Thursday 25 May 2023

Cerro Hacho, Sierra de Loja and Balsa de Regidor, Granada Province, Spain.

Back out with friend Bob.
Ebird List for Sierra de Loja.

A bad shot of the Western Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlona / Sylvia hortensis).
We were up and out earlish and headed up to Cerro Hacho, on the way we saw Ocellated Lizard (Timon lepidus), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula).
3963 Zygaena sarpedon.
We parked at the Puddle Car Park and then walked out on the lower loop, as we walked we saw Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and a very smart male Western Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlona / Sylvia hortensis) which sang all around us and showed briefly a few times.
3963 Zygaena sarpedon.
Other species seen after we turned around and headed back to the car included Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), in some pines just passed the car Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and on the wires above us 2 Common Crossbills (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra).
Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica) male.
Also seen were
Andalucian Gorse (Ulex baeticus), Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas), Eruca (Eruca sativa), Mallow-leaved Convolvulus (Convolvulus althaeoides), Purple Phlomis (Phlomis purpurea), Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata), White Rockrose (Helianthemum apenninum) and 3963 Zygaena sarpedon.
Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis) male display flight.
We returned to the car and drove down to Loja for a coffee, on the way we added
Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), a male Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and as we sat having our coffee Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).
Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis) male display flight.
I went inside the bar to pay and whilst I was there I had a chat with 8 Guardia Civil guys that were having a coffee and asked them about access to Sierra de Loja, they all said it was still open so we headed off up and across to the far side where we eventually found our main target the beautiful Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis) which was distant but gave us good views whilst it did several song flights and sang from the highest poing of the crags.
Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis) singing from the highest perch.
Other species seen on the drive over to and during our time at the far end of the site included Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Rock and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Alpine (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) and Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Black-eared (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica) and Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Hoopoe, Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Spotless Starling, Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Little Owl, Western Orphean Warbler, Erodium cheilanthifolium, Blue Hedgehog Broom (Erinacea anthyllis), Navel-wort (Omphalodes commutata), Centaurea prolongoi, Chickweed (Cerastium boissieri), Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus) and Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Capra pyrenaica hispanica).
Erodium cheilanthifolium.
On the way down Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Short-toed Treecreeper and Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina) and Iberian Marbled White (Melanargia lachesis) were all seen.
Centaurea prolongoi.

On the track up to the middle quarry we added Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and in the same area we saw Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra) x1, Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba), Southern Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus baeticus), Small White (Pieris rapae), Black Horehound (Ballota nigra), Rusty-back Fern (Ceterach officinarum), Yellow Phlomis (Phlomis lychnitis) and  Carduus granatensis.
Carduus granatensis.
Southern Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus baeticus).
We dropped down off the hill and had some lunch in the same bar as we had seen the Guardia Guys earlier and then later we headed out along the A92 to Balsa de Regidor, here we checked the Pool for birds and dragonflies finding good numbers of Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) including two broods of 4 and 5 ducklings, Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Stripe-necked Terrapins (Mauremys leprosa), Perez's Frogs (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi), Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea) x4, Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope) x7, Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator) x1, Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) x25+ and Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum) x15+.
Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) with 5 Ducklings.
Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) with 4 Ducklings.
We returned to the house, later we went down to Restaurante Asador Panilla and had a good meal before heading back to Realenga but passed the house and parked on the roadside a few hundred meters passed the top of the hill where we were in the right place at the right time when a stunning Eurasian Eagle Owl (Búho Real / Bubo bubo) flew over the road.
Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) male.
Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) male.
We returned to the house and went up on the terrace where we heard 3 calling Red-necked Nightjars (Chotacabras Cuellirrojo / Caprimulgus ruficollis), Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Little Owls but the star bird was a Long-eared Owl (Búho Chico / Asio otus) which flew just a few meters away along the Barranco and was picked up in the terrace lights.


Anonymous said...

Hi Mick. Reloaded your blog site after a period. Great to read about the owls and the rock thrush. 👍😊

LojaWldlife said...

Thanks for the comment and for reading the blog, unfortunately it's not giving me your but thanks.

Andy Mountford said...

Pleasure. Andy M