Wednesday 26 June 2013

Once more to the Serra Loja with the Wainwrights

I may be back in "Blighty" but there is no way that is going to stop John and Jenny Wainwright going about their birding adventures.  Last week, would you believe, they were once more up their favourite mountain, the Sierra Loja, as can seen from the following report received from John.  All photos by Jenny so, presumably, John is about to become the official "camera carrier!"

Now we will all be able to leave our 4x4's at home and join Mick in his little Fiesta!

Sierra Loja Round-trip 21st June 2013

Just a short report from a round trip of the Sierra Lojas- starting from Salar and over to Loja.  A lot of roadworks going on and sometimes a wait for the road to be laid and machinery to get out of the way.
The attached six photos are all by Jenny.

Another really hot day, though cooler higher up.

Little Owl  Athene noctua
As we left the village we saw Woodchat Shrike, Crested Lark and Wood Pigeon then up towards the first quarry we saw House Sparrows, a Little Owl on an old stump, Jackdaws and Spotless Starlings.

Rock Sparrow  Petronia petronia
Up at the small disused quarry we came across fourteen Ibex with quite a few youngsters in tow, also here we found Rock Sparrows, Rock Buntings, Sardinian Warblers, Goldfinches, one Northern Wheatear, Stonechat and further on we found a family of Black-eared Wheatears.  As we came over the top of the rise we were met with a huge earthmover; he was scraping and rolling the road - which is something that was in dire need of doing.  Where puddles had formed the places were alive with butterflies including Cardinal, Mallow, Small and Sage Skippers, Western and Spanish Marbled Whites, Cleopatras, Bath and Small Whites and Pale Clouded Yellows.  A few Chough were seen on the ground and also circling over the hills here, while at the water catchment, a Corn Bunting and Woodchat Shrike were noted.

Short-toed Eagle Circaetus gallicus at rest but keeping an eagle-eye on the observers
As we were having a short break a Short-toed Eagle soared along the ridge to our right.  It circled for a short while then disappeared but luckily we found it later on perched on a rocky outcrop.  Other birds seen on the way toward home were Red-legged Partridges, Spectacled Warblers, Stonechats, Linnets, Blackbird, Mistle Thrushes and a Black Redstart.

Spectacled Warbler Sylvia conspicillata at its favoured site on the mountain

On the way down towards Loja we were held up for over half an hour by more road works - scraping and filling - which will give access for most vehicles once it is completed.

Black-eared Wheatear  Oenanthe hispanica

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

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