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The Andalucia Bird Society  |  ABS Birding forum  |  Your Local Patch  |  Topic: Huétor Fields, Granada Province « previous next »
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Author Topic: Huétor Fields, Granada Province  (Read 2610 times)
David
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« on: December 07, 2013, 12:18:21 pm »

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Mick Smith and I visited Mick Richardson to have a look at his local patch that he is always bragging about and I have got to say he has every right to brag.  What a wonderful patch.

Mick Smith and I met him at the Hotel Cortijo de Tajar at just before 08:30.  It was a cold morning so we had a quick hot coffee before we set off and headed for a field out on the Loja side of Huétor Tajar, which Little Bustards have favoured for the last few winters and soon found some.  Mick told us that we were looking at a small part of the total flock. There were about 40 birds in front of us, which is the largest flock of this species that I have ever seen, so I could not imagine what the total flock looked like.  On the same field we also saw Lapwing, Jackdaw, Meadow Pipit, Cattle Egret, lots of Spotless Starlings with a few Common Starlings scattered amongst them, huge numbers of White Wagtails and the first of many Chiffchaff we saw during the morning.

From here we moved on to the river called Arroyo del Vilano, which flows into the Río Genil, and found a couple of Green Sandpipers, three Grey Wagtails, many more White Wagtails, several Crested Lark, lots of Woodpigeon up on the wires and plenty of finches down on the maize stubble including Serin, Linnet, Greenfinch, Goldfinch and  Common Chaffinch. We drove on just a few hundred meters and parked by the edge of a gully and walked another two hundred yards, along the river, to a small goat pen. Along this track we saw many Iberian Azure-winged Magpies, a very nice male Black Redstart, Tree Sparrows, House Sparrows, Song Thrush, Blackbird, more Chiffchaff, many Blackcap and again lots of Common Chaffinches but no Bramblings. Once back at the car we moved a little further down the road to where we found a large flock of finches feeding in the field adjoining the road.  This time Mick found us a single Brambling but the whole flock went up before Mick Smith and I could see it.

We turned off the tarmac road and drove along the track, following the river, to the railway bridge.  New species were found along here included Cetti's Warbler, Common Kestrel, Great TitCommon Magpie, Collared Dove, Common Moorhen, Grey Heron, Stonechat, Hoopoe, Mistle Thrush, Red-legged Partridge, Corn Bunting, Sardinian Warbler and Zitting Cisticola. We also saw more Chiffchaff, Finches, Sparrows, Woodpigeon and Cattle Egret.

As Mick had to leave us at 11:30 we started to make our way back towards the Hotel Cortijo de Tajar. We travelled along the river and then along the road to the railway line where we checked the fields again so that Mick Smith could find a Common Starling, after missing all the birds we had seen earlier, because he needed one for his 2013 Andalucia List. After a while he found two or three amongst a huge flock of Spotless Starling.  There were also Lapwings in the same field. Whist Mick Smith was searching, Mick Richardson and I found another new species in the shape of a Little Owl sat on a rock in the middle of one of the roadside fields. Our last stop was beside a large field close to the town of Huétor Tajar where we had soon counted over 150 Stone Curlews out on their roost field, quite a sight!!
From here we headed back to the hotel.

The habitat of Mick's local site is mainly arable farmland but there are also many large stands of Popular trees and the arroyo also provides gravel pools and reed beds. It also, of course, is surrounded by many sierras so the opportunity for seeing overflying raptors is good.  The number of species we saw in a short time was impressive but what impressed me more was the shear number of birds we saw.  Hundreds of Woodpigeons, White Wagtails, Iberain Azure-winged Magpies, Finches, Sparrows, Starlings and Chiffchaffs were present and many other species were seen in large numbers giving you plenty of opportunity to really seeing these birds.  Of course as the seasons change so will the bird species that you see.

Thanks for a great couple of hours Mick - Mick Smith and I (and Juliet) will definitely be back.
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David
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2013, 02:37:13 pm »

Hi David and Micky.

Pleased that you enjoyed the area and some of the birds we get here, hope that the next time you are coming up I will be able to spend more time with you and show you the rest of the sites.
Since your visit we have been getting a couple of regular male Hen Harriers, one of the Black-winged Kites has stuck around and the numbers of winter visitors is up including Brambling, Skylarks, Water Pipits, Siskin and Redwing. The Stock Doves are also back but just 11 of them so far this year.

Again thanks for the visit and hope to see you up here again soon,

Mick.

PS: I will be down at the seawatch hide near you on Tuesday at some point to look for the Purps if they are back.
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Mick Richardson, Birds, Butterflies, Dragonflies, Orchids and Wildflowers in Granada Province and beyond!

www.granadawildlife.com    THE WORK SITE.
www.lojawildlife.com        THE BLOG.
mickbirdinginspain@gmail.com      THE EMAIL.
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The Andalucia Bird Society  |  ABS Birding forum  |  Your Local Patch  |  Topic: Huétor Fields, Granada Province « previous next »
 


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