Friday, 26 March 2021

Sierra de Loja, Granada Province, Spain.

A few hours on the best of the Sierras on a day when the birds behaved well.
 
Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica) odd head markings.
Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica) odd head markings.
Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica).
Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica)
After an 08.00 appointment with the Physio I drove up Sierra de Loja, I entered the site from the Motorway and stopped at the lower quarry first where I started off with Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia).
Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).
I continued on up the hill past the crags where I picked up Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and several hanging plants of Buckler Mustard (Biscutella frutescens).
Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus).
Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus).
Along the tops there were singing Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), a pair of very smart Rock Buntings (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), the first of 20 or so Black-eared Wheatears (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica) including a slightly odd looking bird and a couple of pairs of Black Wheatears (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura).
Andaluz Storksbill (Erodium primulaceum).
Andaluz Storksbill (Erodium primulaceum).
I parked by Charca Negro and walked to the nearby cliffs where I found around a 100 or so trumpets of
Narcissus bugei, Andaluz Storksbill (Erodium primulaceum), Wild Clary (Salvia verbenaca), Rabbit (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus) and Sharp-ribbed Salamander (Pleurodeles waltl). 
Narcissus bugei.
Narcissus bugei.
As I walked around the area I also had my first Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus) of the year followed by a second bird later, Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia) and Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus).
I drove on further along the track to the furthest tracks where I parked and did a walk, amongst the
Hawthorns (Crataegus monogyna) I found a male Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans) and along the crags Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and as I walked back to the car a flock of around 50 odd Common Swifts (Vencejo Común / Apus apus).
Spectacled Warbler (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata).
Spectacled Warbler (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata).
Spectacled Warbler (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata).
Spectacled Warbler (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata).
I turned around and started to make my way back down the hill stopping a few times to get shot of Black-eared Wheatears and whilst I was getting the shots of the odd looking bird a cracking male
Spectacled Warbler (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata) flew in to a leafless bush and remained for a few seconds giving me the chance to rattle of a few shots before it was gone as fast as it arrived.
Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina).

Further on a male
Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) flew across the track and down into the valley below and along side the track I had a very smart Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina).
Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
On my way down I had a look around the middle quarry adding Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum), Viola Dementria, Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus),
Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum).

Viola dementria.
Viola dementria.
Fan-lipped Orchid (Anacamptis collina).
Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera).
Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus).

Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus).

 

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