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The Andalucia Bird Society  |  ABS Birding forum  |  Your Local Patch  |  Topic: Local Patch, Rio Cacín, Granada Province. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Local Patch, Rio Cacín, Granada Province.  (Read 9760 times)
Mick
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« on: July 05, 2009, 12:43:19 pm »

Hi All.

Well I am not sure if I am stretching the local patch thing a bit but I visit this area a lot and have had many memorable wildlife moments in the varied habitats in this valley. The site starts about 3kms away from the house but at its furthest point of the valley is about 35kms distants. 
A few days ago I set out for a days birding along the Cacin Valley with a couple of friends Pam and John. We started the day where the Rio Cacin joins the Rio Genil at Villanueva Mesia and the first birds seen as we climbed out of the car were a family party of Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotraustes). The adult male was feeding a fledgling on the branch of a Poplar Tree. Several Golden Orioles (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) and a Wryneck (Torcecuello / Jynx torquilla) were calling from the plantation trees, both species were seen briefly in flight. Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus) and Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido / Apus pallidus) were also seen.
We then moved on to an agricultural area to the south and soon picked up woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and Short-toed Larks (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla). Taking a dirt track between the fields and Almond groves we soon came across two female Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), and a pair of Common Magpies (Urraca / Pica pica) with five young Great Spotted Cuckoos (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius) pestering them to be feed. A pair and then another single Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis) flew across the site just before we left to go and have a look at the Embalse de Cacín.
At the lake we picked up several more juv Great Spotted Cuckoos, Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scirpaceus), Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) and Black-necked Grebe (Zampullín Cuellinegro / Podiceps nigricollis).
We moved further on down the valley and stopped above the gorge and watched a Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor Perdicera / Hieraaetus faciatus) as it soared up out of the valley very close to us and away North. Juv Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), Blue Rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and Alpine Swift (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) all went on to the days list.
We then started the return journey back along the Rio Cacín and stopped at a bridge near El Turro. Here Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) and Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) were heard and Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) were all seen.
On the cliffs just to the North of El Turro we were lucky enough to find two adult and at least one juv Eagle Owl (Buho Real / Bubo bubo), all out in the open sunning them selves, quite a sight.
Our last stop of the day was at Balsa de Regidor near Moraleda de Zafayona which has just recently been very quiet but to day we managed to pick up Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Pochard, Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) and Golden Oriole.
Dragonflies were also a common sight throughout the day and along the Rio Cacín Several Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii) and a single Copper Demoiselle (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalia) was seen in the reed beds.
Later in the day at Balsa de Regidor, a naturalised water deposito for the local farmlands dragonflies filled the air with many more Red-veined Darters (Trithemis arteriosa), Violet Dropwings (Trithemis annulata), Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum), Broad Scarlet (Crocothemis erythraea), Small Red-eyed (Erythromma viridulum) and Common Blue Damselflies (Enallagma cyathigerum) and a single male Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria). The Long Skimmer is a rare dragonfly which is common in Africa but has a patchy and little know distribution in Southern Spain.
As with the dragonflies, plenty of  butterfly species were on the wing and several interesting species were noted. Blue-spotted Hairstreak (Satyrium spini) and Panoptes Blue (Pseudophilotes panoptes) were both seen feeding on the spiny flowers of Field Eryngo (Eryngium campestre), whilst several Scarce Swallowtails (Chupaleches / Iphichides podalirius feistameli) flew rapidly past looking for the larger flowers of the thistle plants.
Also seen in good numbers were Common (Icaro (Dos puntos) / Polyommtus icarus) and Long-tailed Blues (Lampides boeticus), Brown Argus (Aricia agestis), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina), Small Heath (Ninfa de Linneo / Coenonympha pamphilus f Iyllus), Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx rhamni), Southern Gatekeeper (Pyronia cecilia) and several species of White, including Bath (Blanquiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Small (Blanquita de la Col / Artogeia rapae) and Large (Blanca de la Col / pieris brassicae).
Later in the evening we had a drive along some of the dirt tracks between the local fields and picked up Red-necked Nightjar  (Chotacabras Cuellirrojo / Caprimulgus ruficollis) warming up on the sun baked gravel and Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) hunting from the tops of the telegraph poles, a cracking end to a good day.

Mick Richardson.


* Eagle-Owl.jpg (11.74 kB, 310x322 - viewed 1022 times.)

* Long-Skimmer.jpg (13.6 kB, 591x443 - viewed 999 times.)

* Long-tailed-Blue-1.jpg (19.88 kB, 591x443 - viewed 1022 times.)
« Last Edit: March 13, 2010, 08:30:14 pm by Peter » Logged

Mick Richardson, Birds, Butterflies, Dragonflies, Orchids and Wildflowers in Granada Province and beyond!

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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2009, 01:03:02 pm »

An excellent read Mick and very impressed with the spanish names! I can't see the area not being within your 'local patch' if it starts just 3km away from your house?

The Long Skimmer dragonfly was a bit of a turn-up and must have made the day for you. Again excellent and hope you will update this thread as and when you get time.

Peter  :)
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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2009, 06:30:51 pm »

A great report. There were three species there any one of which would have  really made my day - Eagle Owl, Black-bellied Sandgrouse and Great-spotted Cuckoo.  Next time I drive over from cadiz to visit my old friends near Granada I'll have to get some of those sites from you!

John
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« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2009, 10:32:13 am »

A great report. There were three species there any one of which would have  really made my day - Eagle Owl, Black-bellied Sandgrouse and Great-spotted Cuckoo.  Next time I drive over from cadiz to visit my old friends near Granada I'll have to get some of those sites from you!

John

Says it all for me John. Must really make an effort to get up your way Mick. I have really neglected it due to shortage of time when I am in Andalusia what with migration and the nearby mountain areas in the southern parts.

I loved reading about the butterflies and dragonflies in your area and they will probably convince me to get up there too! Thanks for the great report Mick.

Derek
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2009, 06:02:22 pm »

Hi All.

Well I am really stretching the local patch thing now but I have spent a lot of time up there as it is so hot lower down that it feels local and well I thought that you might like to read it.

In search of endemic Wild Flowers and Alpine Accentors.

Beatriz, Juan and I set off up to the upper car parks above the ski resort at Sierra Nevada to catch the mini bus which takes you to a point a few hundred meters below the Veleta summit. Almost as soon as we got off the bus we picked up the first of about 30+ Alpine Accentor's (Acentor Alpino / Prunella modularis) seen during the day. Most were feeding around the areas of snow which still just hang on in the heat of July, something which has not happened for a few years. On a rocky ledge the first plants were seen and these included Arabis alpina, Polystichum lonchitis, Blue Dream's (Chaenorrhinum glareosum), Arenaria imbricata and Jasion crispa amethystina. We then moved on upwards slowly picking up Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax) on the way. More Alpine Accentor's were seen near the refuge above Laguna de Aguas Verdes, several Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Capra pyrenaica) were feeding around the Lagoon. We then started the walk out to Laguna de Rio Seco where we were to have our lunch but that was some way off. Just as we started down the first and pretty much the only slope on this walk we started to find new plants including Mediterranean Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), House Leek (Sempervivum vicentei ssp lainzii), Ranunculus acetosellifolius, Potentilla nevadensis, Reseda complicata and Sierra Nevada Violet (Viola crassiuscula). High on the cliffs Centranthus nevadensis was seen, unfortunately this was the only plant we saw and it was impossible to get within range with the camera. Linaria glacialis, Epilobium alsinifolium, Lotus glareosus and Silene rupestris were all added to the list along the scree slopes as we headed towards the Laguna.
Lunch was taken beside the Laguna and then a search was made by Juan of the steep scree slopes whilst I spent some time checking out the rocky and damp areas around the water. Ranunculus demissus and acetosellifolius were in the damper flushes along with carpets of Plantago nivalis.
On the drier areas Galium pyrenaicum, Arenaria pungens, Armeria splendens subsp splendens, Sideritis glacialis and Coincya orofila subsp nevadensis were all found. Juan then called me up to a rock mass amongst some very unstable scree which I eventually crossed and was rewarded with several plants of the very rare Artemisia granatensis, a plant which has become rare mainly through over collecting in the passed. The climbing on the scree had just about finished my ankles so instead of going back down I headed up to the path and started to walk ahead whilst Juan went down for Beatriz. They eventually caught me up after a short rain shower had forced me to shelter behind some rocks. We continued the return journey picking up Sedum anglicum subsp melanantherum, Ptilotrichum spinosum and Eryngiun glaciale.
Photographs from the top: Alpine Accentor's (Acentor Alpino / Prunella modularis), Chaenorrhinum glareosum, Linaria glacialis, Ranunculus acetosellifolius, Plantago nivalis and Artemisia granatensis.


* Alpine-Accentor-web.jpg (18.38 kB, 296x222 - viewed 1014 times.)

* Chaenorrhinum-glareosum,-0w.jpg (27.03 kB, 222x296 - viewed 986 times.)

* Linaria-glacialis,-01,-web.jpg (22.29 kB, 222x296 - viewed 981 times.)

* Plantago-nivalis,-02,-web.jpg (31.52 kB, 222x296 - viewed 993 times.)
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Mick Richardson, Birds, Butterflies, Dragonflies, Orchids and Wildflowers in Granada Province and beyond!

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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2009, 04:50:57 pm »

Raptor with a death wish.

On the way back from Granada City this lunch time near the exit for Lachar (salida 223) I was looking to the south for a flock of about 40 Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) which I had seen a few time recently, they were there along with a few Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) and a Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea). As I looked back at the traffic (thought this might be a good idea) I was aware of a small raptor flying at about 2 meters down the outside lane of the motorway. It suddenly lifted to the northern side and landed in a small tree. All I saw at first was a flash of silver / grey so was expecting it to be a Harrier but as it lifted it's small size became apparent as did the black wing patches and I soon realized that the bird was in fact a Black-winged Kite (Elanio Común / Elanus caeruleus). I know that this species is getting quite common over in the west but here in Granada Province it is still only an uncommon winter visitor.

All the best Mick
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Mick Richardson, Birds, Butterflies, Dragonflies, Orchids and Wildflowers in Granada Province and beyond!

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« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2012, 07:37:57 pm »

Hi All.

Not posted on the local patch for a while but picked up this nice chap today, this Dotterel was seen near Moraleda on a field of winter crop. Also in the area we had 2 Golden and a single Bonelli's Eagle, 2 Black-winged Kites, Peregrine and a female Merlin. Not a bad haul for a trip to the market in Granada and back.

Mick.


* 28th-Oct-12-1.jpg (115.65 kB, 600x450 - viewed 550 times.)

* 28th-Oct-12-2.jpg (112.44 kB, 600x450 - viewed 550 times.)
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2012, 02:30:26 pm »

What a great little fella the Dotterel is Mick and what a pleasant find too, lucky blighter!!! Not seen one on my patch for a couple of years now and previously that has also been in October.

Peter  ::)
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« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2012, 09:45:07 pm »

A few more winter visitors.

Out on the local fields over the last few days and adding a few winter visitors to the list, these have included 20 or so Golden Plovers, 1000+ Lapwings, 100+ flock of Bramblings, Loads of Skylarks and a sizable flock of Calandra's. The usual wintering Little Bustards are around and to date the best count has been 225, Stone Curlew counting has been a lot more difficult that usual as the area they roost on has been planted with Asparagus and it hides the birds well but we have still got over 500 birds. Black-winged Kites have been regular, as have Hen Harriers, Merlin and Peregrine, on top of these species we have been seeing Golden and Bonelli's Eagles regularly and an immature Spanish Imperial has been at a site not to for of the Huetor field’s area. Other species seen have included Water Pipit, Snipe, Redwing and Green Sandpiper.

All the best Mick.


* 5th-Dec-12-4.jpg (155.37 kB, 600x477 - viewed 524 times.)

* 5th-Dec-12-2.jpg (101.55 kB, 600x493 - viewed 539 times.)
« Last Edit: December 06, 2012, 09:49:54 pm by Mick » Logged

Mick Richardson, Birds, Butterflies, Dragonflies, Orchids and Wildflowers in Granada Province and beyond!

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« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2012, 05:58:26 pm »

Hi All.

Spent the day birding with the Axarquia Bird Group who had a meeting at Fuente de Piedra. I called in at Laguna Herrera near Antequera where there was plenty of water but few birds with the best being 8+ Dunlin. At Fuente we had the expected species plus 4 Tufted Ducks. On our way around to Dulce we saw a few hundred Common Cranes, Dulce its self was not good and I left after about 10 minutes to find some birds. My next stop was back on the local patch where there were good numbers of Brambling, a Peregrine and find of the day, a flock of 28 Stock Doves mixed in with the local Woodpigeons.

I saw a total of 80 species during the day, read full report on the blog listed below.

Mick.


* 20th-Dec-12-1.jpg (36.46 kB, 600x450 - viewed 521 times.)
« Last Edit: December 22, 2012, 10:44:12 pm by Mick » Logged

Mick Richardson, Birds, Butterflies, Dragonflies, Orchids and Wildflowers in Granada Province and beyond!

www.granadawildlife.com    THE WORK SITE.
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« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2013, 09:56:14 pm »

Plenty of Migrants about and a few wintering species still hanging on.

Hi All,

Plenty of migrants coming throught the local patch here in western Granada Province. The first were as usual the Hirundines with House Martin and Barn Swallows back at there nest sites by mid Feb and they were soon followed by a few Red-rumped Swallows and the first Sand Martins. In the campo Lesser Kestrels were back in good numbers and by early March they were joined by plenty of Great Spotted Cuckoo's in the Cacín Valley, along with a few even larger numbers of hirundines. Later in the month the first of the Subalpine Warblers were coming through with Willow Warblers and they were accompanied by just a single Orphean Warbler. Nightingales were singing by the third week of the month and Yellow Wagtails were coming through in large numbers. This week I had the first Montagu's Harriers and Short-toed Eagles locally and Jayne heard a couple of Bee-eaters passing over which I have yet to see.
Some winter species are still about at the moment with a flock of 9 Little Bustards hanging on and at least 70 Stone Curlews still roosting out on the fields near Huétor which is a good two weeks longer than they are usually there, may be dur to the rain. Lots of Green Sandpipers were still about and a few weeks ago they were joined by lots of Little Ringed Plovers and a couple of days ago I added a Wood Sandpiper to the year list. Some new birds have been added to the local patch list over the last few weeks including 4x Egyptian Geese, Common Redshank and Kentish Plover. Other nice species have been Black-winged Kite, two of which have wintered with us, good numbers of Little Egrets (upto 9) which are normally an uncommon bird in this area, an immature Spanish Imperial Eagle which has been wintering a few KMs away and a scattering of Spanish Sparrows and Bluethroats around a small area of wetland just on the edge of the patch.

More info on the blog at www.lojawildlife.com

Thanks for reading this, Mick
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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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