Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Sierra Loja with John and Jenny

Not being able to join the Axarquia Bird Group visit up the Sierra Loja this Thursday, John and Jenny Wainwright took the opportunity to make their visit today.  Good to see that the Eagle Owl chick (is there only the one?) continues to progress very nicely and the male Rock Thrushes are becoming more accustomed to visitors judging by the way they posed for photographs this morning.

Sierra Loja 14th May 2013

Just a small trip report up the Sierra Lojas. I cannot be there on Thursday as the consultant has seen fit to see me that day (so inconsiderate these professionals).   Regardless of this have a great day all of you, I hope the weather that is forecast doesn´t materialise (rain and thunderstorms).

Spectacled Warbler Curruca Tomillera Sylvia conspicilata (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
Bright to start but heavy showers of rain on the way up.  We had only a couple of hours today as Jenny had a meeting to go to. En route we saw Spotless Starlings, Chaffinches, Serins, Azure-winged Magpies, Wood Pigeon and Mistle Thrushes.  We parked on the main track and looked back for the Eagle Owl - it was in the normal area - but next opening up.

In and around the wooded area we saw Short-toed Treecreepers, Rock Buntings  and two Wood Larks were heard singing.  Also seen were Great and Coal Tits plus more Azure-winged Magpies.

Up at the cliff areas Jackdaws and Chough were in good numbers and a Common Kestrel was seen here also.  In the bushes on the downslope here we located a Spectacled Warbler, several Red-legged Partridges, Linnets and a Green Woodpecker was heard.

It started spitting with rain and the sky turned very dark, but this didn´t stop a male Stonechat from carrying on with his display, and we still managed a few Thekla Larks, a very bedraggled Little Owl and a Northern Wheatear.  The rain bucketed down but we carried on to the pond (Charca de Negro) area.  The rain had passed over but the chilly wind persisted.  In the area we saw Rock Sparrows, Chough, a Crag Martin, Black-eared and Northern Wheatears and some Linnets.

Rock Thrush Roquero Rojo Monticola saxatilia (PHOTO: Jenny wainwright)
We then drove round to the fossil cave and beyond for the Rock Thrush - a big dip, but we did see Black Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Black Redstarts, Rock Buntings, Rock Sparrows, House Sparrow, Thekla Larks, Spotless Starlings, two Chough having an argument with a Lesser Kestrel, Blackbirds and a small flock of Linnets flew over.

Rock Thrush Roquero Rojo Monticola saxatilia (PHOTO: Jenny wainwright)

On the return to the ponds we stopped to watch a Blue Rock Thrush displaying over the small cliff, then Jenny spotted the Rock Thrush.  We were in a hurry but we couldn´t miss this opportunity for some great photos.

The rest of the way down held much as before, although we did have Collared Dove, Goldfinches and Nightingale.

Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.

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