Thursday 5 December 2013

Huetor Tajar with John Wainwright

Thursday 5 December

They tell me that you can't keep a good man down and that certainly sounds right as far as John Wainwright is concerned.  The Internet connection has finally been restored sop I am able to catch up with what is actually going on in the outside world.  Great to see a couple of reports from John who has evidently found himself a driver (car not computer!) to get himself back amongst his birds.  It may not be the summit of a freezing Sierra Loja but at the base in nearby Huetor Tajar the attraction and stimulation was to get the latest information on the return of the hordes of Little Bustards.  Read on for John's account and then I can publish his second expedition as part of his recovery progress.  All being well, John and Jenny, I will get to meet up with you both in January.

Huetor Tajar  3rd December 2013

A warm, bright and windless day.

I am getting restless after four weeks convalescing, so Jenny decided to take me over to Huetor
to look for the Little Bustards.  We found them with no real problem although there were only
thirty or so of them at this moment in time - too distant for any good photos though.  A few Lapwings here also Meadow Pipits, Black Redstarts and House Sparrows.

Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
The stream has dried out -  bar a couple of very small pools here and there - but we still found
Goldfinches, House Sparrows, Spotless Starlings, Serins and Crested Larks along the banks.
Several Azure-winged Magpies were seen, as was a Common Magpie - feeding among a huge flock
of feral pigeons.  A Common Kestrel hunted over the far fields and a Grey Heron was seen stalking
the ditches.

No sign of the Bramblings - in the poplar tree area as of yet although plenty of Chaffinches about.
Lots of White Wagtails and Meadow Pipits were following a tractor discing the fields and yet more
Black Redstarts.  A Blackbird was spotted also.  At the ajo factory we found several Stone Curlews, more Lapwings ( no sign of the Golden Plovers yet) and another Grey Heron.

Lapwing Vanellus vanellus  (PHOTO: John Wainwright)
On the way back home along the back road to Salar we found two Thekla Larks, Lapwings, a Robin, a flock of Mistle Thrushes, another Blackbird, some Chiffchaffs and a large flock of Jackdaws.  On the road into Salar a Common Kestrel, Collared Doves, Wood Pigeons and more Azure-winged Magpies and atop a telegraph pole next to the petrol station a Little Owl was spotted.

Thanks for all the information John and something for me to look forward to upon returning home.

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