🍂🇪🇸 Thursday, November 11th ⛅️ 21C ~ Whenever I visit Spain there's always one particular area that's on my 'must do' list and just a 10-minute drive from the villa is the old quarry at Canteros Los Arenales ~ Site details HERE
|Black Wheatear ~ One of my favourite species|
At the car park at Sendero Cerro de la Medialuna, there are rocky outcrops and a good selection of repopulated pine mixed with Holm oaks and other typically Mediterranean shrubs. Almost immediately on arrival you hear the grating calls of Dartford Warblers echoing around the old quarry. Just sit for a while and it's not long before the stars of the show appear in the form of Black Wheatears.
|Black Wheatear ~ Even at this time of year the birds are happy to produce a short blast of song.|
I've been coming to this part of Spain for over 10 years and this is always one of the highlights for me. These are sedentary birds but have quite large territories and the best time to see them for me is late autumn. Some actually mate for life and today I managed to see three birds in total, including a pair.
From the car park I took the steady walk up to around 2,500ft to Puerto de la Graja which offers stunning views across the Hoya de Malaga. Species of note today included Crag Martin, Short-toed Treecreeper, Rock Bunting, Crested Tit, Firecrest, Siskin, Crossbill and Peregrine. Some large congregations of Chaffinch winter up here too and in amongst them you can sometimes find Brambling, although not during this visit. However, today was all about Black Wheatears!