Saturday 30 May 2009

A day in the Sierra Nevada with SEO, Granada Province.

The Genil Valley.

Rio Genil in a wooded valley.
A group of 13 set off on a wild life walk along the Rio Genil in the wooded valleys in the north of the National Park. The walk started at Estacion de Maitena just east of Guejar-Sierra and followed the Rio Genil for quite a few KMs. Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica) and Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) were all seen before leaving the road and following the disused tram line. Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) were all feeding in a small group of Sweet Chestnut Trees (Astanea sativa) along the way. 
Digitalis obsura.
Pyrenean Oak (Quercus pyrenaica) and Yew (Taxus baccata) were both found near the first Venta and just before we left the tram way to join la Vereda de la Estrella we found several spikes of Robust Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza elata) in a track side flush along with Digitalis obsura and Dianthus Pungens. Acer granatense, Acer monspessulanum and Sorbus torminalis were three new tree species I had not seen before in Granada Province which were all described by our walk leader Jorge Garzón. Bonelli’s Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Robin (Petirrrojo / Erithacus rubecula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricapilla) and Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) all sang from the scrub growing on the slopes.
Pyrenean Oak (Quercus pyrenaica).
We stopped for lunch on the bank of the Rio Genil where a Dipper (Mirlo Acuático / Cinclus cinclus) put in an appearance up stream from us.
The weather then took a turn for the worse, thunder, lightening, hail, rain and snow all took there turn before the sun returned. The storm rumbled away behind us for the rest of the day but did not cause any problems. Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Blue-Rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) and Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) were all added to the day's list on the way back to the cars. 
Some snow on the  Sierra.
Many more species were seen during the day (too many to list here) and every one had a most enjoyable walk.

A day in the Sierra Nevada with SEO, Granada Province, (part two).

Some of the Butterflies in Sierra Nevada.

Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus alceae).
Whilst on the walk a good number of butterflies were seen in the sunshine that was with us for most of the day. Many species were seen collecting minerals and water from the small flows of water along the path ways.
Marsh Fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia).
Many Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus  alceae) and Small Skippers (Thymelicus sylvestris) and Marsh Fritillaries (Euphydryas aurinia) were found at these wet flushes. Large (Pieris brassicae), Small (Artogeia rapae) and Black-Veined Whites (Aporia crataegi), Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba) and Clouded Yellow (Colias crocea) were all seen commonly flying amongst the trees.
Cardinal Fritillary (Argynnis pandora).
Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines), Moroccan Orange-tip (Anthocharis belia) and Common Orange-tip (Anthocharis cardamines), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae), Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina), Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides podalirius feisthameli) the southern form of this species, Cardinal Fritillary (Argynnis pandora), Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina) which is also quite different from the Northern European form (female having blue upper wings), Bath White (Pontia daplidice), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) also differing slightly from Northern forms by having Orange instead of cream spots and Brown Argus (Aricia agestis) were all also seen during the day.
Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina).