Monday, 16 May 2022

Mirador del Alto de Hondonero, Malaga Province, Spain.

Looking for a new butterfly.

Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes).
I drove out to Villanueva del Rosario and then up to the Mirador where I parked and went for a walk down the slope on to the meadows and then further on down the track.
Black-eyed Blue (Glaucopsyche melanops).
Black-eyed Blue (Glaucopsyche melanops).
Black-eyed Blue (Glaucopsyche melanops).
As I walked I saw Bonelli's (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and at the top of the slope above the pools I heard a Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus) calling and when I looked up I saw a pair do a mid air food pass, just a brillant start to the morning.
Lorquin's Blue (Cupido lorquinii).
Lorquin's Blue (Cupido lorquinii).
Lorquin's Blue (Cupido lorquinii).
I continued on down to the bottom of the meadows and checked the grassy areas around the pools where I found a couple of
Black-eyed Blues (Glaucopsyche melanops) and a Lorquin's (Cupido lorquinii) on the damp mud taking in some minerals.
Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe).
Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe).
Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).
I continued to search this area around the small pools finding
Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes) x4, Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) x5, Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe) x5, Lizard (Himanthoglosum hircinum), Small Woodcock (Ophrys picta), Pyramidal (Anacamptis pyramidalia) and Southern Early Purple Orchid (Orchis olbienis) most of the latter were well over with..
Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes).
Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes).
Green-Striped White (Euchloe belemia).
Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri).
I dropped down the bank at the end of the meadows and amongst the rocks and wild flowers I found
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)x1, Western Dappled (Euchloe crameri) x2, Small (Pieris rapae) x8 and Green-Striped White (Euchloe belemia) x1,  Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina) x4, Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua) x6 and then I found what I had come looking for, the first of 4 Spanish Fritillaries (Euphydryas desfontainii).
Spanish Fritillary (Euphydryas desfontainii).
Spanish Fritillary (Euphydryas desfontainii).
I watched the one from the track and then went up to try and grt a better view and found more but they were very flighty and after allowing just a couple of shots they were gone and over the wire fence which prevented me from following.
Escher's Blue (Agrodiaetus escheri).
Escher's Blue (Agrodiaetus escheri).
Small Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys picta).
Small Tongue Orchid (Serapias parviflora).
Very happy with the find as it had been a species I had long wanted to see I returned to the car and dropped down the hill to the pool near the observatory watch point, I walked around the Hawthorns here and found several spikes of what look like Ophrys dyris, as well as Yellow Bee (Ophrys lutea), Small Tongue Orchid (Serapias parviflora), Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator) x1, Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina) x2, Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera) x1, Escher's Blue (Agrodiaetus escheri) x1, Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus) x15+ and Panoptes Blue (Pseudophilotes panoptes) x10+.
Ophrys dyris.
Ophrys dyris.
Ophrys dyris.
Birds in this area included Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus),  Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) and Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki).

Friday, 13 May 2022

Vulture Feeding Station and around Santo Domingo de Silos, Burgos Province, Spain.

A great morning at Lolo's feeding Station and a new Butterfly in the afternoon.

Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) waiting for a feed.

Santi had been busy before I arrived sorting out getting us a second visit to Lolo's Vulture feeding station as he knew I really wanted to photograph the European Black Vulture (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus).
European Black Vulture (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus).
European Black Vulture (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus).
We met Lolo on the edge of the nearest village to the spot and then followed him up to the hide where we were greeted by masses of Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) but with my first scan of the birds I could not see any of the 9 European Black Vultures that had been seen a few days earlier.
European Black Vulture (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus).
European Black Vulture (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus).
However as soon as Lolo put out the first bag of food a single bird dropped in on to the far field but it remained there out of range so we got on with getting some pictures of the Griffon's, once Lolo had empted the first bag he had to leave us and head off but he left us another bag of meat behind the hide to use later.
European Black Vulture (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus).
European Black Vulture (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus).
After just a short while we were aware that at least 3 different European Black Vultures had managed to join the crowds of Griff's without us seeing them fly in, they were somewhat less aggresive than I had expected and ust watched the carnage of the feeding from the edge of the main groups but later picked off a few scraps.
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
As we sat there we also saw Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia), Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), Red (Milano Real / Milvus milvus) and Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica).
Santi with the second bag, checking that no one was getting too close.
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) younger bird.
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) drying out after a bath.
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
Santi went out to put out the second bag of meet and the Vultures were soon in again and gave us loads more chances to get more shots.
Red Kite (Milano Real / Milvus milvus).
Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax).
Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax).
After the food was gone many of the birds had a bath in the pool then sat around the site drying out which again gave us the chance to get more nice picture, very pleased that Santi was able to contact Lolo again and get us a second visit to the hide. Thanks to them both.
Ophrys Rijoana.?????
Ophrys Rijoana.?????
After a while we returned to the car and left the birds to have a quiet afternoon and headed back to silos, later whilst Santi had a siesta I went for a walk along the river looking for Butterflies and Orchids.
Early Purple Orchid (Orchis mascula).
Around the Ermita I again saw the stunning Ophrys Rijoana as well as lots of Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea), Dark Spider Orchid (Ophrys incubacea) and Early Purple Orchid (Orchis mascula).
Chequered Blue (Scolitantides orion).
Chequered Blue (Scolitantides orion).
Chequered Blue (Scolitantides orion).
I then followed the river looking for butterflies and found a real stunner, a male Chequered Blue (Scolitantides orion) x2 which behaved very nicely and allowed me to get some nice pictures.
Panoptes Blue (Pseudophilotes panoptes).
In the same area I added Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Wryneck (Torcecuello / Jynx torquilla), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).
Green-underside Blue (Glaucopsyche alexis).
Other Butterflies seen included Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus) x4, Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina) x3, Green-underside Blue (Glaucopsyche alexis) x1, Large White (Pieris brassicae) x2, Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) x4, Panoptes Blue (Pseudophilotes panoptes) x30+, Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) x1, Common Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines) x4, Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni)  x5 and Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes) x1.
Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina).
Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina).