Monday 2 May 2022

Sierra de Loja, Moraleda Fields, El Temple and a disused Cortijo, Granada Province, Spain.

A day up the Sierra and out on the fields with Andy.

Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis), Male on the left.
We headed out early and went straight up the Sierra after breakfast, on the way out to the far side where we were hoping to see the uncommon and secretive Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis) which I had been lucky with recently we saw Black-eared (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica) and Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) and Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia).
Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis), the Female.
We parked at the spot where I usually see the Thrushes and started to scan and after a short while we found the female on the rocks ahead of us and she was joined moments later by the male who tried to chase her but she stood her ground and after a few second he flew off up on to the crags but she sat there and allow us to get good views.
Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis), the Female.
We backed away again and she continued to collect nest material and just ignored us, in the same area we also picked up Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), good numbers of Rock Sparrows (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) and a calling Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis), the Female.
We turned around and dropped back down the hill, on the way we added Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes) x2, Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) x4, Viola dementria, Iris Subbiflora, Red Phlomis (Phlomis purpurea), Rabbit (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).
Andy looking pleased after seeing the Thrushes.
We continued down through the Pines seeing and hearing Coal Tit  (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus).
Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) Male.
Again we dropped down but took the narrow track up to the Middle Quarry, we parked and had nice views of a singing male Spectacled Warbler (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata) which remained distant but showed well, we also saw Crag (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua) x2, Small White (Pieris rapae) x1, Andalucian Gorse (Ulex baeticus), Serrate Spurge (Euphorbia serrata), Wild Clary (Salvia verbenaca), Bladder Campion (Silene vulgaris), Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata), Brown Bluebell (Dipcadi serotinum), Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum baeticum), Tassel Hyacinth (Leopoldia comosa), Ramping Fumitory (Fumaria capreolata),  Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas), Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Linaria tristris, Navelwort (Umbilicus rupestris), Starry Clover (Trifolium stellatum) and Wild Tulip (Tulipa sylvestris).
Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica), Female.
We dropped back down to the Motorway so that we could make our way to the fields near to Maraleda, on the way we saw White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia) and Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and out on the fields we added Greater Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), lots of both Pallid (Vencejo Pálido / Apus pallidus) and Common Swifts (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Common Quail (Codorniz Común / Coturnix coturnix), Small (Pieris rapae) x3, Large (Pieris brassicae) x1 and Green-Striped Whites (Euchloe belemia) x10+.
Spectacled Warbler (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata) singing Male.
We drove across country to the El Temple area where we finished the day off with views of Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Golden Eagles (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos) x2, a pale morph Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus) and a very nice roosting Long-eared Owl (Búho Chico / Asio otus).
On our way into Granada where I was dropping Andy off we called in at semi-ruined Cortijo where we saw several Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) and fly by Turtle Doves (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another great day Mick. Thanks so much. And pleased you got Spanish fritillary at last!