Monday 24 April 2023

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

Out birding with Graham from the UK.
Ebird List for the Sierra, 43 species.

At the far end of the Sierra de Loja where we picked up a good number of Raptor's.
I met up with Graham near Granada and we shot along the A92 and then up the Sierra, we headed straight over to the far side of the site and around the crags, main species on the way up were Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Black (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura) and Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei) and Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops). 
Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris).
Once up around the crags we had views of two males Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis), several Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and a nice showy Western Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlona / Sylvia hortensis).
As we were watching this bird a vehicle from the Medio Ambiente passed and then reversed back, as the guy stopped his first words were "Mick Richardson" which came as a surprise but I quickly realized that it was a guy called Jesús Bautista Rodríguez who monitors the Raptor population in the area and he very kindly gave us some good information on stuff that he had seen that morning so we returned to the car only to find we had a flat tyre.
Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina).
Once the replacement was on the car we headed to the spot Jesús had told us about, unfortunately we didn't see the Cinereous / European Black Vulture (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus) or the Iberian Imperial Eagle (Aguila Imperial Ibérica / Aguila adalberti) however we did find a dozen or so Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), 2x Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), an adult Egyptian Vulture (Alimoche Común / Neophron percnopterus), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), a passing flock of European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) and a single singing Spectacled Warbler (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata).
Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina).
Up on the tops we also saw Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Capra pyrenaica hispanica), Small White (Pieris rapae), Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe), Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua), Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Red-underwing Skipper (Spialia sertorius), Iberian Marbled White (Melanargia lachesis) and at Charca del Negro several Sharp-ribbed Salamander (Pleurodeles waltl).
On the way down we added Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta) but not a great deal more so we stopped for some lunch on our way out to Huétor Fields, as we sat there we had both
Sharp-ribbed Salamander (Pleurodeles waltl).
Pallid (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus).
Once we had finished we headed out onto the fields and we were soon watching the male Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) and a Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus), by now it was getting hot so I dropped Graham off at the Cortijo de Tajar where he was staying the night and went to get the tyre repaired. 

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