Tuesday 6 June 2023

Huétor Fields, El Temple, Cacín Valley, Moraleda Fields and Balsa de Regidor, Granada Province, Spain.

A days birding around the furthest parts of the Patch.
Ebird List for Contraembalse.

Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax).
I started off by dropping down onto the fields where I saw the usual species I am lucky enough to have so near to my house, 5x Black-winged Kites (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus), the calling male Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Greater Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla).
Thistle species I still need to name.
My next stop was for breakfast at the Cortijo where I met Richard and after a coffee we headed back to the fields pickup all the species above plus Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and a female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus).
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).

After a while we moved on and went East up the Motorway and then out onto the fields of El Temple, as we drove the tracks around the site we had views of several Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Lesser (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), a calling Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius) which we did not find,  at least 2 Short-toed Eagles (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), another Marsh Harrier and Black-winged Kite, Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), a Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus) on the Oil pits and our last bird as we drove off the site was a very nice Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus).
Western Osprey (Águila Pescardora / Pandion haliaetus).
We also saw lots of both Bath (Pontia daplidice) and Small Whites (Pieris rapae), Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua), Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli), Rabbits bread (Andryala integrifolia) and Rabbits (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus).
Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
We crossed from El Temple to the Cacín Valley, on the way we picked up at least 3 more Booted and 2x Short-toed Eagles, Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) as well as Large White (Pieris brassicae) and Long-tailed Blue (Lampides baeticus).
Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).
We dropped down into Cacín and made a stop at the River which was running muddy after the rains and had a short walk finding
Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Holly (Celastrina argiolus) and Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous).
Blue-eye (Erythromma lindenii).
Our next stop was North along the Valley at the Contraembalse where the muddy inflow was very obvious and covered over half the waters surface, species seen here included a very nice Western Osprey (Águila Pescardora / Pandion haliaetus), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), 2 more Black-winged Stilts, Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Cetti's (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Reed (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and Great Reed Warbler (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus).
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum).
Further up stream we stopped by the bridge and walked towards the dam, along the channel we saw and heard Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and in the the channel near the fence Blue-eye (Erythromma lindenii), Common Blue (Enallagma cyathinerum), Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra) and Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba).
Large White (Pieris brassicae).
In the pines further up stream we saw several Iberian  Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), calling Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra) before going up on to the fields near Moraleda on our way through to the motorway but the only species we added was a Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and in the irrigation channel a single male Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea).
Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum).
Our last stop of the day was at the man made pool Balsa de Regidor, on the water we saw four broods of Common Pochards, two with 5 ducklings and 2 females with 4 young.
Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina).
Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina).
Dragonflies seen included
Lesser (Anax parthenope) and Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum), Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi),  Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Scarlet Darter and more Common Blue Damselflies as well as lots of Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi) and Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa).
Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi).
We returned to the hotel and Richard headed off back to the coast seeing several more good species on the way. 
Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi).

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