Sunday, 1 January 2023

BELATED HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL.

2022 well what a year.

PART ONE.
 
Great Northern Diver (Colimbo Grande / Gavia immer).
I started the year up in the North in Cantabria and Asturias where I started the year list off with some interesting winter visitors along the Coast including a few interesting species like Goldeneye (Porrón Osculado /Bucephala clangula), Red-necked Grebe (Somormujo Cuellirrojo / Podiceps grisegena), Great Northern Diver (Colimbo Grande / Gavia immer), Pied Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla yarrellii), Alpine Accentor (Acentor Alpino / Prunella collaris), Snowfinch (Gorrión Alpino / Montifringilla nivalis) and Purple Sandpiper (Correlimos Oscuro / Calidris maritima).
Alpine Accentor (Acentor Alpino / Prunella collaris).
On the morning of the 5th was one of the biggest downs of the year when I got a phone call to say a very good friend had passed, this call changed my plans and I headed off to help.
Fieldfare (Zorzal Real / Turdus pilaris).
While I stayed with a good friend to help him out with things I still got out for a few walks seeing
Citril Finch (Verderón Serrano / Serinus citrinella), Fieldfare (Zorzal Real / Turdus pilaris) and Wallcreeper (Treparriscos / Tichodroma muraria).
Great Bustards (Avutarda Común / Otis tarda).
Once things were partly sorted with my friend I headed off out to Galicia where I had expected to be a few days earlier but due to the kindness of the owner I was able push my trip back a few days, on my way I stopped off at Fuente de Nava where I had a bit of a Goose fest including two Canada Geese (Barnacla Canadiense /Branta canadensis) which were Spanish Lifers, as well as 17 Greater White-fronted (Ánsar Careto / Anser albifrons) and a good flock of Great Bustards (Avutarda Común / Otis tarda).
Rosy Starling (Estornino Rosado / Sturnus roseus).
Bonaparte's Gull (Gaviota de Bonaparte / Larus philadelphia).
Pink-footed Geese (Ánsar Piquicorto / Anser brachyrhynchus).
Whilst in the Galicia area top species were Rosy Starling (Estornino Rosado / Sturnus roseus),  Lesser Scaup (Porrón Bola / Aythya affinis), Ring-necked Duck (Porrón acollarado / Aythya collaris), Pink-footed Geese (Ánsar Piquicorto / Anser brachyrhynchus), Bonaparte's (Gaviota de Bonaparte / Larus philadelphia), American Herring (Gaviota Argentea Americana / Larus Smithsonianus) and Caspian Gulls (Gaviota del Caspio / Larus cachinnans), White-tailed Eagle (Pigargo Europeo /Haliaeetus albicilla) and on my way back to Santo Domingo de Silos I called back into Fuente de Nava where Geese were again the highlight and included a good number of Barnical Geese (Barnacla Cariblanca / Branta leucopsis), another single Pink-foot and a blue morph Snow Goose (Ánsar nival / Anser coerlescens.
American Herring Gull (Gaviota Argentea Americana / Larus Smithsonianus).
Pin-tailed Sandgrouse (Ganga Ibérica / Pterocles alchata).
I spent a day in Silos but then had to head south home, on my way south I called at an area of fields near Alcázar de San Juan where I was pleased to see several Eurasian Dotterel (Chorlito Carambolo / Eudromias morinellus) and over a hundred Pin-tailed Sandgrouse (Ganga Ibérica / Pterocles alchata) and at Laguna Navaseca another male Ring-necked Duck (Porrón acollarado / Aythya collaris).
House Bunting (Escribano sahariano / Emberiza sahari).
Blue-winged Teal (Cerceta Aliazul / Anas discors).
On the 21st Jan I picked up a long wanted lifer for my Spanish list when a male House Bunting (Escribano sahariano / Emberiza sahari) was found in Fuengirola and this was followed next day by another lifer a Blue-winged Teal (Cerceta Aliazul / Anas discors).
Ring-billed Gull (Gaviota de Delaware / Larus delawarensis).
February was fairly quiet, but March started with
Laughing Doves (Streptopelia senegalensis) on my way out to Cadiz Province where picked up Common (Gaviota Cana / Larus canus) and Ring-billed Gulls (Gaviota de Delaware / Larus delawarensis) and Spotted Crake (Polluela Pintoja / Porzana porzana).
Atlas Orchid (Ophrys atlantica).
Ophrys x castroviejoi.
Ophrys x Peltieri.
Anacamptis x dafnii.
On the 10th I met good friends Kiersten Roland and Bob Hibbertin in the Sierra de Mijas where we were hunting for Orchids, we saw loads but the highlights were Atlas (Ophrys atlantica) and a string of hybrids including Anacamptis x dafnii Ophrys x Peltieri and Ophrys x castroviejoi.
Spotted Redshank (Archibebe Oscuro / Tringa erythropus).
Little Crake (Polluela bastarda / Porzana parva).
The rest of the month was quiet except for a trip to the North to see how good friend Santi was getting on and then came the devastating news that a second good friend, Anita had passed whilst I was away. 
Iberian Lynx (lince iberico / Lynx pardina).

Iberian Lynx (lince iberico / Lynx pardina).

Iberian Lynx (lince iberico / Lynx pardina).

Towards the end of the Month I picked up Eurasian Oystercatcher (Ostrero Euroasiatico / Haematopus ostralegus) and Spotted Redshank (Archibebe Oscuro / Tringa erythropus) for my Granada list as well as a very smart Baillon's Crake (Polluela Chica / Porzana pusilla), all at Charca Suarez and a Lesser Flamingo (Flamenco Enano / Phoenicopterus minor) at Fuente de Piedra.
Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis).
Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis).
Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis).
The two biggest highlights of April were both Mammals, the first will probably have to go down as my  equal first wildlife event of the year, a once in a lifetime encounter with a pair of the beautiful and rare Iberian Lynx (lince iberico / Lynx pardina) which showed right in front of a small very privileged group in Sierra Morena, Jaen Province. Later in the month I had good views of my first Otter (Nutria / Lutra lutra) in Granada Province at Alhama de Granada. We also had an exceptionally confiding pair of Rufous-tailed Rock Thrushes (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis) up on my favorite bit of mountain, Sierra de Loja.
Spanish Fritillary (Euphydryas desfontainii).

Spanish Fritillary (Euphydryas desfontainii).

May was hectic, most of the month was spent locally but with a trip up to Santo Domingo de Silos in the mix. Locally I had nice visits to Mirador del Alto de Hondonero in Malaga Province for Butterflies adding Spanish Fritillary (Euphydryas desfontainii) with Karen and Robert from the UK and later in the month I showed the same species to friends Pam and John who came over for a few days.
Chequered Blue (Scolitantides orion).
Chequered Blue (Scolitantides orion).
Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Boloria selene).
Up in the North at Santi's I added a couple more butterflies, Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Boloria selene) and one that had gone under the radar for me the Chequered Blue (Scolitantides orion).
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).

European Black Vulture (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus).

European Black Vulture (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus).

Whilst I was at Santi's he kindly organized a second visit to Lolo's Vulture hide were we had a few hours photographing the
Griffon (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) and European Black Vulture (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus) at very close range. 
Hobby (Alcotán Europeo / Falco subbuteo).

Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca) Iberian Race.

Immature Iberian Imperial Eagle (Aguila Imperial Ibérica / Aguila adalberti).

Immature Iberian Imperial Eagle (Aguila Imperial Ibérica / Aguila adalberti).

June was mainly spent packing for my trip to Australia but I did get a couple of days out with friend Ricky Owen, we saw a few very nice secies including
Hobby (Alcotán Europeo / Falco subbuteo), an Iberian race Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca), Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius), Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis), Citril Finch (Verderón Serrano / Serinus citrinella) on day one and these were followed by Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus) and an immature Iberian Imperial Eagle (Aguila Imperial Ibérica / Aguila adalberti) on the second day.

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