Friday 13 December 2019

Sierra Loja and Home via Zafarraya

Friday 13 December

What a day!  How many Ring Ouzels did I see?  By the time I had reached the top of the Sierra Loja the low, damp, thick cloud meant it was difficult to see the track ten metres in front of me nevernind a rock face or trees to actually find birds.  But I travelled on in hope but, regretfully, without success so had to make my long way down and then decided to head off home via Salar which would take me through the well-known sites near Ventas de Zafarraya.  My journey up the Sierra started with a quintet of Wood Pigeons at the bottom and the occasional Crested followed by Thekla Lark as I drove to the summit.  The only birds that really stood out were the number of Red-legged Partridges, too big to miss as they either moved across the track or fed in the field outside the lambing shelter at Charco de Negro.

Red-legged Partridge Perdiz Roja Alectoris rufa
Leaving Salar where I recorded House Sparrow the length of the following country lane produced Greenfinch and Goldfinch along with a Blackbird.  Passing through the wooded section an Azure-winged Magpie took off from the road and a little further on an Iberian Grey Shrike looked down on me as I passed.  next up the occasional Corn Bunting on the wires.  A pair of Mistle Thrushes on the wires was a delight and then I was heading down towards the growing fields beyond the "Magpie Woods."  Stopping to observe a number of feeding Chaffinches on the road I was pleasantly surprised that their number included a fine-looking male Brambling.

Once at the bottom of the hill a dozen or so Magpies were recorded in the usual area for these birds and then a Sparrowhawk drifted past to my left.  Serins feeding at the side of the road along with a charm of Goldfinches and then the feeding small Calandra Lark flock.  Many Spotless Starlings and then a female Sardinian Warbler as I entered the road through the magpie woods.

Very distant Black Redstart Colirrojo Tizon Phoenicurus ochruros
Leaving the woods I drove through the growing fields to the small pond where I found the local Mallards and, in Ventas de Zafarraya itself a single Grey Wagtail.  A field being harrowed contained a score or more of White Wagtails following the tractor.A brief stop at the old railway track produced Chough, Black Wheatear and Black Redstart.

Red-billed Chough Chova Piquirroja Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax

At least the sun was shining and much warmer when I returned to the coast and in time for a late lunch and that after I had refuelled the car and completed a good wash of same at the local garage.

Birds seen:
Mallard, Red-legged Partridge, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Wood Pigeon, Calandra Lark, Crested Lark, Grey Wagtail, White Wagtail, Black Redstart, Black Wheatear, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Sardinian Warbler, Iberian Grey Shrike, Azure-winged Magpie, Magpie, Chough, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Brambling, Serin, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Corn Bunting.

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

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