Wednesday, 22 April 2009

A day amongst the white villages in Cadiz Province.

Spring Orchids.

Orchis X gennarii.
I spent the day in the area around the villages of Grazalema and Zahara in the Province of Cadiz looking for orchids. The first stop was at a grassland site call La Rana a few Km's South West of Grazalema on the road to Ubrique. Where in one area Champagne Orchid (Orchis Champagneuxii) covered the ground in there hundreds, along with the hybrid between it and Pink Butterfly Orchid (Orchis papilionacea) = (Orchis X gennarii) they made quite a show.
Also at the site several bird species were noted including European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Southern Grey (Alcaudón Real Meridional/ Lanius meridionalis) and Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Orphean (Curruca Mirlona / Sylvia hortensis), Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Subalpine Warblers (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans)and over head a Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europea / Circaetus gallicus) passed by.
Small Woodcock Orchid (Orquídea abejera becada / Ophrys picta).
Later Somber Bee (Ophrys fusca / O. forestieri), Yellow Bee (Ophrys Lutea), Sawfly (Ophrys tenthredinifera subsp tenthredinifera), Mirror (Ophrys speculum subsp speculum), Lange's (Orchis Langei) and Italian Man Orchids (Orchis Italica) were all seen on the road between Grazalema and Zahara. On the return route along the shores of the lake near Zahara I saw Small Woodcock Orchid (Orquídea abejera becada / Ophrys picta) in all three of the colour forms (pink, white and green petals), Small-tongue Orchid (Serapias parviflora) and a lot of Giant Orchid (Himantoglossum robertiana) which was well over with. At the view point along the road Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia) and Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli) were all seen, along with a Large Psammodromus (Lagartija colilarga / Psammodromus algirus) and a couple of Moorish Geckos (Tarentola mauritanica).

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