Tuesday, 12 April 2022

Sierra Morena, Rio Jándula and La Caracola, Jaen Province, Spain.

A day that we won't forget for a very long time.

Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea).
We started by making a short visit to the hide in the garden at La Caracola, it was fairly quiet but we did see Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea).
Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris).
Champagne Orchid (Orchis champagneuxii).
We returned to the car and drove out to the main area where I have seen the
Iberian Lynx (lince iberico / Lynx pardina) several times in the past but as it was not the best time of the year we were not expecting to do very well, how wrong we were.
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
On the drive out to the spot we saw our only Orchid of the trip, around 30 spikes of Champagne Orchids (Orchis champagneuxii) as well as Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and a flyby Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).
My first view of todays Iberian Lynx (lince iberico / Lynx pardina).
We reached the parking spot and then spent some time watching the slopes above and below us adding Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Iberian Imperial Eagle (Aguila Imperial Ibérica / Aguila adalberti) and Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata) before we noticed a small group of people watching something in the scrub below the road.
Iberian Lynx (lince iberico / Lynx pardina) stalking the dog.

Steve dropped down to the track and went to see what they were looking at whilst I stayed at the spot scanning the bushes, after a while they wlked back away from my spot but another guy came in from the opposite direction walking a dog and just after passing me he beckoned me over to him and said he had seen a Lynx, a few seconds later the male jumped up on to a big rock right infront of us checking for something in a large crack.
European Black Vulture (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus).
Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) x2.
A couple of minutes later the others joined us and the female Lynx joined the male on the roack and showed incredably well for the next 20 or so minutes, at one point the male saw the small dog and stalked it coming in to just a few meters, absolutly amazing experiance.
Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) male.
Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) female.
Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki).
After a while the two animals moved off into the next cutting but still gave superb views until they headed off into the scrub and away so we decided to head off the site and down to the Rio Jándula where we parked and had a walk around near the Área recreativa del Encinarejo where we again heard but did not see the Lesser-spotted Woodpecker (Pico Menor / Dryobates minor) and also found Kingfishers (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and a calling Scops Owl (Autillo Europeo / Otus scops).
Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus).
Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus).
Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus).
Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus).
We headed further up the river seeing a couple of European Black Vultures (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and by the bridge House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Wryneck (Torcecuello / Jynx torquilla), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla).
Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus).

Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus).

Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major).

Other species seen included Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi), Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua), Common Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines), Rabbit (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus), Brown Bluebell (Dipcadi serotinum), Common Fumitory (Fumaria officinalis), Ramping Fumitory (Fumaria capreolata), Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas), French Lavender (Lavandula stoechas), Grey-leaved Cistus (Cistus albidus), Gum Cistus (Cistus ladanifer), Mallow-leaved Convolvulus (Convolvulus althaeoides) and Purple Bugloss (Echium plantagineum).
Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea).

Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea).

Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris).

Later we headed back to La Caracola where we again went into the hide and had
Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) and Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula).

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