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Berchules, Granada, Spain

11 October 2010

Report of the third Alpujarran bird census

Sunday the 3rd of October the third bird census of the Alpujarra was organized by Carmen of Alquería de Morayma, a rural hotel in Cádiar. A total of 32 different species were counted and ticked off on the list that was made by Miranda and Trevor, a British couple that has been bird watching in this area for over twenty years. Apart from adding the Dutch and scientific names to the bird checklist, we have ticked off the species sighted or heard on the past three bird counts.

Carmen published a report of this day on the website of Alquería de Morayma. This is a translation of her account of the International Bird Day celebrated on the 3rd of October in Cádiar:
"This day was celebrated by Alquería de Morayma with a beautiful walk in the valley of the river Guadalfeo. The eleven participants with different nationalities, were guided by Gary, a very enthusiastic and knowledgeable naturalist and Antonio J. Ramos, guide of the Natural Park Sierra Nevada. Anita of Casa Rural El Paraje and Carmen of the Alquería also participated.
The morning started clear and pinkish but turned windy. The day was blessed by birds of prey. The first birds that were sighted was a pair of Golden Eagles while setting off.
While walking on the ridge of the Loma de Cayón through vineyards, almond and fig orchards a number of Stonechats and other passerine birds were spotted. Under the bridge of the river Guadalfeo, an igloo-shaped nest of the Red-rumped Swallow was observed. Antonio commented that this bird started colonising Andalusia not too long ago. He added that the White-rumped Swift, another bird that has expanded into southern Spain, appropriates the nests of the Golondrina daúrica, while these two species share a territory in a curious way. Further on the Red-rumped Swallow was observed. The route continued through the Rambla de Albayar covered with gorse, rosemary and tamarisk. There was still water running through this river bed, thanks to the abundant rain fall this past winter (1217 litres/m2 measured by the meteorological station in Cádiar). As the Peregrine Falcon was sighted it got the title of ´Bird of the Day´, but it did not keep this for long. While watching a family of fat partridges running and flying up, two Goshawks appeared from behind some cliffs and took over the title. At this time of the year, this raptor comes down from the pine woods in search of food. To strenghten its first place, this pair of raptors stayed around for some time and gave a fantastic flight show. More information on the bird census can be found on the blogs of Sendero Sulayr and Casa Rural El Paraje."

Related article: Peregrine Falcon holds the title of the animal kingdom's fastest flier article on Nacional Geographic

Related key words: vogels, alpujarras, sierra nevada, wandelen, wandelingen, trektocht, standplaats vakantie, hiking, trekking, Berchules, B&B, hotel, wanderungen

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