Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Alhama de Granada & Cacin Area with John and Jenny

The sun continues to shine in the clear blue sky, the weather remains calm and relatively warm (well, at least on my mountain top if not inland in the Loja/Salar area!) so what better way to enjoy the experience and get out for a little birding.  John and Jenny Wainwright certainly took advantage and, once again, maaged to find Green Woodpeckers.  Most frustrating for me as this seems to have become an every birding day experience for them!  John's report follows below:

Alhama - Cacin trip  6th January 2015

Chilly to start but warmed up at about 11am.   As we didn´t expect too many people around today we decided to pop over to the Cacin valley.  En route we saw Collared Doves, Spotless Starlings, Blackbird, Buzzard and House Sparrow.  Up through the village of Turon and our first sighting was of a Green Woodpecker atop a ruin, while below it in the trees, were Goldfinches, Black Redstarts, Serins and a few House Sparrows.

Green Woodpecker Picus viridis (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
Moving along to the Cacin dam, we found Grey Heron, Buzzard, Chaffinch, Wood Pigeons, Common Kestrel and a Green Woodpecker was heard.  At the roman bridge, looking down into the tree tops, we spotted a Blue Tit and a Long-tailed Tit, several more Chaffinches and Serins.  Further up the track we saw a Robin, Great Tits, a Sardinian Warbler and a small flock of Corn Buntings which were the target of a male Sparrowhawk - we never saw if he caught one or not!

Robin Erithacus rubecula (PHOTO: Jenny Wainwright)
Along to the main Bermejales, where we picked up White Wagtails (one persistently attacked the windows and wing mirror of our car ), Linnets, Goldfinches and Common Magpies.  Walking our usual route round through the firs we managed to get Crossbills, Mistle Thrushes, Meadow Pipits, Crested Larks and on the water itself a lone Yellow-legged Gull.  We then moved on to one of the "VP routes" where the "track" has now become a very well made up road.  Stonechats were in good numbers here as were Linnets and Crested Larks, several Redwings, Song and Mistle Thrushes were also noted, but pictures of them were scarce.  Three Hoopoes flew out from beside the car as we
stopped to look at a Southern Grey Shrike and a single Greenfinch.  Nothing more other than what we already seen as we dropped down into Santa Cruz de Comercio.

Greenfinch Carduelis chloris (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
Turning back onto the A402 we then branched off onto the short cut that leads up to the Alhama - Salar road.  Lots of Chaffinches about as were Spotless Starlings and Collared Doves.  In the reed beds we saw male and female Blackcaps, more Greenfinches, Goldfinches, Blackbirds, Mistle Thrushes, Corn Buntings, Sardinian and Cetti's Warblers, also our first Red-legged Partridges
of the day.  As we reached the main road, five Calandra Larks and a larger group of Meadow Pipits were seen as well as a Common Kestrel and a very quick (but photographable) view of a sub-adult Golden Eagle.

Sub-adult Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

Check out the accompanying website at for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.

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