|Rock Thrush Roquero Rojo Monticola saxatilis|
Lots of House Martins around the service station and as soon as we had started we had the odd Collared Dove and more Rock Doves approaching the lower quarry which has now been converted into a picnic area. This first stop produced a pair of Ravens overhead plus more House Martins and Barn Swallows along with the first Rock Bunting. No shortage of both Goldfinches and House Sparrows. Moving up through the trees towards the main quarry we had a number of Red-legged Partridge sightings (indeed, they continued to appear from bottom to top of the mountain) along with Azure-winged Magpies, Blue Rock Thrushes, Mistle Thrush and Coal Tit. Needless to say, very many Chaffinches were both heard and seen.
Stopping at the main quarry we had a whole range of sightings but not the numerous Choughs that had been seen on previous occasions, these were to come as we moved up the track. We soon had a couple of male Blue Rock Thrushes and Crag Martins were sweeping across the rock face where we even discovered an occupied nest high up on the wall under a slender overhang. Next up a Black Wheatear and then a female Black Redstart feeding a single recently-fledged chick. The male was seen later on so maybe the chicks had dispersed but, certainly, the female's efforts were concentrated on the single youngster.
|Black-eared Wheatear Collalba Rubia Oenanthe hispanica (Male above and female below)|
|Eagle Owl Buho Real Bubo bubo resting above nest (PHOTO: Jim Moore)|
|Not seen on the day, the two chicks recoreded last week (PHOTO: John Wainwright)|
Very close to the marble quarry we all had a reasonably close view of a Southern Grey Shrike and then the rocky area near the electricity sub-station produced the resident Little Owl but, unfortunately, not all the group managed to get a sighting.
|Dragonfly laying eggs in the Charco del Nego (PHOTO: Jim Moore above & RNW below) Species Mick?|
|Linnets Pardillo Comun Carduelis cannabina at the Charco del Nego (PHOTO: Jim Moore)|
|Corn Bunting Triguero Emberiza calandria|
|One of very many Red-legged Partridges Perdiz Roja Alectoris rufa|
|Closer views of the Spectacled Warbler Curruca Tomillera Sylvia conspicillata were eventually seen by all|
Time then to make our various ways back home with over 40 species recorded but for our two cars, eight members, a short stop just after leaving Loja provided a splendid opportunity to watch two pairs of Montagu's Harriers quartering a large corn field. The raptors seemed to be doing very well and finding plenty of food judging by that carried in their talons and we even had the privilege of watching an aerial food exchange between one of the pairs. Magnificent!
Red-legged Partridge, Griffon Vulture, Montagu's Harrier, Kestrel, Rock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Eagle Owl, Little Owl, Swift, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Thekla Lark, Crag Martin, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Black-eared Wheatear, Black Wheatear, Rock Thrush, Blue Rock Thrush, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Melodious Warbler, Dartford Warbler, Spectacled Warbler, Subalpine Warbler, Sardinian Warbler, Southern Grey Shrike, Azure-winged Magpie, Chough, Jackdaw, Raven, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Rock Sparrow, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Rock Bunting, Corn Bunting.
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.