Wednesday 22 March 2023

Embalse de Cubillas, Granada Province, Spain.

A bit of Orchid hunting and then some more birding with Juan Pérez Contreras.
Ebird List.

Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera).
I set off up towards Granada again but today I headed slight North of the City to the Embalse del Cubillas, to start with I went into the Pine Woodlands along the North West side.
Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera).
I parked and spent a couple of hours searching for Orchids, I found four species, Somber Bee (Ophrys fusca / foresteri) x125+, Sawfly (Ophrys tenthredinifera) x40+, Giant (Himanthoglosum Robertiana) x50+ and Fan-lipped Orchid (Anacamptis collina) x1.
Giant Orchid (Himanthoglosum Robertiana).
Giant Orchid (Himanthoglosum Robertiana).
As I walked I saw and heard 2x Bonelli's Warblers (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli) my first of the year, Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) and Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), a very noisy Northern Goshawk (Azor Común / Accipitor gentillis), Iberian  (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) and Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula).
Fan-lipped Orchid (Anacamptis collina).
I headed back to the car and made my way around to the spot where I was going to meet Juan, I was a bit early but I still got the stool and the scope out and started scanning the lake, margins and the skies and after about half an hour uan Joined me and we started to build our way to 58 species, at this first spot we had 4x Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) not a species I see inland very often, Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) x6, Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) x2, Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) x1, Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) x1, Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major) x1, Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) x5, Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica) x3, Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla) and a single flyby Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea).
Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus) and a Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra).

After while we move down to the point where the river comes in and again set up the stools and Scopes again and boosted the list with several new species for the day including a nice group of 12
Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus) x9, Eurasian Teal (Cerceta Común / Anas crecca) x4, Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) x8, Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca) x1, Common Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago) x1 and Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus) x3 all out on the water.
Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina).

Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) and several Red-eared Terrapin (Trachemys scripta elegans).

Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) and a Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca).

Around the margins and in the air we picked up a distant Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), a pale morph Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) x3, Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus) x1, Alpine Swift (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) x3, Coal Tit  (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula). 
Red-eared Terrapins (Trachemys scripta elegans).

Other species seen included 2x Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua), 8x Vagrant Emperors (Anax ephippiger) and lots of the problem invasive Red-eared Terrapins (Trachemys scripta elegans).
At around 13:30 we packed up and headed off home, on the way I made a quick stop off on the fields and saw the pair of Black-winged Kites (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus) and the calling male Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).

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