Wednesday 19 October 2022

Huétor Fields and Sierra de Loja, Granada Province, Spain.

Day on the fields and up on the hill with friends Barbara, Derek and Andy.
Ebird List for Curlew Fields.
Ebird List for Lucerne Fields to Huétor Tajar.
Ebird List for Sierra de Loja.
Ebird List for late visit to Huétor Fields.
Andy, Derek and Barbara counting Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus).
I met Barbara, Derek and Andy up at the Cortijo de Tajar and after a coffee we headed out on to the fields and just out of the town we made our first stop where we were delighted to find a flock of 20 Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) and even more exciting was looking at a flock of at the very least 340 Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) they are so difficult to spot we thnk that there were probably much closer to 400 birds there.
The Fields.
Other birds seen there were Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis).
Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus).
Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus).
We moved up to the top fields around the Lucerne Fields where we had a walk and added 3x
Green Sandpipers (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) which flew over calling, Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica), Common (Colirroja Real / Phoenicurus phoenicurus) and Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Whinchat (Tarabilla Nortena / Saxicola rubetra), Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe) and Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus).
Spotless Starlings (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor).
Spotless Starlings (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor).
Spotless Starlings (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor).
We headed off up the A92 to Sierra de Loja and we drove quickly over to the far side to the area of
Hawthorn Bushes (Crataegus monogyna) where we had good views of at least 19 but probably more Ring Ouzels (Mirlo Capiblanco / Turdus torquatus), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Thekla Larks (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and Black Wheatears (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura). 
Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus).
Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus).
Once we had something to eat we started to make our way back down slow and as we went we added
Northern Wheatears, Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) and Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus).
Ring Ouzel (Mirlo Capiblanco / Turdus torquatus) male.
Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe).
We took the track up to the middle quarry and scanned the crags and the gorse covered slopes where we found a couple of Dartford Warblers (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), a good number of passage Alpine Swifts (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) and inside the quarry we found a few Crocus Sternbergi.
Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa).
Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa).
We dropped back down to the Abades seeing a couple of
Red Squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) on the way, once there we said our goodbyes and I heading off after a good days birding and in good company.
Crocus Sternbergi.
As I still need a walk I did another visit to the Lucerne Fields, as I walked I added a few more species to the days list including
Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and by far the best species were 6x Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra).

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