Thursday 17 February 2022

El Temple, Granada Province, Spain.

Early afternoon on the field and then the evening watch a Harrier Roost with Beatriz, Juan and Chika.
Ebird List for the time at the roost.

Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), one of twenty seen during the day.
I set off early to El Temple where I was going to meet Juan later to check an area which looked good as a raptor roost, I was there several hours early so I spent some time driving and walking the tracks.
Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina).
I entered the site on a track from Chimeneas and parked on the side of the main track and had a walk out across an area of fields on another track where I had good numbers of Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), calling but unseen Great Spotted Cuckoo's (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius) and the first of 16x Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).
Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina).
On the weedy fields there were large numbers of Butterflies, most were
Bath Whites (Pontia daplidice) but there were also some Clouded Yellows (Colias corceua), Small Whites (Pieris rapae) and a few Common / Southern Blues (Polyommatus icarus / celina).
Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).
I dropped down into the valley and took to the tracks on the other side towards Ventas de Huelma where I saw the first of several Great Spotted Cuckoo's after only hearing them earlier, a tractor had run over a good number of Pine Processionary Moth Caterpillar's (Thaumetopoea pityocampa) and two birds were down on the ground feeding on them giving me some good views.
Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).
In this area I also saw Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Large White (Pieris brassicae) and Rabbits (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus).
Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).
I went for a drive into Ventas and had a late lunch before going back into El Temple and out to the Oil Pits where I had a
Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus), Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis) and Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus).
Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).
I moved to the meeting point but I was still early so I scanned the fields there seeing another couple of Little Bustards which were flushed by a female Hen Harrier (Aguilucho Pálido / Circus cyaneus), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and a female Merlin (Esmerejón / Falco columbarius).
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
Juan, Beatriz and Chika arrived and we went to the point where we were gong to watch for roosting birds, unfortunately we were looking into the sun for a lot of the time but still managed to see 6 Hen Harriers (3 males and 3 females), 5x Marsh Harriers, 3x Black-winged Kites, a calling Long-eared (Búho Chico / Asio otus) and several Little Owls and just before it was too dark to see anything the female Merlin flew across. For a full list follow the Link in the title. 
Merlin (Esmerejón / Falco columbarius) Female.

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