Monday 10 December 2018

Sierra Loja with John and Jenny

Sunday 9 December

Now back in Spain and all around me friends are visiting some of the great local birding sites.  Today it was John and Jenny Wainwright up on the Sierra Loja and, as expected, they found the visiting Ring Ouzels.  I especially liked the the fact that they both also saw Alpine Accentors; lucky them.  But will I have a successful outcome if I manage to visit the local Rio Velez at Torre del Mar in the morning?

Sierra Loja: Sunday 9 December

A bright but chilly day up above.

As we left the village we had seen Collared doves, Spotless Starlings and House Sparrows, and as we entered the track near the Guardia Civil barracks, Great Tits and Chaffinches were noted.
A few Azure-winged Magpies crossed the track  near the autovia bridge as did a Blackbird.
The tree line line was very quiet and it wasn´t until we reached the first cliff area that we came across a small flock of Alpine Accentors and a male Black Redstart. While above us several Jackdaws and a few Red-billed Chough were logged. 

Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus (PHOTO: John & Jenny Wainwright)

Up to the flat area where we saw Goldfinches, a lone Thekla Lark and an Iberian Grey Shrike, but from there until the substation valley it was very quiet. Here we saw a Little Owl and some Stonechats, also a group of six Ibex.

Distant Little Owl Athene noctua (PHOTO: John & Jenny Wainwright)

Moving on up to the Charca only half a dozen Goldfinches were drinking here. So round to the fossil cave where I heard Rock Sparrow and in the vicinity a covey of Red-legged Partridges were noted. So down to the Rouzel trees, where we did pick up a good number of Ring Ouzels as well as Blackbirds, Corn Buntings, Mistle Thrushes, more Stonechats and another  Iberian Grey Shrike.
On the return journey we logged another two Little Owls, White Wagtails, a Rock Bunting, Sardinian Warbler, two Dartford Warblers, Common Magpies and a Black Wheatear.  And to finish it off four dark-phase Red Squirrels.

Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra (PHOTO: John & Jenny Wainwright)
Spanish Red Squirrel Sciurus vulgaris (PHOTO: John & Jenny Wainwright)
A small herd of Ibix Capra pyrenaica hispanica (PHOTO: John & Jenny Wainwright)

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