Saturday, April 07, 2018

Estepas de Yecla

Today a return visit to Yecla. Arriving 8.30ish very cold only 6 to 7 degrees, low cloud even foggy,  2 Yellow Wagtails, a few Meadow Pipits,  Rock Sparrow, Iberian green Woodpecker.

Iberian green Woodpecker

A distant Woodchat Shrike on some irrigation sprinklers,
nice start to the day moving down the track,

Rock Sparrow
4 Black-eared Wheatear's just around the corner near the animal pens, Greater short-to Lark, Chough, Raven, Magpie, Crow, Thekla's Lark, Stone Curlew, we spent about an hour moving up and down this part of the track.

Thekla Lark
 another black-eared Wheatear, a pair of Little Owls showing very well. Tree Sparrow, Hoopoe, also there.

Black-eared Wheatear
Already seeing some different birds from a few days before I was hoping we might still get the Sand Grouse, fingers crossed they'll be in the same area? some big flocks of linnet, Goldfinch, Serin, Greenfinch in smaller flocks.

Little Owl
We took a detour up towards the treeline hope for something different only to find more Greater Short-toed Lark and plenty of Calandra Larks. Great spotted Cuckoo raucous call heard, ending up back at the main road, we decided to check the other side of the main road.
Temperatures Still down, cloudy and a brisk wind. 2 Woodchat Shrikes perched up in the top of a bush, quite different from the birds seen 2 days ago,

Woodchat Shrike

heading back to where the Sandgrouse had been seen, I wasn't that hopeful they be there. Eventually,y, we arrived at the area, we scanned, listened and waited  "nothing" then I heard just one call, I said there here! "get out the car", we scanned the stone field in front of us, but nothing!!
Suddenly they got up!! "Pintail" I called, we watch them disappear over the other side of the valley.
"Result"  we connected with the Sand Grouse and a shake of the hands to celebrate, that was good I said, then without warning another group even closer not seen by us, some twenty plus took flight, so well camouflaged so easily overlooked.
I wished I'd remembered normally they don't all fly off if it the only handful taking off there areas usually others that stay motionless and freeze /cling to the ground.

Greater Short-toed Lark

Lesser Kestrels are around but hard to correctly ID as Common kestrels are prominent in the area. Today at least one male Lesser and two females. The usual barn where they nest may not be an active site this year??
Heading back Black-eared Wheatear Black Wheatear, Northern Wheatear, Mistle Thrush.
No Golden Eagle today, that would have been the icing on the cake so that will have to wait for another day.
Cheers Bryan.

1 comment:

  1. Some nice images Brian, we met up at San Felipe yesterday, all the gear and no idea ! can see my efforts on the following link, you will see your site is already on my list.