Friday 16 April 2021

Cacín Valley, El Temple, The Beach and Charca Suarez, Granada Province, Spain.

A brilliant days birding with good friend Juan.
Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina) Male.
I left the house at 07:30 and made my way down the Cacín Valley starting near Moreleda crags where I scanned the cliff holes and found the resident Eurasian Eagle Owl (Búho Real / Bubo bubo) which was sat well back in one of the holes.
Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
I also had Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula).
Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) female.
I carried on along the valley and stopped in amongst the narrow strip of Pine woodland where I walked around hearing
Rock Sparrows (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Coal Tit  (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) and Wryneck (Torcecuello / Jynx torquilla).
Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) Dark Morph.
Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) Pale Morph.
I moved again and parked by the bridge over the Rio Cacín and I walked down the track after checking the Rio from the bridge, from the bridge I picked up
Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes) and further along the track in a large Poplar tree Garden Warbler (Curruca Mosquitera / Sylvia borin), a female Western Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlona / Sylvia hortensis), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli) and a fly through male Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) and lower down Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and a calling Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei).
European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster).
European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster).
European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster).
Just up the road I parked on the roadside and scanned the Contra Embalse, on the water I found good numbers of Common Pochards (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus) x9, Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) x3 and on the dead sticks in the water Common Sandpipers (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) x3.
Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis).
In the air and around the margins I also recorded Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), a pair of hunting Marsh Harriers (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and as I drove down towards Cacín I had Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis).
Silene littorea.
Yellow horned Poppy (Glaucium flavum).
On the field in front of the lake I found Yellow Bee (Ophrys lutea) and Mirror Orchid (Ophrys speculum), Crown Daisy (Chrysanthemum carinatum), Hoary Cress (Lepidium draba), Common Fumitory (Fumaria officinalis), Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum), Corn (Papaver rhoeas) and Prickly Poppy (Papaver argenone), Salsify (Tragopogon porrifolius), Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis) and Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata).
Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus).
I took the road out of the valley from Cacín and over the ridge seeing
Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) 1x Dark and 2x Pale Morph birds, Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica).
Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus).
Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus).
As I headed towards the A92 on my way down to meet Juan I popped out onto some of the fields but the tracks were very muddy so I had to turn around after a while and return to the main road, I did however find Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra).
Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).
I arrived a the beach a few minutes before Juan but we were soon walking the usual route checking on the
Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) population, today was a better day than last week as we found two new nests, one from last week where the female was still incubating and a female with at least a single well grown youngster.
Sanderling (Correlimos Tridáctilo / Calidris alba).

Other species we saw during this walk included
White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Greater Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Audouin's Gull (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii) and Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo).
Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio).
As we walked we also had large numbers of Painted Lady's (Vanessa cardui), Silene littorea, Yellow horned Poppy (Glaucium flavum), Sea Medick (Medicago marina), Ononis ramosissima, Sand Reichardia (Reichardia gaditana), Seaside Daisy (Asteriscus maritimus), European Searocket (Cakile maritima) and Cyperus capitatus.
Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).
Our next stop of the day was at the Charca Suarez where we walked around to the first hide over looking Laguna del Taraje where we had great views of a
Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Mallard, Eurasian Coot, Common Moorhen, Reed Warbler, Little Grebe and Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus).
Marbled Ducks (Marmaronetta angustirostris).
Marbled Duck (Marmaronetta angustirostris).
We moved around to the main hide over looking Laguna de las Aneas and soon boosted the list with Red-knobbed Coot (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata), Grey (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides), Little (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia) and a stunning pair of Marbled Ducks (Marmaronetta angustirostris) which showed well and were a new species for my Granada list.
Great Cormorants (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo).
Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides).
We walked on around to the next hide which over looked Laguna del Trébol, on the way a warbler flew across the track in front of us and I immediately thought it was something good as it looked very yellow even in flight.
Red-knobbed Coot (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata).
Garganey (Cerceta Carretona / Anas querquedula) Male.
We both got on it in a Poplar next too the track and quickly realized we had a very nice
Wood Warbler (Mosquitero Sibador / Phylloscopus sibilatrix)a second new bird for my Granada List. In the same tree we also had a nice male Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca).
White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia).
From the hide we found a very nice male
Garganey (Cerceta Carretona / Anas querquedula) a nice unexpected year tick.
Purple Herons (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea).
Before the time ran out on us we checked the hide over looking the new lake where we saw 2 White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia) and a couple of Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago) and just before we left the reserve we finished off with a fly over flock of 6 Purple Herons (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea) and a Mediterranean Chameleon (Chamaeleo chamaeleon) in a willow by the Gate.

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