Thursday 21 April 2022

Sierra de Loja and Ventas del Raya, Granada Province and Fuente de Piedra, Malaga Provnce.

Out and about with Steve.

Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica) with the full face patch.

After a totally none wildlife day yesterday in Granada City it was back to our more natural habitat for Steve and I and we started by heading up into the Sierra de Loja, heading over to the far side where we were hoping to get some shots of the newly arrived Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis) but after get a sighting near the start of the track to the Mirador Sierra Gorda we didn't see it again.
Another Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica)but with just the bandit mask.
On the way up to the start of the Mirador we did see Black-eared (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica), Black (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura) and Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa).
Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae).

Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa).
Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia).
We sat in the car for a while along the track to the mirador as the wind was quite strong and it was piggin cold at ust +3, we didn't see the Rock Thrush again but we did see several cold looking Thekla Larks (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) sat up on rocks between the snow as well as Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) and Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor).
Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) female.
Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius).
We dropped back down to the lower track and tried to get to the crags below the Mirador but before we got there the track started to get dodgy so we turned around, before doing this we added Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Spectacled Warbler (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) and Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris).
On our way back down the hill we picked up Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes) x1, Rabbit (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus), Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea), Wild Peony (Paeonia broteri), Iris Subbiflora and Blue Hedgehog Broom (Erinacea anthyllis).
Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) 2CY Male.
Our next stop was along the western side of the Sierra where we checked some fodder crop fields for Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) and we were pleased to find several birds even though most of the area was covered in grazing sheep. 
Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) 2CY Male.
Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) 2CY Male.
In the sam area we also saw
Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) and Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax).
Whiskered Tern (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chilidonias hybridus).
Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus).
We spent quite a time trying to get some photo's of the Harriers before moving on West to Fuente de Piedra, we started of by parking next to the road on the way in and checking the Kestrel tower where there was a very nice Barn Owl (Lechuza Común / Tyto alba) roosting.
Slender-billed Gull (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei).
Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus).
On the roadside entrance pool we had good views of several new species for the day including Whiskered (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chilidonias hybridus) and Gull-billed Terns (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica), Slender-billed (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei) and Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Common (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) and Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Greenshank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Little Stint (Correlimos Menudo / Calidris minuta), Ruff (Combatiente / Philomachus pugnax), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Marbled Duck (Marmaronetta angustirostris), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) and White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia) away on the Chimney in the town.
Marbled Duck (Marmaronetta angustirostris).
Lesser Flamingo's (Flamenco Enano / Phoenicopterus minor) x4.
We parked and had a walk along the boardwalk but only added Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) and Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) before wlking along the lower track to the Mirador below the big Oak where we scanned the main Lagoon finding four Lesser Flamingo's (Flamenco Enano / Phoenicopterus minor), Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus), Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Grande / Charadrius hiaticula) and Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna).
Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).

Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).

From the mirador we walked around to the three hides by the freshwater pools seeing Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope) x1, Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) x2, Bath White (Pontia daplidice) x3, Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa), Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Red-crested (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina) and Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Little (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and Black-necked Grebe (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), a very smart male Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica) and Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) before we returned to the car and headed back to the house.

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