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Tuesday 21 May 2024

Sierra de Loja, Granada Province, Spain.

A day with Barbara and Derek Etherton and Andy.
Ebird List for Sierra de Loja.

Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra) Male.
We started the day with a quick visit to the fields where we started the day with Black-winged Kites (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus) x3, Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) male, Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra) and European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster).
Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra) immature.
Andy and I met Barbara and Derek for breakfast in a bar in Riofrio before heading up my favourate mountain,  Derek did a nice slow drive up along the crags, out across the tops and out to the area where we were hoping to find the main target the Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis).
Looking off the first bend down to Loja.
Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki).
Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae).
In the lower quarry, on the way up along the crags we saw Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba),  Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs).
Western Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica).
Western Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica).
Western Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica).
Western Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica).
Across the tops there were good numbers of Thekla Larks (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Western Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) and a male Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) which Derek and Andy saw.
Looking West from the Crags.
Out along the far crags.
We spent quite a while along the far crags and down in the Hawthorns and had a good number of Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) pass over along with 100+ more Red-billed Choughs some of which spent a while sat on a nearby cliff, Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) and several Black Wheatears (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura).
Western Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlona / Sylvia hortensis) male.

Western Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlona / Sylvia hortensis) male.
Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia).
Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia).
In the same area we did get views of a distant male Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis) but it remained way up on the crags, as we drove on we also added Western Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlona / Sylvia hortensis), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Rock Sparrows (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula).
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax).
Lots of Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax).
We started to drop back down and then took the track up towards the Mirador Sierra Gorda, we parked and then walked out to the Mirador where we had fantastic views way off into the West.
The view from just before the Mirador.
The track out to the Mirador.
Derek and Andy up at the Mirador.
As we drove back down we added Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Alpine Swift (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) and down on the track to the middle quarry we found a very well behaved Bonelli's Warbler, Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Bath White (Pontia daplidice), Blue Spotted Hairstreak (Satyrium spini), Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua), Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli), Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina), Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba), Southern Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus baeticus), Small White (Pieris rapae), Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus), Common Stork's-bill (Erodium cicutarium), Sedum mucizonia, Yellow Phlomis (Phlomis lychnitis), Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas), Ground-pine Germander (Teucrium pseudochamaepitys), Herb-Robert (Geranium robertianum), Purple Phlomis (Phlomis purpurea), Viola dementria and Wild Gladiolus (Gladiolus italicus).
Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli).
Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli).
Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius).
We dropped further down and returned to my car, Derek and Barbara headed back off home and I dropped Andy up into Granada before heading home.
Blue Spotted Hairstreak (Satyrium spini).

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