Thursday 19 April 2018

Sierra de Maria with the Arboleas Birding Group

Thursday 19 April

I was thinking that this was going to be David's weekly report from his Arboleas Birding Group but it would appear that there was a change of date last week!  Nevertheless, always welcome and sure that our readers will enjoy his latest message from up east of the region.  Now read on as, once again, some lovely photos from David.

Sierra de Maria   -   Friday 13th April

Apologies in the delay in posting this report, but my computer died.  Thankfully it has now been brought back from the brink into circulation again!  I made a personal visit to the Sierra de Maria.  My first stop was to the La Piza forest cafe for a coffee, which I drank watching Coal and Great Tits using the bird feeders.  Chaffinches were sweeping up any morsels dropping from above.  A Mistle Thrush was also seen.
Female Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)
I then made my way to the farm buildings where my arrival disturbed a Hoopoe.  A Common Buzzard flew off from a nearby tree.  Walking round the building I also saw House and Rock Sparrow and some Serin.
Rock Sparrow Petronia petronia (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)
I drove down to the water trough area where I used the truck as a hide.  There was the usual Crested Larks and Spotless Starlings.  I then saw a Iberian Green Woodpecker flying onto a tree some 75 metres away.  With a little help from the call on my phone, it flew to a tree only 25 metres away and posed beautifully for a photograph.
Iberian Green Woodpecker Picus viridis (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)
I then drove onto the plain.  A Short-toed Lark was sat nicely on a roadside perch as was a Calandra Lark.  I added a Sky Lark before arriving at the hamlet.  Again using my truck as a hide I got to within a reasonable distance of the Lesser Kestrels resting on the barn roof.  On the way back I saw Griffon Vulture and Booted Eagle.
Mr & Mrs Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)
I then made my way to the Botanical Gardens.  I saw Blue Tit, Stonechat and Rock Bunting on the walk from the chapel to the Information Centre. Round the gardens I also had Crested Tit and Short-toed Treecreeper.  I heard a Raven.
Returning to the La Piza forest cafe for lunch I added a Jay.  On the return journey my list was completed by a Woodpigeon and some Red-billed Chough.
Hoopoe Upupa epops (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)
Only 29 species.  Surprisingly no Crossbills seen, but I had a very enjoyable outing!
Regards, Dave

Calandra Lark Melanocorypha calandra (PHOTO: David Elliott-Binns)

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