02/05 : Sierra María
Another report from Dave & Co. from one of their favourite birding spots - rightly so given the species they see, the Sierra María. I have the same problems with the autfocus when there are lots of leaves, twigs and so on, Dave, as when I took the photos of the Great Reed Warbler at Fuente de Piedra recently.
Gilly and I met up with Brian, Mary, Adrian and Helen at the Repsol Cafe in Maria. Brian and Mary had already seen a Golden Oriole on the way up. Woodchat Shrike was our best offering. We headed down towards the plains, stopping first at the ruins. Here we saw Crossbills near the water deposit. Heard at least 3 Hoopoes. We spotted a Black Redstart before I spotted a pair of Ravens being harassed by a lone Carrion Crow. We next stopped at the water troughs further along. There was a gathering of Rock Sparrows and some Corn Buntings.
We then convoyed slowly along the plain road. There were many Calandra Larks and at least 3 Little Owls. A pair of Northern Wheatears were seen. We got down to the hamlet on the Granada Province border. There were at least 12 Lesser Kestrels hanging around the tiled roofs. We tried to get closer for some photos but they were very skitty. Mary then spotted a larger raptor on the ground near one of the barns. It was a Booted Eagle, plucking and devouring a hapless feral pigeon.
We then retreated to the La Piza recreation area. On arrival I made haste to the loo. Upon my return everybody was glued to one of the trees. Gilly has a knack of finding Hawfinch .... and there were three of them! Took many photos, but only one was reasonable....bloody autofocus zoomed in on leaves, branches, twigs etc! Also had Short-toed Treecreeper and Griffon Vultures there.
After a coffee we headed to the Botanical Garden. Our warbler count was much better than my previous visit even though we only did the lower walk. We saw Subalpine, Melodious and Bonelli's Warbler this time......only Western Orphean to complete the usual María summer visitors! Also added to the list were Crested Tit and Linnet.
39 species for the day.
Publicado por Andy Paterson