Thursday 6 November
Following John and jenny wainwright's visit to the Sierra Loja yesterday, I set off just after nine this morning in the hope that I could replicate their observations. Lots of birds on the way including the expected House Sparrows, Spotless Starlings and both Collared and Rock Doves - but no White Wagtails this morning as I drive down towards the lake from Los Romanes. Again, nearing Loja I started to pick up both Serins and Corn Buntings and even had a resting Kestrel just beyond Venta del Rayo. Good numbers of Azure-winged Magpies about and more as I entered the track to drive up the mountain itself. The target was to find the Ring Ouzels in the limited time that I had at my disposal so not too fused about many stops on the way to the top. However, the most common bird of the morning was the Goldfinch with numerous charms seen both before and all over the Sierra Loja.
|Feeding Goldfinch Jilguero Cardueli carduelis|
Nothing to see at the lower picnic quarry but the main quarry produced both a small number of Crag Martins and a delightful Dartford Warbler. Driving through the trees I had very little to see as I seemed to be accompanied by first a quartet of mountain bikers and then the forestry workers thinning out the pines.
|A very cold Meadow Pipit Bisbita Pratense Anthus pratensis|
No sooner past the tree-line than I had first a Black Redstart closely followed by a pair of Meadow Pipits. No jackdaws or Choughs seen but I did hear the latter when at the top. Just the two Red-legged Partridges then I stopped to watch a pair of male Blue Rock Thrushes and a male Blackbird also decided to join the festivities. About now I experienced the first of very many charms of Goldfinches seen during the next hour or so. One tree held a large flock of Corn Buntings and then, rounding the bend, I stopped o watch another Red-legged Partridge cross the track. he/she was joined by another and then a third. Before I knew what was happening I had counted ten individual and then, suddenly, the rest of the covey took off to fly over the track taking the others with them away down the slope. I gave up after counting the first eighteen!
|Three before the score plus Red-legged Partridges Perdiz Roja Alectoris rufa|
|Distant female/juvenile Ring Ouzel Mirlo Capiblano Turdus torquatus|
|Another distant Ring Ouzel Mirlo Capiblano Turdus torquatus plus the one that got away just as the camera clicked!|
Red-legged Partridge, Kestrel, Rock Dove, Collared Dove, Thekla Lark, Crag Martin, Meadow Pipit, Black Redstart, Stonechat, Black Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Ring Ouzel, Blackbird, Dartford Warbler, Azure-winged Magpie, Chough, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Rock Sparrow, Serin, Goldfinch, Rock Bunting, Corn Bunting.
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