Monday 1 March 2021

Alhendin in Granada, Padul and La Malaha, Granada Province.

Looking for some birds for the year list with friends.
Second Lock down Day 45, released to Provincial area.
I met Juan and Andrey near Alhendin and we walked out onto and area of mixed agricultural land, most of which was put down to winter cereals but surrounded by Almond and Olive groves.
We started the list by the cars with Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and on the first area of fields Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) and
Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula).
We took to the field edges and made for some high ground so we could scan the whole area looking for the target Long-legged Buzzard (Busardo Moro / Buteo rufinus) but it was not to be, we did however see and hear Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), a group of calling Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) which flew over and away West, Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) away in the Almond groves, Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and an Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei) but only Andrey heard it calling.
Juan and Andrey headed off at this point to go and have a look around Padul Wetland but I stayed for another hour or so adding Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica).
I then got a whatsapp from Juan to say that they had an Iberian Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Ibérico / Phylloscopus brehmii) singing in Padul, so with the directions he sent I decide to have a look.
I arrived at the spot where there were lots of calling Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) but the Iberian had gone quiet, however I did see Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Spanish Sparrow (Gorrión Moruno / Passer hispaniolensis), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) and Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo).
Juan and Andrey then returned to the spot and we boosted the list with Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) heard only, Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) and then went on around the board walk to the raised platform where Andrey turned around and returned home. Juan and I continued on but only added White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and then on the way back to the car an Iberian Chiffchaff  which was singing from some willow scrub.
We reached the cars and Juan headed off home and I returned to the spot for the Buzzard but came in from a different direction where from a track I had a view over the whole area and out over some more pylons which we could not see from our original spot, unfortunately I still did not find the bird but I did see a female Marsh Harrier which was hunting over the fields.
I decided after another 1.5 hours that the bird was not around so I headed home via a spot where I saw at least 12 Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) my second year tick for the day.

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