Wednesday, 22 April 2009

A day amongst the white villages in Cadiz Province.

Spring Orchids.

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.
Later Somber Bee Orchid (Ophrys Fusca), Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys Lutea), Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys Tenthredinifera), Mirror Orchid (Ophrys Speculum), Lange's Orchid (Orchis Langei) and Italian Man Orchid (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 Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys Scolopax) in all three of the colour forms (pink, white and green petals), Small Flowered Tongue Orchid (Serapias parviflora) and a lot of Giant Orchid (Barlia Robertiana) which was well over with. At the view point along the road Griffon Vulture, Red-billed Chough, Rock Bunting and Bonelli's Warbler were all seen, along with a Large Psammodrmus (Psammodrmus algirus) and a couple of Moorish Geeko (Tarentola mauritanica).
Photographs from the top: Orchis X gennarii and Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys scolopax).

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