Wednesday 5 June 2024

El Temple and Cacín Valley, Granada Province, Spain.

Out early with Paula and Kevin.

One of at least 7 Booted Eagles (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) seen during the day.
We headed out early as it was going to be a hot afternoon, we were on site and watching several Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) at a semi-derelict Cortijo on the far side of the El Temple area by 06.50
It was just about light enough for birding when we first arrived and we had several of these cracking little falcons in the area along with plenty of Jackdaws (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei) but heard only, Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and some pretty convincing Rock Dove (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia) but also some Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia) unfortunately.
6843 Macroglossum stellatarum (Hummingbird Hawkmoth) easier to get shots of like this.
We continued on out to the fields of El Temple and made several stops along the road and on some of the track crossing the area, we started by seeing 2 Short-toed Eagles (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) sat up on the large Pylons waiting for things to warm up, in the same area we saw Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Greater Short-toed (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) and Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), at least 5x Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) 2 of which were dark morph birds, Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), 2x Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) x3 or 4, Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Turtle (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), an immature Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius), a good number of Hoopoes (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), a pair Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) which were mobbing a Little Owl, Ocellated Lizard (Timon lepidus), Macroglossum stellatarum (Hummingbird Hawkmoth), Iberian Brown Hare (Liebre ibérica / Lepus granatensis) and big numbers of Rabbits (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus).
Cone Headed Grasshopper (Truxalis nasuta).
We drove off the site, stopped for a coffee in Ventas de Huelma before heading towards the Cacín area, we stopped on the way finding Squirting Cucumber (Ecballium elaterium), Small White (Pieris rapae), Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous), Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua) and Bath White (Pontia daplidice).
We continued on out through the new solar desert to the Cacín Valley, on the way we stopped on the roadside just above the village of Cacín where we checked the verges finding lots of Wild Caper (Capparis spinosa) including a hypochromatic bush, Common Mallow (Malva sylvestris), Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas), Mallow-leaved (Convolvulus althaeoides) and Field Convulvulous (Convolvulus arvensis), Cone Headed Grasshopper (Truxalis nasuta), Ornate Shieldbug (Eurydema ornata), Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli) and then just as we started to walk back towards the car Kevin picked up several raptors above us, amongst there a Cinereous / European Black (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus) x1 and 8x Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) and 2 more Booted Eagles. 
On the far side of the town we checked the Rio Cacín and found House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Alfalfa (Medicago sativa), Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum), Mammoth Wasp (Megascolia maculata), Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina), Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus alceae) and Large White (Pieris brassicae).
Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata).
Our next stop was at the Contra-embalse where we picked up Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata) x2, Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) x2, Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro), Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi), Swallowtail (Papilio machaon), Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera) and a delicate looking Thread-winged Lacewing (Nemoptera bipennis) which was being battered by the strengthening breeze.
Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata).
We drove around to a spot near the dam where we added Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Orange-winged (Trithemis kirbyi) and Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata), Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina), Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus alceae) and Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba).
On the way back to Granada we added Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus).

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