Just back from a long day which started in Huetor Tajar, but with many stops on the way, and then, having filled up with the cheapest fuel I have seen anywhere recently (€1.28.5 per litre of diesel), home via the Cacin Valley and Ventas de Zafarraya to discover the following report from John who made the same start as me but a day earlier. He seem to have seen more water birds than I but then I did get to see both the Little Bustards and three Stock Doves! My report will follow asap.
Huetor Tajar 7th January 2014
Bright but a cold wind.
We had been down to Loja for Jenny and decided to run across to Huetor Tajar for the Little Bustards etc, although dipping out on the latter we did see House Sparrows, huge numbers of Spotless Starlings, a couple of Rock Doves, Wood Pigeons, three large flocks of Lapwings and among these we found one Golden Plover. Lots of White Wagtails about as were Black Redstarts and Meadow Pipits. In one of the ploughed fields we spotted a Grey Heron.
|Stone Curlew Alcaravan Comun Burhinus oedicnemus ( PHOTO: John Wainwright)
As we approached the old tree on the corner of the crossroads, Jenny spotted a female Merlin which had just taken off from the field behind the tree. In the fields we saw Crested Larks, a single Short-toed Lark, several Rock Doves and more Black Redstarts. As we neared the road bridge a Cattle Egret flew in followed by a Little Egret.
|Black Redstart Colirrojo Tizon Phoenicurius ochruros ( PHOTO: John Wainwright)
At the next crossroads we turned left and here we put up a Buzzard from the fields, also here we saw Crested Larks, Chaffinch, Linnets and Common Chiffchaffs were seen hunting for food in the irrigation channels.
Taking the lower track we had great views of a male Black Redstart, also along this track we saw Goldfinches and Blackbirds. At the ford - whilst looking for Water Pipits - we happened upon a Snipe feeding at the waters edge and the weeds alongside it. Back onto the Fabrika road we parked up close to the ajo factory, here we found hundreds of Stone Curlews, more Lapwings, Spotless Starlings and a female Common Kestrel flew around us calling.
|Snipe Agachadiza Comun Gallinego gallinego ( PHOTO: John Wainwright)
Just a quick trip but very worth while as a couple of hard to locate birds i.e. Merlin and Short-toed Lark.
Lovely to read about the Merlin, always a good spot. And what about a Short-toed Lark? Must be the first one back this year so obviously not happy with its winter holiday!
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