Friday 5 April 2024

Sierra de Loja, Granada Province, Spain.

A few hours up my favorite hill with Anne and Peter.
Ebird List for Sierra de Loja.

A full Charca del Negro.
I met Anne and Peter and we headed straight across to the far side of the site, on the way we had views of Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), a calling but not seen Coal Tit  (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Viola dementriaPurple Bugloss (Echium plantagineum), Mallow-leaved Convolvulus (Convolvulus althaeoides), Cloven Petalled Campion (Silene colorata), Spring Cress (Arabis verna), Rusty-back Fern (Ceterach officinarum), Common Fumitory (Fumaria officinalis) and Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea).
Western Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica) Male.
On our way out over the tops we saw the first Western Black-eared Wheatears (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica) including some stunning males as well as Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Iris Subbiflora, Rabbit (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus) and more unexpectedly a fine looking male Ring Ouzel (Mirlo Capiblanco / Turdus torquatus) in amongst the Hawthorn trees beyond Carca del Negro.
Western Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica) Male.
We dropped down to the next junction but instead of turning around as I normally would we went out further seeing Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus), a calling Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and at least 50 or more Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) which moved through heading west.
Looking out west.

Down on the more open areas we checked some fields seeing
Andaluz (Erodium primulaceum) and Common Stork's-bill (Erodium cicutarium), Wild Grape Hyacinth (Muscari neglectum), Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea), Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Bath White (Pontia daplidice) and as we started to make our way back we saw an Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) sat in a small but distant bush, Wild Peony (Paeonia broteri), Blue Hedgehog Broom (Erinacea anthyllis), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) and Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta). 
Viola dementria.
Dropping back down along the crags I was pleased when we picked up a group of  Iberian  Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), a male Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) which unfortunately only I managed to get on, a large flock of migrating House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), a couple of Common Swifts (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), some European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) which passed overhead unseen calling, Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas), Buckler Mustard (Biscutella frutescens) and in the pines a calling Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla).
Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator).
We turned off the main track and went up to the middle quarry where we saw a very nice male Western Subalpine (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans) and Sardinian Warblers (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua), Wild Tulip (Tulipa sylvestris), Linaria tristris, Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum baeticum), Cymbalaria-leaved Speedwell (Veronica cymbalaria) before we dropped down to the car and head off after a nice days birding in good company, Thanks.

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