Thursday 10 June 2021

The Cacín Valley, El Temple (briefly), Cartuna, a site further along the coast and another in the Alpujarras, Granada Province, Spain.

Down the Valley, along the coast and back up into the mountains again.
Shag (Cormorán Mondudo / Phalacrocorax aristotelis) x2.
I was meeting Juan for the regular Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) at midday so I dropped down the Cacín Valley for a few hours birding beforehand, my first stop was for a walk along the Irrigation channel near the bridge that crosses the Rio Cacín near to the Embalse.
As I walked I heard or saw Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Melodious (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta) and Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes) and Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki).
Just along the road I stopped and scanned the Embalse, the water looked a tad minging but there were still quite a few birds including Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and singles of both Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus) and Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius).
Around the margins and in the air I also recorded a pair of Marsh Harriers (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and a hunting Northern Goshawk (Azor Común / Accipitor gentillis) which came through low the full length of the lake and caused mayhem on her way.
A this point I noticed I had a slow puncture so I made my way across country to the nearest petrol station I could think of at Ventas de Huelma and pumped it up and continued for a look at the El Temple area finding just an immature Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) before I checked the puncture and found that it was already going down again so I got over to a tire place in Padul to get a repair. 
I messaged Juan to tell him I would probably be a bit late but was amazed to be on the road again just a few minutes later, the guy found the problem, which was a sharp stone which he removed with out taking the wheel off the car. Got a drill looking type tool and did something with that and the a bradawl looking thing with some glued up rope threaded through it and plunged into the tie and pulled it back part way leaving the rope there, he cut of the access and pumped the tire back up and I was on my way in 10 minutes.
A Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus) watching us go passed.
I dropped down to the coast and arrived about 5 minutes before Juan, we then carried out the usual walk from one end of the beach to the other recording Nest, Young and activity of the Kentish Plovers and we were pleased with today's results which included 4 active nests, several immature birds of varying ages and a good number of adult birds.
Other species seen during the survey included Little Ringed Plover, Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Balearic (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus) and Cory's Shearwaters (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris borealis), 3x Shag (Cormorán Mondudo / Phalacrocorax aristotelis) which were new for the year, Yellow-legged (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Audouin's Gull (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and a Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).
Once we had finished the survey I foolowed Juan down the coast a bit to a spot where in the past there had been records of breeding White-rumped Swift (Vencejo Cafre / Apus caffer)  and we wanted to check it again but we found nothing, there were Red-rumped Swallows in the area so a return visit might be worth while.
Our final stop was far more successful, Juan had some info about a pair of White-rumped Swifts that had been seen at a spot in the Alpujarras a few days earlier so we drove there and parked and we were soon watching a pair of the stunning birds zipping around and it looked like they were checking for potential nest sites.
In the same area we also saw Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) and Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) before we both headed home very happy.

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