|In-flight Grey Heron Garza Real Ardea cinerea|
Off early at 8.45 for a day's birding with special friend Elena Powel concentrating on the lakes above and beyond Alhama de Granada but with a first stop at Ventas de Zafarrya and the nearby "Magpie Woods." Warm but cloudy and very tired when we got back to Mezquitilla having recorded a total of 60 species for the day including some great birds such as Common Cuckoo, Blue Rock Thrush, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Whitethroat and Spotted Flycatcher amongst others.
Approaching the first stop the mirador on the old railway track at Ventas de Zafarraya we not only had a couple of Hoopoes fly over the road but a couple of score or more of Barn Swallows. It seems too late to be arriving and too soon for departing individuals so I am assuming a "gang of roving teenagers" made up of recently fledged first brood Barn Swallows. Cloudy and a very large herd of goats (domestic not wild) feeding on the slopes but we did find Thekla Lark, Chough and Black Wheatear before driving up the track and parking outside the old tunnel. A good number of the breeding Crag Martins about and saw more Blue Rock Thrushes than Black Wheatears. A Wren was perched on the wire in front of the tunnel and the Choughs were whirling and calling along the cliff face. Both Rock Sparrow and Rock Bunting were noted along with a couple of Blackbirds and then, having walked trough the tunnel, a couple of Alpine Swifts. Elena was first to spot the single Goldfinch.
Spotless Starlings, House Martins and House Sparrows as we drove through the village to make a short stop at the usual cross-tracks as we entered the Magpie Wood. Immediately, an Azure-winged Magpie on the road and another disappearing int the trees. More Blackbirds, a Mistle Thrush and plenty of Chaffinches to be seen and heard as the Collared Doves flew over. Through the woods and took the left turn towards the growing fields to find the resident larks and immediately, sat on the road, a Turtle Dove. Having stopped we found six more either feeding on the ground or resting on the overhead wires. A Corn Bunting rested alongside and as soon as we reached the "rockery" a handful of Short-toed Larks along with Crested Larks and, having stopped in the usual place, we were soon seeing a good number of Calandra Larks along with a pair of feeding Hoopoe.
|Little Owl Mochuelo Comun Athene noctua|
|Male (above) and female Blackcap Curruca Capirotada Sylvia atricapilla at nest site|
|Grey Heron Garza Real Ardea cinerea|
|Robin Petirrojo Europeo Erithacus rubecula|
|Red Squirrel Sciurus vulgaris|
An excellent day's birding enjoyed by both of us with Elena looking forward to Steve's return from Florida on the morning and me off to check Jenny's progress at the local hospital.
Mallard, Pochard, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Heron,Marsh Harrier, Lesser Kestrel, Common Kestrel, Coot, Rock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Turtle Dove, Collared Dove, Little Owl, Alpine Swift, Common Swift, Hoopoe, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Calandra Lark, Short-toed Lark, Crested Lark, Thekla Lark, Crag Martin, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Wren, Robin, Nightingale, Black Redstart, Black Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Cetti's Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Whitethroat, Blackcap, Spotted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Short-toed Treecreper, Golden Oriole, Azure-winged magpie, Magpie, Chough, Jackdaw, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Rock Sparrow, Chaffinch, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Cirl Bunting, Rock Bunting, Corn Bunting.
|Male Blue Rock Thrush Roquero Solitario Monticola solitarius|
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