Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Sierra Loja quarry

4 June 2014

It's certainly all happening today and this rate i shall never get the house ready before collecting Jenny from the airport!! After my Golden Orioles and Spotted Flycatchers, Angelina and Howard's Sardinian Warblers along comes a report form John and Jenny Wainwright with an update of their local Eagle Owls.  Whenever were John and jenny going to simply check on the breeding eagle owls?  No, you can see form John's report that they managed a not unimpressive sightings list in their seventy-five minutes or so.

Sierra Loja Tuesday 3rd June

A pleasant evening with a cooling breeze.

As we had business in Loja and as it was nearing 8pm we decided to see if we could get some pictures of Eagle Owl and chicks, without the harsh sunlight that is normally flooding the cliff face.

We arrived at about 8.15pm seeing on the way Little Owl, Spotless Starlings, Collared Doves and Crag Martins.

Just prior to the site a large flock of Serins took off from the road and the grasses close by the roadside.  At the site the Serins had flown up and were feeding here - amongst the small shrubs and grasses. Also here we located a male Dartford Warbler and a female Stonechat.

Above us were House and Crag Martin, mostly the former, and another small mixed flock of Linnets, Serins and Goldfinches flew past.  Also, a Sparrowhawk was seen flying along the crest.

House Martin Avion Comun  Delichon urbicum  (PHOTO: John Wainwright)

Looking up at the owl site nothing was seen, so we scanned the bushes, finding a male Stonechat and some House Sparrows.  The Chough calling, brought our attention back to the cliff face, where one of the adult Eagle Owls had appeared.  Several Jackdaws were passing across the nest site and several times the Eagle Owl was seen to duck.

A movement below the owl site led us to two Blue Rock Thrushes chasing one another until they finally went their opposite ways.  Then below us in the quarry entrance a Black Wheatear put in a welcome appearance.

The pine copse close by held Crossbills, Wood Pigeon, Sardinian Warbler, Blackbirds and Chaffinches also a Black Redstart was heard but not seen.

Eagle Owl Buho Real Bubo bubo resting above nest entrance (PHOTO: John Wainwright
Back to the cliff and a Common Kestrel hovered high above and the then dived down across the owl site making the Eagle Owl spread its wings - we actually thought it was going to leave the nest site - but no!   Bee-eaters were heard but not seen but we did spot a single doe Spanish Ibex and her young and a Red-legged Partridge started calling.

A last look before we left but no owlets were seen tonight - no movement in either cave was noted, although we had the scope up all the time on the site.

And as we drove down - through to Loja itself - we did see Short-toed Treecreeper, Rock Bunting, Azure-winged Magpies, Great Tit and more Chaffinches.

Still not a bad hour and a quarters birding, hope the owlets are OK!!!

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

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