Wednesday 8 June
An overnight stay at the Hacienda, Albunan just south of Guadix on Tuesday evening so that Steve Powell and I could make an early start the following morning to check out a trio of sites in the area with the main target bird being the Citril Finch high in the Sierra Nevada. Another very warm, clear and sunny day as we made our way under the A92 motorway and up a narrow road into the nearby valley first finding both resting Buzzard and Magpie along with Collared Doves, House Sparrow and the inevitable Rock Doves when near civilization.
|Little Owl Athene noctua (PHOTO: Steve Powell)|
Once in the open, almost barren, countryside we found many Crested and even a few Calandra Larks. Stopping to check yet more doves and pigeons on the wires we actually found a pair of Stock Doves before seeing our first Black Wheatear of the morning. Approaching our destination near some ruined buildings we passed a large ruined farm which seemed to have attracted dozens of Jackdaw. A stop on the roadside a little further along the lane to check a silhouette on a low rock scree produced a magnificent Iberian Green Woodpecker before continuing on to the above ruin. Once parked up we soon added Hoopoe and a couple of Chough along with more Black Wheatear. A Little Owl spent a few minutes on a nearby roof and then the first of a trio of Wood Larks.
|Black Wheatear Oenanthe leucura (PHOTO: Steve Powell)|
Once the Spotless Starlings had put in an appearance we made our way back towards the motorway and a large irrigation pond recording Kestrel, Blackbird, a small group of Short-toed Larks on the road in front of us and a lone Raven.
|Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla (PHOTO: Steve Powell)|
The pond area itself was most disappointing and no Golden Orioles us; just a single Serin and another Raven before the Wood Pigeon flew over and away. Then, minutes later, a Spotted Flycatcher in a nearby tree.
|Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca (PHOTO: Steve Powell)|
Then it was back onto the A92 before picking up the N337 to take us to the high Sierra Nevada at Puerto de Ragua at 2000 metres. Despite spending two hours in the pine woods at this beautiful location we were unable to see a Citril Finch albeit pretty certain that I heard a couple or more. There were numerous singing/calling Chaffinches and we did also find a pair of Blue Tit and at least a trio of Crested Tits. I added both Nuthatch and a female Crossbill whilst Steve manage to find and get record shots of a Pied Flycatcher. And as we left to continue on the same road to take us down to (eventually) the A7 at Adra and back home, we added a single Black Redstart.
|Male Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros (PHOTO: Steve Powell)|
Poor quality record shots in the dark below the pine trees:
|Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs|
|Crested Tit Parus cristatus|
|Nuthatch Sitta europaea|
Buzzard, Kestrel, Rock Dove, Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Little Owl, Hoopoe, Green Woodpecker, Calandra Lark, Short-toed Lark, Wood Lark, Crested Lark, Black Redstart, Black Wheatear, Blackbird, Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, Crested Tit, Blue Tit, Nuthatch, Magpie, Chough, Jackdaw, Raven, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Serin, Crossbill.