Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The old Loja Road from Ventas de Zafarraya

The start of a new week and more birding to be undertaken.  No sooner had I got back form a trip with my holiday neighbour than I received an email  to inform me that John and Jenny Wainwright had also been out in the same area.  John's report follows below and mine once I have completed the write-up.

Old Zafarraya Road area 24th March

A warm day but still that chilly breeze about.

After completing our chores at Alhama de Granada we went across country in the direction of Sierra Loja. Our first sighting was of a Little Owl sitting on the roof of a small cottage. Then a few Crested Larks and Linnets were seen, along with Blackbirds and Chaffinches.

Jay  Arrendajo  Garrulus glandarius  (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

Onto the the main track and the Black-eared Wheatears were beginning to show themselves as well as Thekla Larks and Mistle Thrushes, also an Ocellated Lizard was spotted in this area.

Ocellated Lizard  Lagarto Ocelado  Timon Lepidus  (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

A couple of Southern Grey Shrikes were noted and a few hirundines appeared mostly Barn Swallows with the odd Crag Martin.  Several Wood Pigeons left the trees as we progressed along the track and Mistle Thrushes were in good numbers, also about we spotted four Chough, Rock Buntings, and a few Azure-winged Magpies.  In the small oaks we found a Sardinian Warbler, a Great Tit, two Blue Tits, House Sparrows and more Chaffinches.

Lots of butterflies about today, the majority being Bath Whites with Brimstones, Speckled Woods, Provence HairstreaksSmall Heath, Scarce Swallowtail, Wall Brown and Small Tortoiseshell.  As we were photographing the latter, a Wryneck called from the bare trees on the ridge.

Provence Hairstreak Tomares ballus  (PHOTO: John Wainwright

In a small oak copse we found a lone Robin, five Jays, a Short-toed Treecreeper and some Common Magpies.  While on the scrubby slopes Stonechats, Corn Buntings, Linnets and Spotless Starlings were seen.

Back on the fields and a flock of some twenty Calandra Larks flew in while above us two Lesser Kestrel were hovering.

As we left the old road a Buzzard sat on one of the many pylons hereabouts.

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

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