Early morning bird run up from Plaza Nueva past the Alhambra, then up to the ridge on the left above the upper
parking lot, then SE along the ridge about 2 miles to where a trail, part of the Parque periurbano
trail system, descends into the Darro river valley. That trail switchbacks down through maquis
(chapparal) into oak woods then traverses across steep meadows above the Darro back to the Alhambra.
I cut down a steep waytrail to an aqueduct control station of some kind about even with the
Sacramonte wall, then descended a little farther to a road which runs back to a little bridge over
the Darro at the upper end of the Plaza de los Tristes, about a half mile up from Plaza Nueva.
I covered 7 miles in about 3 hours starting at 0715 and identified 23 species. I'm sure I missed
at least several more by not being familiar with most of the songs I heard. No photos since I didn't
carry my camera.
Chukar 1 Possibly a red partridge hybrid. Bold black bars on sides, brownish belly, black face outline
Cuckoo 2 Flew down the valley. Falcon-like shape w/ pointed wings & long tail but larger head. Uniform slate gray above, axillars appeared dark. Call heard separately, musical "cuckoo".
Rock Dove 2
Common Swift 100
Wren 2 Maquis and oak woods, seemed long-backed and browner below than American Winter Wren. Stripe over eye. Song like thin, scratchy house wren, less burbling w/ more dry trills. Call "tiik tiik tiik".
Robin 3 Singing in woods below Alhambra, quite tame.
Blackbird 8 Mostly in pairs, in all habitats.
Sardinian Warbler 4 Call a rapid harsh "ktshktshktshktshktsn". Mostly low in scrub, gnatcatcher-like with dark head, gray upper parts, paler below. Not seen well.
Blackcap 13 Leafy tree cover in woods and gardens below and around the Alhambra. Song is a sharp up-and-down warbling with scratchy sputtery notes. Wheezy calls when scolding cat. Female brown above, reddish-brown cap.
Western Bonelli's Warbler1 Slender and very active, hopping/flitting rapidly through branches, hovering often. Plain olive-brown above w/ pale line over dark eye w/ no eyering. In open oak chapparal. "kweeerp" call.
Blue Tit 3+ Open woods & pines. Calls querelous "seeseeseechecheseeseechecheche".
Great Tit 11 Chapparal w/ scattered oaks, weedy grassland w/ scattered pines or bushes. In family groups w/ drab young. Calls slightly nasal "sweeechittttt", "seetseetseetteeeteeeteee", the second part clear.
Golden Oriole 1 Heard only, phrases w/ meadowlark-like sound quality. Each phrase repeated several times. Riparian trees. "tir tee tileeeur"
Spotless Starling 4 Town and Alhambra
Jay 1 Darra river valley flying low over riparian
Magpie Open country w/ pines and orchards
House Sparrow 8 Buildings and adjacent woods
Chaffinch 4 Pines near open areas. Med-small finch w/ white wingbars and outer tail feathers. Distinctive song "sisisisisichichichichitritritrisureeeur", accent on the last phrase. Male brownish red, female gray.
Serin 11 Buzzy song like Anna's Hummingbird. Common in all wooded & brushy habitats.
Greenfinch 3 Various wooded and semiopen habitats. Song is varied trills.
Goldfinch 2 Pines on open ridge
Rock Bunting 1 On trail in open grassy/brushy area. Brown body, size of white-crowned sparrow, boldly black & white striped head.