Saturday 23 November 2013

Sierra Loja

Saturday 23 November

Just clearing up odds and ends before I fly back to the UK for a couple of weeks and I receive an email from John Wainwright.  He may be confined to quarters and Steve, Elena and I did not get to the Sierra Loja yesterday but it appears Jenny Wainwright did manage a visit along with John's brother.  It must be John's way to stay in touch with the outside birding world and it certainly appears to make a mark.  Might be a written report to follow which  I can add when I get back to England, but here follows a prime example of what they recorded.  It makes me feel really envious and I hate to think what Steve will say, nevermind think, when he sees the Ring Ouzel shots!

Looks like, from the following report, that Jenny's visit took place on Thursday rather than Friday.

Sierra Loja: 21 November

A very chilly day with a brisk breeze.

As I am still convalescing Jenny and my brother Dave (over from the UK), decided they would pop up the Sierra Loja to see if the Ring Ouzels were in yet.  They called in at the hidden quarry en route and saw Jackdaws, Stonechats and heard Dartford Warbler.  Several Spanish Ibex were seen here also.

The tree line area was very quiet, so onward to the cliff area, where more Jackdaws and a smattering of Choughs were seen.  Also here were Black Redstart, Meadow Pipits and Red-legged Partridges.

As they approached the old marble quarry a Griffon Vulture was seen and then a Bonelli´s Eagle
stuka-dived across the sky and down into the quarry.  A tad further up and their first Thekla Larks were spotted and a couple more Stonechats.

Jenny said that it was really getting cold about now with the temperature gauge showing 3C, but they carried on through the substation valley and over to the ponds.  Both of these ponds were covered in ice and hence the birdlife was non-existent.  So along to the fossil cave area where they picked up three Mistle Thrushes, a single Fieldfare and five Ring Ouzels (three male, two female); several Blackbirds here also.

Retracing their steps and carrying on towards Salar they found more Mistle Thrushes and three Ring Ouzels.  Also in the area were Black Redstarts (all female), House Sparrows and Blackbirds.

As they came back down the mountain to Loja they found a Little Owl.

Chough Chova Piquirroja Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax

Little Owl Mochuelo Comun Athene noctua

Ring Ouzel Mirlo Capiblanco Turdus torquatus (above and below)

A magnificent male Ibex Capra pyrenaica

All above photographs by Jenny Wainwright

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

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