Friday, 2 June 2017

Travelling North to Fuentetodos, Zaragoza including birding at La Laguna de la Veguilla on the way.

Granada Wildlifes tour of Belchite and the Pyrenees.
A travelling day before the tour starts on the 3rd June.

This tour was a little different in that all the guests were going to be travelling up with me from Malaga the day before the tour started which worked out well, almost!!!!
Jayne and I picked up Andy Mountford from a friends place in Malaga City where he had spent the night after flying in on the Thursday and we headed to the Car hire companies building where I sorted out and collected the van for the tour. We then went to a meeting point nearby where we soon found Andy Patterson waiting for us, Jayne then headed off and went for a walk at Torremolinos and spent the day around the shops. Andy M, Andy P and I chatted for a while but I became concerned that Juliet and David Hird had not joined us so I made a call and David answer and when I said we were ready to go and were at the meeting point I was not expecting the next line which was "We thought we were going tomorrow". Next was "we will be there as soon as possible" and they were, less than one hour later a taxi pulled up and a stressed Juliet and David were with us after packing and getting here in record time. 

Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus).
Whilst Andy M, Andy P and I were at the meeting point we started the trip list off with (I will not count the Red-necked Nightjar (Chotacabras Cuellirrojo / Caprimulgus ruficollis) I heard at home) White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Pallid (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and Common Swifts (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus), Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica).
Anyway we loaded up and were on our way heading East and then North towards Madrid, we stopped for some breakfast after about 3 hours and then stopped off at Laguna de Masegar. On the way from Malaga to the Laguna we saw Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Iberian / Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Iberian / Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Turtle (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and Collared Doves (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto).
At the Wetlands we checked out three different hides over looking different parts of the pools, from the first we picked up Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Red-crested (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina) and Common Pochards (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Great Reed Warbler (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Great Crested (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), Black-necked (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis) and Little Grebes (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Whiskered Tern (Fumarel Cariblanca / Chilidonias hybridus), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and a Great White Egret (Garceta Grande / Egretta alba) on a distant pool.
The second hide added Black Tern (Fumarel Común / Chlidonias niger), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Small White (Pieris rapae) butterfly and Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) and Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) dragonflies.
The last hide at this site was over looking the larger part of the lake and out on the water we saw Purple / Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio) and Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) and in the marginal reeds and Tamarisks Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and calling Penduline Tit (Pájaro Moscón / Remiz pendulinus).
We returned to the Van and drove North but made another stop on the way on some motorway side fields but only added Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) to the day list.
The time was now moving on so except for a stop for some lunch we pressed on through to the nghts Hotel in Fuentetodos seeing Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone) and Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax) on the way.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Upper Cacín Valley, Zafarraya Road and Sierra de Loja, Granada Province.

Out and about with Lynn and Steve Jones from the UK.

Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) on the way to the fields.
We headed off to the fields near Moraleda where we spent a while looking for the resident Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis) which we eventually had out on one of the newly harvested fields on the far side of the site. Before we reached the cereal fields we saw Turtle (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and Collared Doves (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and on a roadside telegraph pole the first Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus) with beetle.
Amongst the Almonds we also saw Thekla (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and Crested Larks (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Iberian / Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops and on the central fields we spent quite a while watching a pair of Rollers (Carraca / Coracias garrulus) bringing in a stream of large black beetles for their young. 
Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus) after feeding the youngsters.
In the same area we also saw Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and out on the far stubble fields where we saw the BB Sandgrouse we also found another pair of Rollers, Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), Iberian / Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) and in the air lots of Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) feeding on an insect hatch. 
Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla).
In the area around the stubble fields we also saw Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Scarce Swallowtail (Chupaleches / Iphiclides podalirius feisthameli), Small White (Pieris rapae), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera) and Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) the adult bird.
We left the site but went just down the road to a spot where I have found a couple of pairs of Little Owls and we soon found an adult bird sat in an Almond but it did not want to play and disappeared almost instantly but a little further down the road another bird sat well and we managed some shot of it. As we were watching this bird I was aware of some wings flapping in a strange way on the other side of the main trunk so we rolled along until we could see what was going on. When we stopped we found a young owl with one of its legs trapped in a crack in the bark and it was hanging upside down looking very unhappy. 
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) the youngster on a safe branch.
I got out of the car and climbed just to the lower branches and unhooked the bird and placed it on a branch nearby before going a little higher getting hold of the bird again and putting it near the nest hole where it sat staring at us. We took a few shots of the little chap and then left the Owls be.
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) safely back at the nest hole.
We then moved back along the Motorway past Loja and down the road to Zafarraya where we parked on a farm track and watched several Montagu's Harriers (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) flying above the cereal fields and seeing a couple of food passes. In the same spot we also saw Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica).
Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), a male with prey.
On our way back east we went up the Sierra de Loja and made our way right over to the far side where we were looking for the locally uncommon butterfly the Geranium Argus (Eumedonia eumedon) which we found but they played hard to get the camera on. 
Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), a male.
In the same area we had Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Iberian Marbled White (Medioluto Ibérica / Melanargia lachesis), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus F lyllus), Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), a rather along way from trees Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae), Southern Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus baeticus) and Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina).
Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), a male.
In this area and on the way up and down we recorded several species of bird including Black (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura) and Black-eared Wheatears (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Spectacled Warbler (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) along with Cardinal Fritillary (Pandora / Argynnis pandora) which flew over the track. We dropped back down to Loja and then back to the house.

Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera).
Geranium Argus (Eumedonia eumedon).
Geranium Argus (Eumedonia eumedon).
Geranium Argus (Eumedonia eumedon).
Geranium Argus (Eumedonia eumedon).

Monday, 29 May 2017

El Porche, Sierra Nevada, Granada Province.

A few hours butterfly hunting (with the Camera).

Marsh Fritillary (Euphydrayas aurinia beckeri).
I dropped Jayne off at the Nevada shopping centre before going up to El Porche and looking for some butterfly species, in the pine woodlands I heard and saw Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater).
Black-veined White (Banca del Majuelo / Aporia crataegi).
In the more open areas which were dotted with Yellow Phlomis (Phlomis lychnitis), Common Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), Berberis vulgaris, Salvia lavandulifolia and White Rockrose (Helianthemum apenninum) I found several species of butterfly including Knapweed (Melitaea phoebe), Marsh (Euphydrayas aurinia beckeri) and Cardinal Fritillaries (Pandora / Argynnis pandora), Common / Southern (Polyommatus icarus / celina) and Panoptes Blue (Pseudophilotes panoptes), Black-veined (Banca del Majuelo / Aporia crataegi) and Small Whites (Pieris rapae), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Grayling (Hipparchia semele), Moroccan Orange-tip (Anthocharis belia), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea) and Spanish Gatekeeper (Lobito listado / Pyronia bathsheba).
Panoptes Blue (Pseudophilotes panoptes).
Just up the road I stopped again and checked out an area of thistles on a roadside bank and found Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla), False Ilex (Querquera / Satyrium esculi) and Blue Spotted Hairstreaks (Mancha Azul / Satyrium spini), Black-veined and Bath Whites (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Panoptes Blue, Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera) and Clouded Yellow.
False Ilex Harstreak (Querquera / Satyrium esculi).
Birds included Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).
Yellow Phlomis (Phlomis lychnitis).
On a meadow near by I saw more Small Skippers, Marsh Fritillaries, Bath White, Meadow Brown, Spanish Gatekeepers, Clouded YellowHeliothea discoidaria, Golden Oriole, House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus).
I also saw two different types of Owlfly, the commonest was Libelloides baeticus but I also saw several of another species which I still need to identify.
Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla).

Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris).
Salvia lavandulifolia.
 Heliothea discoidaria.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Sierra de Loja, Granada Province and Laguna Grande, Arroyo Marin and Guadalhorce, Malaga Province.

Granada Wildlifes Tour of Eastern Andalucia and beyond.
Day Eleven of Eleven, The last day of the tour, catching up with a few species locally.

Southern Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus boeticus).
The group checked out at the Cortijo de Tajar and we all headed off up onto the lower slopes of Sierra de Loja and started off by checking the Oaks below the motorway and then the track up to the quarry where we picked up Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Western Orphean (Curruca Mirlano / Sylvia hortensis), Spectacled (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata), Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Bonelli's Warblers (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), 
Small White (Pieris rapae).
Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) and Blue Tits (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Crag (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa).
Nick looking for the Iberian Magpies.
On the track below the quarry we also recorded Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta), Moroccan Orange-tip (Anthocharis belia), Southern Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus boeticus), Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Panoptes Blue (Pseudophilotes panoptes), Spanish (Lobito listado / Pyronia bathsheba) and Southern Gatekeepers (Pyronia cecilia), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla), False Ilex Hairstreak (Querquera / Satyrium esculi) and Small White (Pieris rapae).
Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea).
From the hill we dropped down and then drove a short way along the motorway to Laguna Grande, we parked and then scanned the pool which had more water in it than expected so we scanned and picked up Great Crested (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) and Little Grebes (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) and Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus). In the trees and overhead we added Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes), Alpine (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) and Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Iberian / Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) and Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur).
On the track I also found a very smart Common Golden Ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii subsp algirica) which was cruising up and down the track but eventually landed and allowed me take a couple of shot but only through the 400mm. We also saw Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea) and Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris).
Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris).
We again moved and spent and hour or so at Arroyo Marin before we dropped down to the airport, during the walk through the woods we found Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra) along with more Hawfinches, Serin, Spotted Flycatcher, Short-toed Treecreeper, Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) and Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti).
Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum).
At the airport John, Pam, Mike and Judy picked up a hire vehicle and headed out towards Ronda and Mike, Nick, Lynda and I went and had a quick look down at Guadalhorce, on the sea we picked up 3x Common Scoters (Negrón Común / Melanitta nigra), Black-headed (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus) and Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and on the reserve Black-winged Stilt, Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata). 
Later I dropped Mike, Nick and Lynda to the airport and then Jayne picked me up and we headed home.
Common Golden Ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii subsp algirica).
Watching a Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) at Laguna Grande.
Beetle Sp.
Sriped Shieldbug (Graphosoma italicum).
Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra).
Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus).
Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus).
White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala).
Snails during Aestivation.
Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus) immature.






Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus) immature and adult.


Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).

Monday, 22 May 2017

La Malaha and Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

Granada Wildlifes Tour of Eastern Andalucia and beyond.
Day Ten of Eleven, A drive South and then a days birding in the Cacín Valley.

Spiny-footed Lizards (Acanthodactylus erythrurus).
We set off south after breakfast and drove south to Granada and then went birding in the area around a disused Cortijo near La Malaha where we soon found several Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni), a pale phase Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Rock Pigeon (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) as well as lots of Spiny-footed Lizards (Acanthodactylus erythrurus), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Small (Pieris rapae), Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice) and Black-veined Whites (Banca del Majuelo / Aporia crataegi), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea) and Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).
Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo).
We moved on to an area of fields nearby and stopped on a roadside to check out an eagle on a pylon which turned out to be a Short-toed (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus). In this area and out on tracks nearby we picked up Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Thekla (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and Short-toed Larks (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla) and more Hoopoes
Osprey (Águila Pescardora / Pandion haliaetus).
Again we moved on and checked out the road between Ventas de Huelma and Cacín, during this drive and a couple of walks we recorded a total of 6x Booted , 2x Golden (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos) and 3x Short-toed Eagles (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Thekla Larks, Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina), Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Clouded Yellow and Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla).
Violet Dropwings (Trithemis annulata).
At the end of the road we checked out an area nearby where we picked up Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia) and Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla).
Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum).
From this area we went up the valley to the Contra-embalse de Bermijalis finding it full of water and holding Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Reed (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and Sardinian Warblers (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), another Short-toed Eagle and a surprising Osprey (Águila Pescardora / Pandion haliaetus) which was first of all seen in a tree and then flew around the res before landing on dead trees in the centre.
Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).
Further up the valley we stopped below the crags at Moraleda seeing Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura) and Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris).
Our last site visit was at Balsa de Rigedor where we had a look for some Dragonflies and found Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum), White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes), Orange-winged (Trithemis kirbyi) and Violet Dropwings (Trithemis annulata), birds included 3x Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) and Melodiuos Warbler
We returned to the hotel and Jayne and I joined the group for a meal later in the evening which was very enjoyable, Thank you all.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Sierra Morena, near Andujar, Jaen Province.

Granada Wildlifes Tour of Eastern Andalucia and beyond.
Day Nine of Eleven, Along the tracks in the hills and back down by the river.

Thread-winged Lacewings (Nemoptera bipennis).
We all had breakfast and the met up out side where we started the list with Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica).
Mike L photographing the Thread-winged Lacewings (Nemoptera bipennis).
We made our way along the motorway, through Andujar to the area north of there for a mornings  birding in the rolling Oak woodlands. As we drove along the track we made several stops and had good views of Iberian / Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea) and Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Griffon (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) and European Black Vultures (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus), Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis) and by a large fire break we had good views of a Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius) as it flew across the tree tops, later we also had good views of a Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus).
Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) caterpillar on a well eaten Fennel Plant.
On the hillsides around us we also found Red (Ciervo común / Cervus elaphus) and Fallow Deers (Gamo común / Dama dama) and as we walked down the road a little way we also found False Ilex Hairstreak (Querquera / Satyrium esculi), Small White (Pieris rapae), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Digitalis mariana subsp heywoodii, Grey-leaved Cistus (Cistus albidus), White Flax (Linum suffruticosum) and Red Phlomis (Phlomis purpurea).
Pam at work.
As we moved along the track we again stopped and after a little hunt finally had good views of a male Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax),  Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), a couple of fly over Hawfinches (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes), two Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) caterpillars on a well eaten Fennel Plant, Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), several Thread-winged Lacewings (Nemoptera bipennis) and some very smart Iberis nazarita.
We reached the far end of the track where we spent quite a while looking for the days main target the White-rumped Swifts (Vencejo Cafre / Apus caffer) which breed in this area, after a while we picked up at least three birds flying along a ridge down river and a while later we had views of rumps as they came a little closer. In the same area we boosted the day list with Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia) and on the dam walls lots of House accompanied by at least a single male Spanish Sparrow (Gorrión Moruno / Passer hispaniolensis). 
After a while we returned to the top of the ridge and picked up Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus).
We drove off this area and had some lunch at a bar near the main road through the site, whilst we were eating we had good views of a couple of Two-tailed Pasha's (Charaxes jasius) chasing each other around the tree tops.
Later we dropped back down to the Rio Juandula but went on the downstream side of the bridge where we saw several new insect species including Orange Featherleg (Platycnemis acutipennis), Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata), Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus), Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus F lyllus), Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera) and Spanish Purple Hairstreak (Laeosopis roboris) and on the bird front we saw or heard Cetti's (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Great Reed Warblers (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) and as we returned to the van we picked up several raptors soaring along a near by ridge including 4x Spanish Imperial Eagles (Aguila Imperial Ibérica / Aguila adalberti), 2x European Black and several Griffon Vultures and a pair of Common Buzzards which were mobbing the eagles.
False Ilex Hairstreak (Querquera / Satyrium esculi).
We crossed the river and had a walk along the far upstream bank but as it was getting warm an late in the afternoon it was just a short stroll but we added Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Long-tailed (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) and Blue Tits (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Cardinal Fritillary (Pandora / Argynnis pandora) and more Spanish Purple Hairstreaks.
Iberis nazarita.
Iberis nazarita in seed.
We headed back to the hotel and later went out for a very nice meal in the town where we order far to much food as every thing including the Pizza's and Salads were massive, we had three Pizza's to take away in the end and ate them for lunch next day.

Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris).
Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) mobbing a Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aguila Imperial Ibérica / Aguila adalberti).


Heliotaurus ruficollis.

Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas).




Closterotomus sp.
Beetles Sp.

Beetle Sp.

Red Phlomis (Phlomis purpurea) by Pam.