Tuesday, 19 April 2022

Sierra de Loja, Moraleda Fields and Balsa de Regidor, Granada Province, Spain.

A day birding with friends around the local patch.
Ebird List for Sierra de Loja, 49 species. 
Ebird List for Moraleda Fields, 33 Species.
Ebird List for Balsa de Regidor 23 Species.

Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
I met Barbara, Derek and Moez at the Abades service area off the A92 at Loja and after a bit of breakfast we headed off up the hill. We went fairly quickly over to the furthest point that we planned to go picking up Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Coal Tit  (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes) and Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) before we left the Pine woodlands.
Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae).
Along the crags Moez had a Eurasian Eagle Owl (Búho Real / Bubo bubo) fly into a cave on one of the cliffs and whilst we tried to relocate it we added Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) and out on the tops Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), a nice male Whinchat (Tarabilla Nortena / Saxicola rubetra), a female Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca), the first of 5 Spectacled Warblers (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata), Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Capra pyrenaica hispanica), and Wild Peony (Paeonia broteri), Iris Subbiflora and Blue Hedgehog Broom (Erinacea anthyllis).
Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca).
Out along the far crags we had a walk and after a while had distant but nice views of a displaying male Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis) along with Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and in the Hawthorn scrub we added a singing male Western Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlona / Sylvia hortensis), a male and female Ring Ouzel (Mirlo Capiblanco / Turdus torquatus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), an immature Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos) and on the way back down a couple of Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
Our last stop on the hill was along the track to the middle Quarry where we saw
Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes), Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea), Cloven Petalled Campion (Silene colorata), Common stork's bill (Erodium ciconium), Ramping Fumitory (Fumaria capreolata), Wild Tulip (Tulipa sylvestris), Viola dementria and Tassel Hyacinth (Leopoldia comosa).
Rock Buntings (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia).
We returned to the motorway and then drove towards Granada and then out onto the fields near to Moraleda, things started well when we found
Greater Short-toed Larks  (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), a female Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), 7x Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), 2x  Marsh Harriers (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) and Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) before we reached the Cortijo ruin.
Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) after a bath in a puddle.
Wild Tulip (Tulipa sylvestris).
We dropped down onto the lower fields hearing a calling
Common Quail (Codorniz Común / Coturnix coturnix) and Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) along with two Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius), Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), a female Northern Goshawk (Azor Común / Accipitor gentillis), our second Golden Eagle of the day, Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra).
Woodchat Shrikes (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator).

Our last stop was at Balsa de Regidor on the Northern side of the !92 where we parked and had a walk along the Northern shore picking up Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum), Stripe-necked Terrapins (Mauremys leprosa) and Perez's Frogs (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi) before heading back to my car and then home.

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