pallid Swifts  (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), 20+ House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), 5x of both Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and a couple of fly over White Wagtails (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
Out to see things were quiet and we only managed to see Cory's (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris borealis) x27 and Balearic Shearwater (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus) x23, Shag (Cormorán Mondudo / Phalacrocorax aristotelis) x1, Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis) x3, Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) x30+, Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) x200+, Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii) x19, Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) x1 and Mediterranean Gull (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) x1 and probably most surprising a single Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera) which flew passed east.
Common Shrew (Sorex araneus).
After the seawatch was over we headed just down the coast to Charca seeing more Western Cattle Egrets on the way, once in the reserve we went up to the new hide but as usual it was full of photographers who were not willing to rotate places and were still sat there two hours later when we returned. On the way to the hide we picked up Cetti's (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata) x3, Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Collared Dove, Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) and several Common Waxbills (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild).
Common Shrew (Sorex araneus).
From the door way of the hide I picked out some of the 4 White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and from a gap in the reeds a little further along Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus).
After waiting for a while it became obvious that no one was going to move so we moved on but as we were leaving Juan spotted a very nice Common Shrew (Sorex araneus) which sat for us to take some shots.
We made a stop at the hide over looking Laguna del Taraje at the top end and found Common Moorhen, the first of several Red-knobbed Coots (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata), Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio) and 6 Gadwall.
Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis).
The sun came out after a short while which made viewing from here difficult so we moved to the other end of the Laguna and sat there for a while waiting to see what showed but apart from one of the Gadwall which wandered down from the other end and a Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis).
We moved on around to the main Hide, on the way we had views of Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia), Goldfinch, Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and just as we arrived at the hide a Spanish guy kindly showed us a very smart Mediterranean Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon) in amongst some Morning Glory flowers.
Mediterranean Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon).
We went back to the hide and found several Black-headed Gulls sat up on posts along with at least another 10 Grey Herons, 2 Little Egrets, a single Western Cattle Egret and 3 immature Night Herons (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax),  Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata) x3, Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) x2, Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca) x1, Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) and Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) calling from the reeds.
We walked around to the first of the hides over looking Laguna Trebol but the light was not too good and apart from Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa), Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi) down in the water we found several more Red-knobbed Coots the only new species was a flyby female Little Bittern (Avetorillo Común / Ixobrychus minutus).
Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis).
We started to make out way back around to the new hide to see if anyone had moved, on the way we saw the Chameleon again, had a second female Little Bittern, Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Red Avadavat (Bengali Rojo / Amandava amandava), Iberian Bluetail (Ischnura graellsii) and Black Percher (Diplacodes lefebvrii).
We got to the hide and four of the original people were still sat there hogging the seats and the other two people who had managed to get in were not moving so we scanned from the door way and managed to get views of Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), a Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) which Juan saw and a Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope).
Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis).
We gave up in the end  and went and finished the visit off in the hide at the far end of Laguna del Taraje here Juan had two Great Cormorants (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo) fly over but as hard as I tried I could not see them and I added Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria) and Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea) to the dragon list and as we walked off the site we had a Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria).

Friday 4 September 2020

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

Dragons in the Garden.

Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum).
I spent a few hours in the garden this morning but as usual I was easily distracted when I got around the pool and found males of Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi) and Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma) which I get very commonly. They were joined by a third insect, a male Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum) which is only the third or fourth time I have seen the species in the garden.
Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma).

Thursday 3 September 2020

Huétor Fields, Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

10km walk around the local patch seeing some migrants making their way south and a new arrival. 

Click on the link below for Ebird list for the day.

Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) resting
I drove down to the fields and parked along side a very dry Arroyo Vilano and once I got my kit together I Checked the large Lucerne field and small allotment on the other side of the track where there was a very big flock of at least 600 Spotless Starlings (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), on the furthest section of Lucerne which I am guessing must have been being irrigated I counted 34 Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and a single Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), 2 Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa) flew up from the allotments, the first of the Woodchat Shrikes (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) sat on a fence as were 15 or so Iberian  Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), lots of House Sparrows (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) 150+ were feeding in the fields and flying up to the fence along its full length, Spanish (Yellow) Wagtails (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae) were also on the field in amongst the many Woodpigeons (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia) x7 and in the air several European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and House Martisn (Avión Común / Delichon urbica).
Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator).
I walked along the road and checked the fences and fields as I went adding a female Common Redstart (Colirroja Real / Phoenicurus phoenicurus), a flock of Linnets (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Goldfinches (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), a single Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus) on a chain link fence, the first Crested Larks (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) of the walk, a pair of Common Stonechats (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), a Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis) which flew up from another field, a calling Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and a Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis).
I turned back towards Huétor and as I walked I flushed a Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) from the Irrigation channel and found the first of the migrant Northern Wheatears (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe) out on a newly ploughed field with several Greater Short-toed Larks (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) and in some bushes by the bridge a male Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala).
Southern Skimmer (Orthetrum brunneum) female.
I left the road and walked along the Arroyo where I checked the fig trees and poplar plantation for migrants and found several Reed Warblers (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), a Common Whitethroat (Curruca Zarcera / Sylvia communis), 2 Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), a couple more Willow Warblers along with Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), Jackdaws (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), good numers of Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), a few Collared Doves (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and a single Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and a Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) which flew out of the plantation.
I walked on and went under the Railway where the irrigation channels kept the Arroyo running with a desent amount of water and I added Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia) and by the Mesia road the first of the Common Magpies (Urraca / Pica pica). 
Sedge Warbler (Carricerin Común / Acrocephalus schoenobaenus).
I crossed the road and followed the arroyo until I turn off and followed the Irrigation channels back towards the cross road finding Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and out over the ridge a couple of passing Honey Buzzards (Aberjero Europeo / Pernis apivorus).
Along the railway line I found more Cattle Egrets sat on a ploughed field resting up, more Common Waxbills, 3 more Tree Sparrows and as I came to the well vegetated Irrigation Channel a female Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica) flew up and landed in the top of some Maze on the opposite side of the track and the off further into the field.
I reached the road and then walked into Huétor but I did not add anything before making a stop for a coffee and some breakfast.
I continued on after a while and took a track out across the fields again back up to the railway line, on my way I found a small flock of Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and a very skulking Sedge Warbler (Carricerin Común / Acrocephalus schoenobaenus).
I crossed the railway by the foot bridge and followed the road up the the bar and then took the track back to the car scanning the Lucerne fields on the way and finished the list off with an immature Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) and 2 Hoopoes (Abubilla / Upupa epops) before heading home. 
During the 10KM walk I also had Southern Skimmer (Orthetrum brunneum), Bath White (Pontia daplidice), Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea), Long-tailed Blue (Lampides baeticus), Small White (Pieris rapae), Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa), Andalucian Wall Lizard (Podarcis vaucheri), Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus) and Small Fleabane (Pulicaria vulgaris).
Later, after dark I went out for my evening walk and heard three different Little Owls calling and lots of passage European Bee-eaters making their way West.

Tuesday 1 September 2020

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

Moths and from the garden.

Actenia brunnealis.
I got up and headed out into the garden to check the moth trap, there were a few species in there and I took some shots of a few but far from the full list. I have not run the trap for well over a year so just broke myself in easily and picked out a few of the nice looking ones.
Dysgonia algira (The Pasenger).
Heliothis armigera (Scarce Bordered Straw) ?????
These included Actenia brunnealis, Dysgonia algira (The Pasenger), Heliothis armigera (Scarce Bordered Straw) ?????, Clytie illunaris????? Pseudozarba bipartita, Xestia xanthographa (Square-spot Rustic),
Clytie illunaris?????
Pseudozarba bipartita.
Xestia xanthographa (Square-spot Rustic).
I have named this one in the past bt cannot remember it.

Tree-Lichen Beauty (Cryphia algae).
Tree-Lichen Beauty (Cryphia algae).
Once the moths were sorted I got on with some work trying to catch up with a years growth on all the trees, as I took the forst trug of rubbish out I saw an adult Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica) sat on the wires in the early morning light.
As I continued in the garden a good numer of European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) were passing over on their way West, several Iberian  Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) were coming into the garden raiding the fig tree as was a single female Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus).
Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica).

Sunday 30 August 2020

Balsa de Regidor, Moreleda, Granada Province.

A count of the Egrets.

Click on the link below for Ebird list for the day.

Just before 20.00 I set off to do a count of the Egrets on a nearby lake, when I arrived there were already 34 birds in the reeds at the far end of the lake, all of which were Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), during the evening the number grew to 94 by dark. 
Around the roost there were also 5x Night Herons (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax), 2x Grey Herona (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and a single Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides).
During my visit I also recorded Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) x2, Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) x2, Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) x1M, Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) x6, Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) x2, Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) x8, Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) x12, Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) x1, Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) x7, Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) x1, Reed (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) x1, Cetti's (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) x3 and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) x1, White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) x1, Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) x1, Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) x4 and Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) x800+.
On my way back to the house I had a Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) sat up on a roadside wire and later during my walk another.