Up early and collected by Steve and Elena to drive over to Huetor Tajar for 9 am to meet up with Mick Richardson and the off to the upper Cacin valley to try and find at least one of the reported forty pairs that breed in this area. leaving we had a couple of White Wagtails in the car park and then Rock Dove, Stonechat, Jackdaw, Collared Dove, on the wires after we left the motorway along with a few Barn Swallows hunting for breakfast. However, as travelled north for a short section of motorway Mick mentioned that there were now four pairs of local breeding Black-winged Kites including the almond orchard on our right. No sooner said than whilst the others noted the resting Buzzard I had the self-same Black-winged Kite lift its wings for a good stretch; marvellous and beautiful. Just round the corner we picked both Spotless Starlings and a number of small charms of Goldfinches before taking to the numerous tracks through the almond orchards.
Then it was in and out, up and down, just about covering every almond orchard in the territory. By the time we gave it up after almost four hours we must have seen just about every tree within many, many square miles! And not a single Black-bellied Sandgrouse in sight. Perhaps it did not help that a few farmers were out at the beginning working on removing old and dying trees and preparing the ground for replacements but even so. Now if only just one of these ground-loving birds had had a transmitter on its back we might well have been successfully rewarded.
|Northern Wheatear Collalba Gris Oenanthe oenanthe|
|Tawny Pipit Bisbita Campestre Anthus campestris|
|Little Owl Monchuelo Comun Athene noctua|
|Distant Common Redstart Colirrojo Real Phoenicuras phoenicurus|
Despite not finding our target bird it was certainly a great morning's birding and my special thanks to Steve for all the driving and Mick for his superb birding and wildlife knowledge and experience. Talking of Mick, I believe there may still be one or two places available on next June's visit to the Pyranees with Loja Wildlide. Lots of opportunities for Wallcreeper and some exotic birds so make contact with Mick via lojawildlife @gmail.com (telephone (0034) 958339630) or, if in difficulty, contact me by email and I will pass on your name to Mick for further information. Or you could just CLICK HERE for a link.
|Tome to say goodbye to the Northern Wheatears|
Mallard, Shoveler, Little Grebe, Heron,Black-winged Kite, Buzzard, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Rock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Little Owl, Hoopoe, Green Woodpecker, Calandra Lark, Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Thekla Lark, Sky Lark, Barn Swallow, Red-rumped Swallow, House Martin, Tawny Pipit, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Common Redstart, Whinchat, Stonechat, Northern Wheatear, Blackbird, Cetti's Warbler, Reed Warbler, Orphean Warbler, Whitethroat, Blackcap, Bonelli's Warbler, Willow Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, Iberian Grey Shrike, Magpie, Jackdaw, Spotless Starling, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Corn Bunting.
Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.