Wednesday 12 October 2022

El Temple and the Cacín Valley, Granada Province, Spain.

Out on the local patch.
Sharon, John and Caitlin, DayNine.
Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe).
We had a steady start but then headed out to the El Temple area and to the fields near to Chimenears but we did not stay long as there were quite a few Macho Bunny Blasters out bravely slaughtering totally defenseless wildlife for fun. 
However during the quick drive down to the main road we did record Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), our first of several Black-winged Kites (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis).
Ocellated Lizard (Timon lepidus).
On the far side of the road that cuts through the site we checked the Oil Pits area and had good views of large numbers of Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), a female type Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) which was closely followed by a stunning male Hen Harrier (Aguilucho Pálido / Circus cyaneus), a good sized flock of Spanish Sparrows (Gorrión Moruno / Passer hispaniolensis), Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and as we drove off the site towards Ventas de Huelma we added Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), a couple of calling flyover Green Sandpipers (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) and a very smart Ocellated Lizard (Timon lepidus) which Caitlin spotted just before it disappeared down a Rabbit borrow.
A really bad shot of the Iberian Imperial Eagle (Aguila Imperial Ibérica / Aguila adalberti).
At another site we also had a passing Iberian Imperial Eagle (Aguila Imperial Ibérica / Aguila adalberti), along with 4x Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), a hunting Northern Goshawk (Azor Común / Accipitor gentillis), another Little Owl and plenty of calling Thekla Larks.
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
We dropped down into the Cacín Valley and then went North up the Valley to the Contra-embalse de Cacín where we scanned the lake added Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), 3x Ferruginous Ducks (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), another Marsh Harrier and a couple of Buzzards.
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
Further up the Valley we went out onto some fields near Moraleda where our target was the Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis) we had missed out on El Temple and not far into the site four birds flew up from close to the track but landed not to far away so we got out of the car and tried to get better views but when we got to the spot we couldn't find the birds. 
We did however add Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia) and a fast moving Merlin (Esmerejón / Falco columbarius).
Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus).
Our last stop of the day was at the crags below Moraleda where we found
Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) before heading back in to the house but not before picking up several Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) near Huétor. 

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