|Serin Verdecillo Serinus serinus (PHOTO: Gilbert Houtekamer)|
A beautiful start to the day and, whilst we prepared for a cold breeze up at the old railway track above Ventas de Zafarraya, in the event it was pleasantly warm and with very little wind. So the three of us, Gilbert and Elly Houtekamer, visiting holiday makers from Holland, made a start to a very long day and, whilst we did not see all the birds I expected, Gilbert did manage to record 16 new species for himself. And we finished up coming down the mountain track to Alcaucin via the picnic areas only to discover that the track was closed whilst the loggers played lumberjacks (think "Monty Python"). But, as I so often find when the Spanish close a road for road-works, they only put the sign at one end and we had started our journey at the top, finding the closed sign on a barrier at the very bottom (8kms away); no wonder we got some very strange looks from the men, including the Junta's representative, when we casually drove past. And another thing, what are the chances when you book a holiday in a foreign land, on a mountain top miles from anywhere, and then arrange a day's birding to discover that our host lives right opposite you? But, I have to say, Gilbert and Elly were marvellous company and Gilbert managed to produce some wonderful photographs using his Nikon with a 300mm f2.8 lens.
|Black Redstart Colirrojo Tizon Phoenicurus ochruros (PHOTO: Gilbert Houtekamer)|
|Displaying Crag Martins Avion Roquero Ptyonoprogne rupestris|
|This Chough Chova Piquirroja Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax made no advance on the passing Peregrine Halcon Peregrino Falco peregrinus (PHOTO: Gilbert Houtekamer)|
|A very alert Mistle Thrush Zorzal Charlo Turdus viscivorus|
|One of very many Crested Larks Cogujada Comun Galerida cristata (PHOTO: Gilbert Houtekamer)|
|Off to the long grass for this Red-legged Partridge perdiz Roja Alectoris rufa|
|A rapidly departing Black Wheatear Collalba Negra Oenanthe leucura (PHOTO: Gilbert Houtekamer)|
|Attentive female Crossbill Piquituerto Comun Loxia curvirostra|
|Grey Wagtail Lavandera Cascadena Motacilla cinerea at the picnic site stream|
Red-legged Partridge, Short-toed eagle, Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Rock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Hoopoe, Calandra Lark, Lesser Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Thekla Lark, Crag martin, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Robin, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Black Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Nuthatch, Jay, Azure-winged Magpie, Magpie, Chough, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Rock Sparrow, Chaffinch, Serin, Goldfinch, Linnet, Crossbill, Corn Bunting.
|And not forgetting the Meadow Pipit Bisbita Pratense Anthus pratensis|
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.