Wednesday 7 December 2022

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

Out birding with Friends, a morning on the Fields and later up my favorite hill.
Ebird List for Fields.
Ebird List for the Sierra.

Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus).
I met Barbara, Derek Etherton and Andy Patterson at the Cortijo de Tajar where we had coffee and breakfast before heading out on to my local patch.
Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).
We started just North of the town where we checked some fields and soon found a good number of Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) x69, Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) x25, Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) x3, Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
Second Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus) of the day.
We moved up to the Lucerne fields where we added the first Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus) of the day, Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) and on our way around to the next spot we saw a nice female Brambling (Pinzón Real / Fringilla montifringilla), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and my first Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta) of the winter on the patch.
Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis).
Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae).
Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis).
Near the model aircraft field we parked again and found
Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), the second Black-winged Kite, Iberian  Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Dartford (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala).
Hacho and off to the North.

Archidona direction.

Looking out to the West.

Along the Irrigation Channels out on the Mesia side of the town we had views of
Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica), Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis).
Walking below the Crags.
Looking along the Crags.
We returned to the Hotel had a second coffee, which I accidentally ended up wearing all down my top and trousers, a short while later we headed for the service area along the A92 and then took the track up the mountain, on the way we saw the first flowers on the
Broad-leaved Iris (Iris planifolia), Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) and by the low quarry several Red-legged Partridges (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa).
1st Winter female Ring Ouzel (Mirlo Capiblanco / Turdus torquatus).
Male Ring Ouzel (Mirlo Capiblanco / Turdus torquatus).
Male Ring Ouzel (Mirlo Capiblanco / Turdus torquatus).
Male Ring Ouzel (Mirlo Capiblanco / Turdus torquatus).
As we climbed further up the hill we caught up with a cracking Northern Goshawk (Azor Común / Accipitor gentillis), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Little Owl, Hoopoe, Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) x30, Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) and Black Wheatears (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura).
Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Capra pyrenaica hispanica) Male.
Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Capra pyrenaica hispanica) Male.
As we reached the furthest point amongst the
Hawthorns (Crataegus monogyna) we picked up the first of 40+ Ring Ouzels (Mirlo Capiblanco / Turdus torquatus) and a calling Fieldfare (Zorzal Real / Turdus pilaris) which was soon followed by another three birds mixed in with a group of Ouzels, a little further on we had around 20 or so Alpine Accentors (Acentor Alpino / Prunella collaris) fly off the ridge and away, most unexpected and a new species for my Sierra list a small group of Yellowhammers (Escribano Cerillo / Emberiza citronella) which comprised of what looked like 2x adults and 3x 1st winters, an adult Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos) which flew along the crags and a group of Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Capra pyrenaica hispanica) which included a couple of cracking Males.
Yellowhammer (Escribano Cerillo / Emberiza citronella) adult.
Yellowhammer (Escribano Cerillo / Emberiza citronella) adult.
Yellowhammers (Escribano Cerillo / Emberiza citronella) 2 of the 3 1st Winter birds.
We parked and tried to get better views of the Yellowhammers which we did and as we started to make our way down the hill we found another Water Pipit which was feeding in the same fields as the Buntings and Yellowhammers.
Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Capra pyrenaica hispanica) Male.
Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Capra pyrenaica hispanica) Male.
We reached my car at the Service station at 17:00 after a brilliant days birding with some great species and very good company, thanks all.

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