Friday 24 April 2009

Cacin Valley and Zafarraya area, Granada Province.

Along the Rio Cacín.

Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica).
Several stops were made along the pines in the Cacin Valley between Moraleda de Zafayona and Embalse de Cacín, Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) were the commonest species seen and heard. Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla) was nesting in a crack in a disused building, Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Cassasquena / Sylvia cantillans), Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura) and Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) were also noted. Further on at the point where the road passes over the Rio Cacin Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) was heard, Melodious (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta) and Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica) and Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) all showed well. 
Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius).

On the Lake Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Green Shank (Archibebe Claro / Tringa nebularia), Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Common Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina) were found. In the reeds Eurasian Reed (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scirpaceus) and Great Reed Warblers (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus) scratched away and European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) all feed over head. Just as we were leaving the site a Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator glandarius) was seen in an Almond Tree along the road side.
We then moved across to the area near to Zafarraya picking up Short-toed (Terrera Común / Calandrella brchydactyla), Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and Crested Larks (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata) on the way. In the Oak woodlands Giant (Himantoglossum robertiana), Sawfly (Ophrys tenthredinifera subsp tenthredinifera) Yellow Bee (Orquídea Abejera / Ophrys lutea), Conical Orchid (Neotinea conica) and Sword-leaved Helleborine (Cephalanthera longifolia) were all in flower. Further along the valley on the way back towards Loja two pairs of Montagu's Harriers (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) were seen displaying over a large cereal crop field.

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).