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Sunday 12 May 2024

Mirador del Alto de Hondonero and Along the Arroyo Marin, Malaga Province, Spain.

Out amongst the bikes at a great butterfly spot.

Spanish Fritillary (Euphydryas desfontainii).
We headed for Mirador del Alto de Hondonero but soon realized that Sunday was possibly not the best day to visit particularly when there is a mountain bike race going on, the road wasn't closed so we continued on up and eventually got to the main view point.
Spanish Fritillary (Euphydryas desfontainii).
Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe).
Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe).
Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe).
We parked and went for a walk out onto some nearby meadows where we found the area was wetter than expected but there were still butterflies around and during the next few hours we were there dodging the bikes we picked up Knapweed (Melitaea phoebe) x6, Provençal (Melitaea deione) x2 and a single Spanish Fritillary (Euphydryas desfontainii) x1, Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua) x5, Black-veined (Aporia crataegi) x30+, Bath (Pontia daplidice) x1 and Small White (Pieris rapae) x6, Lorquin's (Cupido lorquinii) x1, Southern (Polyommatus celina),  Chapman's (Polyommatus Thersites) and Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus), Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera) x1, Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) x3, Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychlorus) x2, Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus) x4, Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba) x9, Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina) x1, Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) x2, Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) x1, Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina) x1, Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera) x3 and Large Wall Brown (Lasiommata maera) x2.
Provençal Fritillary (Melitaea deione).
Provençal Fritillary (Melitaea deione).
In the same area we also saw 10600b Arctia angelica, Ophrys algarviensis, Small Woodcock (Ophrys picta) and Small Tongue Orchid (Serapias parviflora), Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Bladder Campion (Silene vulgaris), Wild Gladiolus (Gladiolus italicus), Black Horehound (Ballota nigra), Purple Bugloss (Echium plantagineum),  Mallow-leaved Convolvulus (Convolvulus althaeoides), Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum), Pitch Trefoil (Psoralea bituminosa), Purple (Phlomis purpurea) and Yellow Phlomis (Phlomis lychnitis), Tassel Hyacinth (Leopoldia comosa) and Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus).
Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi).
Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi).
Lorquin's Blue (Cupido lorquinii).
Large Wall Brown (Lasiommata maera).
Large Wall Brown (Lasiommata maera).
Bird wise we saw and heard 
Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Western Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlona / Sylvia hortensis), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus) and European Green Woodpecker (Pito Real euroasiático / Picus viridis).
10600b Arctia angelica.
Small Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys picta).
Ophrys algarviensis.
We returned to the car and then dropped down a short way down the hill and parked again, we checked out the tracks there finding
Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi), Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli), Rosy Grizzled (Pyrgus onopordi) and Red-underwing Skipper (Spialia sertorius), Queen of Spain (Issoria lathonia) and Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) before we dropped down the hill again to get a late lunch before we spent the rest of the afternoon at the nearby Arroyo Marin.
Rosy Grizzled Skipper (Pyrgus onopordi).
Red-underwing Skipper (Spialia sertorius).
Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi) mating pair.
We first walked a short way along the valley track where we heard or saw Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Nightingale, Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti).
Green-Striped White (Euchloe belemia).
Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri).
Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri).
Down on the meadow near the start of the track we found Western Dappled (Euchloe crameri) and Green-Striped White (Euchloe belemia), Macroglossum stellatarum (Hummingbird Hawkmoth), Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas), Bartsia trixago, Crown Daisy (Chrysanthemum carinatum), Common Chicory (Cichorium intybus), Common Vetch (Vicia sativa), Ground-pine Germander (Teucrium pseudochamaepitys), Ornithogalum narbonense, White Campion (Silene latifolia), Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum baeticum) and Malva hispanica.
Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba).
Malva hispanica.
Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum).
We returned to the car and headed back to Antequera and then I made my way home. 

Saturday 11 May 2024

Cabo de Gata in Almeria, Sierra de Huétor and near Torreón de Albolote in Granada Province, Spain.

Moving out West through Granada to Antequera.
Ebird List for Hotel Blanca Brisa, Cabo de Gata.

Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula).
We woke to cloud and a bit of light rain, had cleared my room and was doing a bit of birding outside in the hotel car park when I was surprised to see a Pied Crow (Cuervo Pío / Corvus albus) fly over with a couple of Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), unfortunaley it continued on and I didn't get the chance to take any photo's.
Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychlorus) a very tatty individual.
I contacted Garry Pearson a local birder and he told me that it had been around for a while and was unringed, extremely mobile and difficult to track down so I was very pleased to connect with it.
Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina).
Karen and Rob came out but missed the bird unfortunately, we loaded up and started the drive across to Antequera but instead of going along the coast we went up north and via Sierra de Huétor, on the way we saw Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) x3, Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone) and Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus).
Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus).
We pulled off the A92 at Venta del Molinillo where we had a walk up along the Arroyo de Prado Negro where we found
Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei).
Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe).
Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe).
Queen of Spain (Issoria lathonia).
Butterflies included Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Queen of Spain (Issoria lathonia), Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe), Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychlorus) x2, Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli), Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina), Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines), Small (Pieris rapae), Large (Pieris brassicae) and Wood White (Leptidea sinapis) and Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria). 
Sisymbrella aspera.
Sisymbrella aspera.
Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina).
Clouded Yellow (Colias corceua).
We started to walk back to the car, as we went we saw Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula), Sisymbrella aspera, Purple Bugloss (Echium plantagineum), Blue Hedgehog Broom (Erinacea anthyllis), Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum), Rosy Garlic (Allium roseum), Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis),  Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Pitch Trefoil (Psoralea bituminosa), Southern Red Bartsia (Parentucellia latifolia), Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata), Tassel Hyacinth (Leopoldia comosa), Wild Grape Hyacinth (Muscari neglectum), Stinking Hellebore (Helleborus foetidus) and Large Psammodromus (Psammodromus algirus).
Barton's Orchid (Dactylorhiza insularis).
Barton's Orchid (Dactylorhiza insularis).
Barton's Orchid (Dactylorhiza insularis).
We moved a few KM up the road to Los Mimbres where we saw several spikes of some Orchids including
Barton's  (Dactylorhiza insularis), Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea) and Orchis cazorlensis.
Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea).
As we walked around the Pine Woodlands we also saw Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina), Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni), Clouded Yellow, Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe), Adonis vernalis, Ground-pine Germander (Teucrium pseudochamaepitys), False Sainfoin (Vicia onobrychioides), 
Orchis cazorlensis.
Orchis cazorlensis.
Orchis cazorlensis.
Orchis cazorlensis.
Orchis cazorlensis.
Orchis cazorlensis.
We continued on towards Granada and visited another spot just to the north of the city near to Embalse de Cubillas, we parked and wandered around the grassland area near the Picnic area and then went up the main track and checked out a couple more interesting looking butterfly spots, we found Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), a few Small WhitesBladder Senna (Colutea arborescens), Large Blue Flax (Linum narbonense) but not a great deal else unfortunately.
A full looking Embalse de Cubillas near Granada.

Bladder Senna (Colutea arborescens).

Large Blue Flax (Linum narbonense).


Friday 10 May 2024

Inland from Nijar, Punta Entinas near Roquetas de Mar and Retamar, Almeria, Spain.

A drive inland but with a noticeable lack of Butterflies.
Ebird List for Punta Entinas, 38 Species.

Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) male.
We were up, out and headed inland hoping to find a few more butterflies which so far had been thin on the ground in Almeria but as hard as we looked we spent the whole of the drive and walk finding just 3 Wall Browns (Lasiommata megera) and an unidentified White species.
Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) male.
Other species seen included Iberian Brown Hare (Liebre ibérica / Lepus granatensis), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris). 
Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) immature male.
We made a stop in Sorbus for a coffee, whilst there we checked the Rambla de la Mojonera from the nearby bridge adding a Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus) and then as we dropped down to Roquetas de Mar and on to Punta Entinas, on the way we saw another RollerRaven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).
Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) female.
Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) female.
Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) female.
We arrived at the reserve but found that there was a chain across the track so we parked and walked in, on the way we saw Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) x1, Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) x3 a single Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria) and around the pools we added Collared Pratincole (Canastera Común / Glareola pratincola), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Kentish Plover (Chorlitejo Patinegro / Charadrius alexandrinus), Curlew Sandpiper (Correlimos Zarapitin / Calidris ferruginea), Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), Little (Charrancito Común / Sterna albifrons), Gull-billed (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica), Common (Charrán Común / Sterna hirudo) and Black Tern (Fumarel Común / Chlidonias niger), Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Slender-billed (Gaviota Picofina / Larus genei) and Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis).
Little Tern (Charrancito Común / Sterna albifrons).
Collared Pratincole (Canastera Común / Glareola pratincola).
On the two larger deeper pools on the opposite side of the track we found
Red-crested Pochard (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Glossy Ibis (Morito Común / Plegadis falcinellus), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis).
Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta).
We turned around and made our way out adding Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis).
Common Tiger Blue (Tarucus theophrastus) male.
Common Tiger Blue (Tarucus theophrastus) Pair.
Common Tiger Blue (Tarucus theophrastus) Pair.
Common Tiger Blue (Tarucus theophrastus) Pair.
Common Tiger Blue (Tarucus theophrastus) Pair.
Common Tiger Blue (Tarucus theophrastus) Pair.
On the way back to the hotel we went via Retamar where we had coffee and cake before checking out the two large  Ziziphus spina-christi bushes and even though it was extremely windy we still found several Common Tiger Blues (Tarucus theophrastus) including at least one female which was displaying with a male and getting attention from several others.
Clytra quadripunctata.
We returned to the hotel and then later we went out for a meal in San Jose and had a walk along the beach before returning to the hotel for our last night.