Thursday 8 April 2021

Cacín Valley, El Temple and The Coast, Granada Province, Spain.

Back on the fields and then bad news and some good on the Coast.

Prickly Poppy (Papaver argenone).
I was going down to the Motril area to meet up with Juan Perez to check how the only breeding population in Granada of Kentish Plovers (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) are doing.
I started out from the house and made my way down the Cacín Valley making my first stop at some cliffs near Moraleda where I started the list with Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae).

Further down the Valley I stopped in the Pine woods seeing and hearing
Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) and a noisy Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) which few off down the river making a right racket.
Just a further down the valley I stopped by the bridge over the Cacín and had a short walk picking up Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and a smart male Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus).
Audouin's Gull (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii).
I moved just up the road and parked in the usual place and walked out to the normal view point looking out over the lake seeing
Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) and Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) out on the water.
Whimbrel (Zarapito Trinador / Numenius phaeopus).

Whimbrel (Zarapito Trinador / Numenius phaeopus).

Around the margins and in the air I added Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Iberian Green (Pito Real / Picus sharpei) and Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Cetti's (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and a pair of Marsh Harriers (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus).
Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus).
I took the road heading back towards Granada, during this drive I added
Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator).
Audouin's Gull (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii).
My next stop was out on the El Temple area where I drove the tracks finding Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), several noisy Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), a Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius) which was calling from a track side Pine Tree, Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and my first Greater Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) of the year, a calling Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), a hunting Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) which was sat in a dead Almond and best of all a stunning Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus).
The first of the lost nests.

The second of the destroyed Nest.
I drove down the Motorway to the coast, on the way I had views of
Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and a pale morph Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus).
Kentish Plovers (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) mating.
I parked was joined by Juan a short while later, over the next few hours we walked the beach checking on the Kentish Plover population on the way. There was some good news as we found two new Nest site and watched another two males preparing scrapes for two more nests. However we were dismayed to find a second nest had been destroyed by being trampled on, this followed a nest being stood on a week earlier. 
Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) from the car.
The adult bird count was higher than we had expected with 29 birds being counted along with
Whimbrel (Zarapito Trinador / Numenius phaeopus) x1, Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula) x1, Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba) x14, Black-winged Stilt x1, Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii) x14, Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) x20 and Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) x50, Mallard x2 and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
Another flyby.
Out to sea which was quite rough we had Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Cory's (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris borealis) x1 and Balearic Shearwater (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus) x2 and Northern Gannet (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus).
Cyperus capitatus.
We stopped and had a drink and Tapas at a bar on the front which still allowed us good views of the sea and typically when Juan popped inside I had two
Common Tern (Charrán Común / Sterna hirudo) fly passed heading East.
During the walk we saw quite a few wild flowers including Silene littorea, Sea Medick (Medicago marina), Linaria pedinculata, Ononis ramosissima, Sand Reichardia (Reichardia gaditana), Seaside Daisy (Asteriscus maritimus), European Searocket (Cakile maritima) and Cyperus capitatus.
Part of the Information board.
We reached the cars and we returned to the other end of the beach checking the birds again but not before he showed me a sign put up just full of bad information about the Gull species that are possible to see  from the beach, I wish it was Correct as there is a Spanish Lifer and two more that would be new for my Granada List.

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