Friday 24 February 2023

El Temple, Cacín Valley and Moraleda Fields, Granada Province, Spain.

Out on the fields and along the Cacín Valley with Steve.
Ebird List for El Temple.
Ebird List for the Contra Embalse.
Ebird List for the Moraleda Fields.

Early morning lenticular clouds over the snows of the Sierra Nevada.
We drove towards Granada and then went out onto the fields looking for steppe type species, as we took to the tracks we started the list with Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis).
Great Spotted Cuckoo's (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).

Further along the track we saw the first of three Black-winged Kites (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus) but it was only hoovering in the distance, Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), calling but not seen Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) and as we dropped back down to the tarmac we saw a distant male Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius).
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
We soon turned off the road again and back on to a track but after a couple of hundred metres we stopped and scanned the fields and like muppets we both left our camera's in the car, so when a very smart Black-winged Kite flew in and landed near to us in an Almond tree we both missed the main chance but Steve did get a few flight shots.
Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).
In the same area we had two
Great Spotted Cuckoos (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius) fly over chasing each other, a little further along another one of the tracks we had several more Cuckoo's as well as the first 4 of 8 Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis), a couple more Little Owls, Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis), at least 10x Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) and Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos).
Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).
On the far side of the area we finished the list for the spot off with Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and  Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala).
Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
We went for a sandwich in Ventas de Huelma and then headed out for the Cacín Valley, in the gorge we picked up Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) but we did not see much more so we moved back up the Valley to the Contra-Embalse where we picked up Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), 30 odd Crag (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and 60+ House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), 2x Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) and a fast moving female Merlin (Esmerejón / Falco columbarius).
Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Whilst we were birding there a car turned up and it was good to see two friends, Jane and Bob had stopped for a chat, after a while they were on their way and we went up onto the fields near Moraleda where we drove through the site back over to the A92 adding a very smart male Hen Harrier (Aguilucho Pálido / Circus cyaneus) and another 2 Merlins, a male and female but both birds were away before we could get the camera on either of them. 
Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Other species were Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis).
Hen Harrier (Aguilucho Pálido / Circus cyaneus) male.

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