Tuesday 22 October 2013

Sierra Loja with John & Jenny Wainwright

Whilst I was away in Jaen Province and am yet to complete a write-up, John and Jenny Wainwright have once more been up their favourite mountain, the Sierra Loja.  John's report follows below:

Sierra Loja:  21 October

A beautiful day up top with a fresh breeze.

We had a four hour window before Jenny was at her craft evening so we had coffee at the local hotel and then off to the sierras, en route seeing Blackbird, Spotless Starlings, House Sparrows and a Collared Dove.

Our first stop was the hidden quarry where we saw five Sardinian Warblers and two Dartford Warblers contesting for the ownership of a bush.  Here also we saw Chaffinches, Stonechat, Serins, and in the pine copse more Sardinian Warblers.  Looking down into the old workings a Wood Lark was heard and a Great Tit was seen. To the right of the large cross we found one Ibex.

Black Wheatear Collalba Negra Oenanthe leucura (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

In the quarry itself I found a male Black Redstart, three Black Wheatears, two Linnets and a male Stonechat.  And on the cliff face - just below the Eagle Owl´s roost - five Jackdaws were seen perching.  As we left the quarry track Jenny picked up a Red Squirrel (dark phase) on the ground opposite.

In the tree line a large flock of Goldfinches and several Long-tailed Tits were seen, as well as a Willow Warbler, a female Common Redstart, two Short-toed Treecreepers, Red-legged Partridges and some Chaffinches.

This time a pair of Black Wheatears (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

Up at the cliffs a good number of Jackdaws were wheeling around as well as four Chough.  A Hoopoe was seen as was another Black Wheatear and then a male Sparrowhawk.

Onto the flat area and the next quarry where we good views of a Lesser Kestrel, another Northern Wheatear and some more Chough.

Northern Wheatear Collalba Gris  oenanthe oenanthe (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

Down in the substation valley a few Thekla Larks along with Rock Sparrows, two Meadow Pipits, more Goldfinches, two more Northern Wheatears, a Black Wheatear and Stonechats.

We turned about here and nothing different was seen on the return journey.

Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information.

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