Monday 8 March 2021

Near Granada, Cubillas Embalse, Moraleda area, Contra-embalse de Cacín, Granada Province, Spain.

Orchids, Birds and then some more Orchids.
Ophrys x Santi-leonardii.

First thing I was in Loja getting the car ITV / MOT sorted and I was pleased when it flew through first time and from there I went up to Granada to purchase some new power tools. 
Ophrys x Santi-leonardii.
Later I went to a site North of the city where I had been a few days ago to rephotograph a few plants that I wanted better shots of.
Ophrys x Santi-leonardii.
I searched the area of Pine woods for a while and even though I thought I knew where the Ophrys x Santi-leonardii was it took me a while to find it.
Ophrys x Santi-leonardii.
In the same area I found loads of Somber Bee (Ophrys fusca / foresteri), a few Sawfly (Ophrys tenthredinifera) and a single Giant Orchid (Himantoglossum Robertiana).
Ophrys dyris.
As I walked back towards the car I found a nice group of Ophrys Orchids including a couple of nice classic Ophrys dyris plants, a good candidate for Ophrys algarviensis and a plant which looked like a plant of Ophrys x brigittae the hybrid between Ophrys fusca and dyris.
Ophrys algarviensis ????????.
In the area where I had been walking I heard and saw  Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) and Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Ophrys x brigittae.
I drove to the nearby Cubillas Res and parked by the hide and scanned the lake finding Egyptian Geese (Ganso del Nilo / Alopochen aegyptiaca) which was sat on a sandbar near the boating buildings, Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica). 
Ophrys dyris but a none classic looking plant.
For the res i drove back towards home but turned off to the Motorway and crossed the fields near to Maraleda, on the way through the Almond and Olive groves I had a couple of Great Spotted Cuckoos (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius) one of which sat for a while in the Almonds but they there less noisy and subdued so I am guessing they are paired up.
Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).
I also had
Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
Just down the road I checked the Old roads side Almonds trees and found 4 adult Little Owls (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) which must be quite used to me taking there picture as they just sat there.
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
I took a track across country to the road into Cacín on the way adding
Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Blackcap (Curraca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Rock Dove (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia) and Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis).
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
I dropped down through Cacín and headed up the valley to the Embalse where I parked and scanned the water finding 4
Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Mallard, Common Pochard, Eurasian Coot, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and Great Cormorant.
Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
In the air there was a stunning male
Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), lots of Barn Swallows and a few Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and around the margins a distant but showy Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and in the pines opposite a calling but unseen Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei).

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