Friday 22 May 2009

Orchids in Sierra de las Nieves, Malaga Province.

Orchis cazorlensis and Limodorum trabutianum.

Orchis cazorlensis
I drove over to Ronda with Jayne and her sister and we picked Brenda Jones up on the way past her house. Brenda and myself dropped Jayne and Barbara off in the centre of the town for some shopping and continued on to Sierra de las Nieves for a few hours looking for Orchids. Our first spot was at a site given to us by one of the local rangers in low road side scrub on some very rocky ground where we first found several spikes of Man Orchid (Aceras anthropophorum). 
Orchis x incantata (O cazorlensis x O langei).
These were quickly followed by several plants of Orchis cazorlensis which were starting to go over but the top flowers were still good. After a bit of a wonder about we eventually found the Hybrid Orchis x incantata (O cazorlensis x O langei) along with several Lange's (Orchis Langei), Somber Bee (Ophrys Fusca) and Brenda saw a couple of spikes of Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys scolopax) still in flower.
Limodorun trabutianum.
Further down the sierra several spikes of Limodorun trabutianum were in perfect condition in the undergrowth below the Oak trees. Also seen was a single spike of Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera subsp tenthredinifera). We stopped on the way out of the park to have a look at the progress of several spikes of Lizard Orchid (Himantoglossum hircinum) but were dismayed to see that they had all been chewed off by goats or Wild Boar.
Limodorun trabutianum.
A couple of spikes of a pure white Orchis species were seen at higher levels and can only be assigned to Southern Early Purple Orchid (ChupaerosAndrorchis Olbiensis) but all the other spikes of this species at this site were well over with.
White-leaved Bugloss (Echium albicans) was in flower all over the area along with several species of Rock-rose (Helianthemum).

Thursday 21 May 2009

Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

 A day down the Valley birding.

Woodchat Shrikes (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator).
I had arranged to meet Gill and Ian Cardy on the outskirts of Moraleda in the morning for a few hours birding. I was very early so I had a look around some of the more open areas dotted amongst the many houses and was pleased to find a cracking Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus) sitting on a wire in an area of almonds. European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica) and Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) were also found. I then returned to the place for our meeting and just a few second before they arrived 2 Great Spotted Cuckoo's (Crialo Europeo / Clamator glandarius) flew towards the Autovia.
Corn Bunting (Triguero / Miliaria calandra).
Unfortunately on returning to the site with Gill and Ian 20 minutes later the Roller was not seen. We went out into an area of large crop fields where we soon found Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) and the first of several Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax). Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Crested (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata) and Short-toed Larks (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Miliaria calandra) and Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) were all seen.
We then moved down to the Embalse de Cacín picking up Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor Perdicera / Hieraaetus fasciatus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina) and Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis).
Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines).
Several Species of butterfly were also noted, these included Clouded Yellow (Colias crocea), Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines), Bath White (Pontia daplidice), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) and Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus F lyllus).