Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Old Zafarraya Road beyond the "Magpie Woods"

Tuesday 21 April

Once John and jenny are off birding you can usually guarantee that there will be a rapid follow-up and today was no exception.  Weather nor perfect for sunbathing bur seemed fine for birding and yet more Hawfinches seen.

Old Zafarraya road  Tuesday 21 April

A day of sunshine then cloud and back again, quite a cold breeze about also.

As we headed out of Salar a Bee-eater and two Hoopoes were seen as well as Collared Doves and Spotless Starlings. Turning off at km16 down the old road we saw Calandra and Crested Larks, Serins, House Sparrows, Corn Buntings and Common Kestrel.

Hawfinch (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
We turned off in the direction of Sierra Loja and spotted Common Magpies, Thekla Lark and Common Cuckoo. Down at the ford we noted Greenfinches, Sardinian Warbler, more Goldfinches and Corn Buntings and searching around found a Megarian Banded Centipede_Scolopendra cingulatus.  Moving on to the farm I stopped abruptly hearing a Quail, so we spent a few minutes while it repeated itself for Jenny who hadn´t heard it at first.  We then heard another at the other end of the meadow.

Megarian Banded Centipede_Scolopendra cingulatus (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
Up to the almond groves and three Hawfinches were seen as they flew across our front into another almond grove.  We did get some good views, but too quick for really sharp photos.  Another Sardinian Warbler was seen as we moved up the mountain and six Chough came from over the ridge as did two Jackdaws a tad later which where seen mobbing a Short-toed Eagle, which had just come off a rocky outcrop.  Then a couple of Stonechats and four Red-legged Partridges, followed a little later by two Black-eared Wheatears. 

Distant Short-toed Eagle (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
As we dropped down the mountain a Little Owl was noted as were two Blackbirds and a Southern Grey Shrike, and, as we started back to Salar, a Booted Eagle was seen fairly high up.  Just along by kilometre marker 24 five Lesser Kestrels were seen hunting over the fields and as we drew nigh to Salar a single Bee-eater was seen.

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