Wednesday, 9 March 2022

El Temple and Cacín Valley, Granada Province, Spain.

Out on the far side of the patch with Steve and Elena.

Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis) x3.
I met friends Steve and Elena at the Cortijo de Tajar hotel where we had a coffee before heading along the A92 to Moraleda and then out on to the fields which are now just a small part of the area due to the massive over planting of Olives and Almonds that has happened over the last few years. 
Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis).

Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis).

Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis).

This is a bad enough distruction of habitat but more resently in nearby areas huge parts of the countryside have be destroyed by being covered in massive solar farms so that the electricity companies can make more profits selling the electricity over seas.
Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae).
We took to the tracks near Moraleda where we made a couple of stops finding Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), a female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), an Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) along with Fan-lipped Orchid (Anacamptis collina), Common stork's bill (Erodium ciconium) and Wild Clary (Salvia verbenaca).
Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) in the Almond Blossom.
Out on the more open fields we could hear Corn Buntings (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) calling in every direction and around the ruin we had the first of a couple of Little Owls (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), at least 3 Great Spotted Cuckoo's (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius), Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and 4 very smart Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis) which flew in and landed in an area of newly planted Almond trees.
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
We drove off the fields and then took the road out towards Chimenears getting another Little Owl on the way as well as Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).
Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).
Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).
Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).
From Chimenears we took the road along to La Malaha making a couple of stops and added severl Great Spotted Cuckoos (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius) at different points, a very distant Iberian Imperial Eagle (Aguila Imperial Ibérica / Aguila adalberti) sat on one of the large Pylon's being mobbed by a Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua)Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) which were heard in the Olives, Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Spanish Sparrow (Gorrión Moruno / Passer hispaniolensis), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) big numbers of White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and a passing female / ringtail Hen Harrier (Aguilucho Pálido / Circus cyaneus). 
Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).
Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).
Great Spotted Cuckoo's (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).
At La Malaha we headed to Ventas de Huelma where we stopped for a drink and Tapas before continuing on to the Cacín Valley on the way we saw Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia) and Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo).
Spanish Sparrow (Gorrión Moruno / Passer hispaniolensis).
We drove through Cacín and then went north up to the Contra-embalse where we parked and scanned the lake, the water level was low so we had several
Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), a couple of Little Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) and lots more White Wagtails and a couple of Grey (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), another 3 Marsh Harriers and a Common Buzzard.
Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
We drove further up the Valley and checked the Cliffs below Moraleda but only nanaged to add Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) to the day List.
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
Our final site of the day was back on the Huétor Fields where we walked part of the way along the furthest length of the Arroyo nearest to the Railway bridge, as we walked we saw Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica), Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and the male Penduline Tit (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus) which has been around for a few days.
Penduline Tit (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus) male.
Penduline Tit (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus) male.
Steve and Elena then dropped me back to the hotel and we all made our ways back home but as I needed a bit of a walk still I had a look at the Lucerne fields but only managed to add Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae) and calling Perez's Frogs (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi) before I finished.

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