The Sierra Loja is certainly proving very popular at the moment; and why would it not be with the very good chance that you are going to see all three Wheatears, Blue Rock Thrushes and a resting Eagle Owl not to mention that flashy summer visitor, the Rock Thrush Whilst the Axarquia Bird Group will be visiting the site later this month, John and Jenny Wainwright, who happen to live very close so that it could almost be described as their local patch, were once more up the mountain and their report follows.
Sierra Loja 2nd May 2013
A bright and sunny day, but still a brisk, cold wind in the highest parts of the Sierra´s.
On our way up to the cliff areas we saw Blackbird, Great Tit, Stonechat, Azure-winged Magpies, Wood Pigeon, Serins, Collared Doves, Bee-eaters, Mistle and Song Thrushes.
At the cliffs we saw Chough, Jackdaw, Black Wheatear, Stonechat, Rock Bunting, a group of six Alpine Swifts mixed with a few Common Swifts and House Martins.
|Pied Flycatcher papamoscas Cerrojillo Ficedula hypoleuca (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
At the small shrubby downslope we found Whitethroat, Sardinian Warblers, Stonechat, Blackbird and Red-legged Partridges. On the upslope behind us Jenny located a Pied Flycatcher and a Spectacled Warbler was seen displaying .
|Little Owl Mochuelo Comun Athene noctua (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
On the way to the substation valley we found a Little Owl sitting on a water bowser; also in the area we saw more Chough, Black-eared Wheatear, several Linnets, a few Thekla Larks and a Griffon Vulture soared over us - very high up.
|Male Linnet Pardillo Comun Carduelis cannabina (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
In the substation valley another Little Owl was seen as well as a dozen or so Choughs feeding and as we climbed out of the valley another Spectacled Warbler was seen.
Just past the turbines we noted a group of eight Ibex feeding in the valley below also here we heard the Common Cuckoo.
|Male Rock Thrush Roquero Rojo Monticola saxatilis (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
In the pond and cave areas we found Chough, Little Owl, Black, Northern and Black-eared Wheatears, Blue Rock Thrushes and Rock Thrushes - three males (displaying) and one female seen of the latter. A Common Kestrel, Crag Martins, House Martins and Barn Swallows, one Alpine Swift, Spotless Starlings, a lone House Sparrow, Wren, two Griffon Vultures, Rock Buntings and Rock Sparrows, Black Redstarts, Goldfinches, Linnets and more Bee-eaters.
At the known spot we saw the Eagle Owl also here we saw Dartford and Sardinian Warblers, Black Wheatears, Crag and House Martins, Stonechats, Wood Pigeon, Greenfinch, Serins and Woodchat Shrike.
Yes, as I suspected all the above birds mentioned by me were seen along with many others. You choose which you would prefer, whether it be Alpine Swift, Spectacled Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, Little Owl or Griffon Vulture. A truly great morning's birding.
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