Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Ventas de Zafarraya

Choughs Chova Piquirroja Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax
Wednesday 20 May

A beautiful clear and sunny day turning very warm as the day progressed and in the very high twenties when I eventually returned home.  Today to the mountains as I paid a morning visit to the old railway tack at Ventas de Zafarraya.  Not that many birds about but having recorded a few Choughs as I arrived the track up to the tunnel produced first a House Sparrow then a single Rock Bunting resting on a wire.  Approaching the tunnel itself a movement drew my attention to the male Blue Rock Thrush which paused long enough on a low rock to get a record photograph, even if the bird was facing away from me but it certainly showed its blue colouring very well.

Rock Bunting Escribano Montesino Emberiza cia
Distant male Blue Rock Thrush Roquero Solitario Monticola solitarius

Crag martins in and out of the tunnel to their nests and beyond the tunnel my first Stonechats of the month with at least five individuals observed.  Before turning at the old ruin to make my way back a couple of Goldfinch and then a posing male Peregrine Falcon on almost the highest peak above the rock face.

Stonechat tarabilla Comun Saxicola torquatus

A Rock Sparrow was seen on the rocks above the tunnel entrance and, coming out of the tunnel, I noticed a pair of resting Crag Martins so an opportunity to get a fairly close photograph.

Crag Martin Avion Roquero Ptyonoprogne rupestris

Working my way through the fertile growing fields on the plateau below Ventas de Zafarraya I found both Spotless Starling and Barn Swallow along with a few Mallards on the irrigation pond.  The, up and through the "Magpie Woods" where I recorded a Chaffinch before heading off to the left and the arable fields.  A number of both Crested and Thekla Larks, very much dependent upon the habitat, along with the first Hoopoe of the morning.  On the far side lovely to see a Little Owl resting on a large water container and almost immediately a Magpie to the left.  The nearby verges produced a pair of Linnet and a small number of Corn Buntings on the fence.

Magpie Urraca Pica pica

Many of the nearby fields were growing corn and as is often found at this time of the year plenty of poppies to give a lovely red carpet.  No sign of a Red-legged Partridge on this occasion but having come so far at the top of the now resurfaced old road up towards the Salar - Alhambra road I made the short detour to a neighbouring old farm ruin, where I was happy to find a few of the Lesser Kestrels know to breed at this site along wit a couple of Jackdaw.

Andalucian Poppy Fields
The return drive back down the gravelled road produced a couple of Wood Pigeon and a Hoopoe flew across the front of the car.  At the bottom of the hill a right-turn and the circular track back towards Ventas de Zafarraya which eventually produced a couple of Azure-winged Magpies and many Collared Doves.  Passing through the village itself I added both Common Swift and Serin and my last bird of the morning was a posing Bee-eater.  Only 29 species in my almost three hour tour but certainly some lovely birds seen.

Birds seen:
Mallard, Lesser Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Little Owl, Common Swift, Bee-eater, Hoopoe, Crested Lark, Thekla Lark, Crag Martin, Barn Swallow, Stonechat, Black Wheatear, Blue Rock Thrush, Azure -winged Magpie, Magpie, Chough, Jackdaw, Spotless Starling, House Sparrow, Rock Sparrow, Chaffinch, Serin, Goldfinch, Linnet, Rock Bunting, Corn Bunting.
Very distant, high record shot of the Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus

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1 comment:

  1. Uh, travellling to another province!!!!! Multa grande!