Cold but clear and sunny when I met up with Derek and Barbara Etherton, Micky Smith and Barbara and Jerry Laycock at Loja Service Station to check out the Sierra Loja. Having fought our way past about a dozen off-roaders blocking the track entrance (I wondered what they would be up to later on?) we set of in two cars to the picnic quarry where we recorded a number of Chaffinches and then on up to the main quarry finding Mistle Thrush and the first sighting of a number of Red-legged Partridges. Back Redstart now seemed to be the most common species on view so back to the main track where we watched the off-roaders go storming up the track and, hopefully, well out of way and not to be seen again. Whilst waiting we were able to pick up both Great Tit and Robin.
|Male Stonechat Tarabilla Comun Saxicola torquatus|
|Resting Rock Sparrows Gorrion Chillon Petronia petronia|
Very little to add as we discovered where most of the cars were heading; rock climbers who had selected our favoured area to try and find wintering thrushes amidst the hawthorn bushes. A quick lunch at the second group of hawthorns where more Black Redstats and Blackbirds were noted and only a possible Redwing sighting. Then the phone call from Derek to ask for translation hospital so we, too, left the mountain and ended our birding venture. On the way down a Little Owl was sitting on the same rock as previously seen and then flew to the same pile of rocks a little further back. Same individual? Almost certainly.
|Distant Little Owl Mochuelo Comun Athene noctua|
As for Micky, great news. After undertaking all the necessary tests Derek and Barbara were able to bring him back to Benalmadena where, if necessary, any further tests could be undertaken and is now resting. Get well soon Micky as by the time we next meet I should be able to see you with both eyes.
Red-legged Partridge, Little Owl, Thekla Lark, Meadow Pipit, White Wagtail, Robin, Black Redstat, Stonechat, Black Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Dartford Warbler, Great Tit, Chough, Raven, Rock Sparrow, Goldfinch
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