Saturday 1 August 2009

RAM and Charca de Suárez, Motril, Granada Province.

Another new bird for my Province list.

Female Red-crested Pochards (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina).

Alice, Juan and I met at the usual junction on the Autovia down towards Motril and headed to cabo Sacratif east of the town. The usual birds were seen on the Ram part of the morning, with the exception of Balearic Shearwaters (Pardela Balear / Puffinus mauretanicus) and Gannets (Alcatraz Atlántico / Morus bassanus).  
Cory's Shearwater (Pardela Cenicienta / Calonectris diomedea), Audouin's (Gaviota de Audouin / Larus audouinii), Mediterranean (Gaviota Cabecinegra / Larus melanocephalus) and Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Sandwich Tern (Charrán Patinegro / Sterna sandvicensis) were all recorded on this flat calm morning.
Little Grebe (Zapullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis).
During the sea watch 3 Peregrine Falcons (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus) were seen to take a Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) out over the sea, the adult making the kill and passing it to one of the younger birds.
We later popped quickly in at the port where large numbers (200+) Audouin's Gulls were roosting on the dock areas along with Black-headed (Gaviota Reidora / Lanus ridibundus) and Yellow-legged Gulls.
We then made our way to the wetland of Charca de Suárez a little further along the coast. We went into the normal hides but then bumped into one of the wardens and he told us that there was someone in the photographic hide and if we wanted we could go and join him.
Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea).
The light is much better from this hide at the time of day we were there so we managed to get some nice shots of the birds. The best birds seen were two female Red-crested Pochards (Pato Colorado / Netta rufina) which were a new Granada Province species for me. Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina), Little Grebe (Zapullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Common Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) were all seen out on the water.
Male Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria).
Several Kingfishers (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) and Little Bitterns (Avetorillo Común / Ixobrychus minutus), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) were seen around the main lagoon along with Purple Swamp-hen (Calamón Común / Porphyrio porphyrio).
A single Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans) made several passes over the main lake causing mayhem for a while. Black Percher (Diplacodes lefebvrii), Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata), Broad Scarlet (Crocothemis erythraea), Iberian Bluetail (Ischnura graellsii), Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) and a male Long Skimmer (Orthetrum trinacria), this is only the second sighting of this species that I have had in Spain.

Thursday 30 July 2009

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

Moth Records. 

Chlorissa etruscaria.
The second nights trapping was carried out with the 125 MV lamp, a much brighter light which attracted in some nice species and a lot of not so nice bitting chaps. 
Uresiphita polygonalis.
Again Small Marbled (Eublemma parva) was the commonest species with about 30 in and around the trap, along with 8 Menophra japygiaria and a dozen or so Vestal (Rhodometra sacraria). 
Antigastra catalaunalis.
A single Emerald Species Chlorissa etruscaria and 2 The Passenger (Dysgonia algira) were both found on the vegitation around the light. Four-spotted (Tyta luctuosa), Boarded Straw (Heliothis peltigera), Cresent Dart (Agrotis trux), Palpita unionalis, Stibaromacha ratella and Antigastra catalaunalis were also seen.
Four-spotted (Tyta luctuosa).

Sunday 26 July 2009

Parque Nacional de Sierra Nevada, Granada Province.

In search of endemic Wildflowers and Alpine Accentors.

Alpine Accentor (Acentor Alpino / Prunella modularis).

Beatriz, Juan and I set off up to the upper car parks above the ski resort at Sierra Nevada to catch the mini bus which takes you to a point a few hundred meters below the Veleta summit and almost as soon as we got off the bus we picked up the first of about 30+ Alpine Accentor's (Acentor Alpino / Prunella modularis) seen during the day.
Linaria glacialis.
Most were feeding around the areas of snow which still just hang on in the heat of July, something which has not happened for a few years.
On a rocky ledge the first plants were seen and these included Arabis alpina, Polystichum lonchitis, Blue Dream's (Chaenorrhinum glareosum), Arenaria imbricata and Jasion crispa amethystina.
We then moved on upwards slowly picking up Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax) on the way.
More Alpine Accentor's were seen near the refuge above Laguna de Aguas Verdes, several Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Capra pyrenaica) were feeding around the Lagoon.
We then started the walk out to Laguna de Rio Seco where we were to have our lunch but that was some way off.
Just as we started down the first and pretty much the only slope on this walk we started to find new plants including Mediterranean Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), House Leek (Sempervivum vicentei ssp lainzii), Ranunculus acetosellifolius, Potentilla nevadensis, Reseda complicata and Sierra Nevada Violet (Viola crassiuscula).
Artemisia granatensis.
High on the cliffs Centranthus nevadensis was seen, unfortunately this was the only plant we saw and it was impossible to get within range with the camera. Linaria glacialis, Epilobium alsinifolium, Lotus glareosus and Silene rupestris were all added to the list along the scree slopes as we headed towards the Laguna.
Lunch was taken beside the Laguna and then a search was made by Juan of the steep scree slopes whilst I spent some time checking out the rocky and damp areas around the water. Ranunculus demissus and acetosellifolius were in the damper flushes along with carpets of Plantago nivalis.
On the drier areas Galium pyrenaicum, Arenaria pungens, Armeria splendens subsp splendens, Sideritis glacialis and Coincya orofila subsp nevadensis were all found.
Juan then called me up to a rock mass amongst some very unstable scree which I eventually crossed and was rewarded with several plants of the very rare Artemisia granatensis, a plant which has become rare mainly through over collecting in the passed.
The climbing on the scree had just about finished my ankles so instead of going back down I headed up to the path and started to walk ahead whilst Juan went down for Beatriz.
Ranunculus acetosellifolius.
They eventually caught me up after a short rain shower had forced me to shelter behind some rocks. We continued the return journey picking up Sedum anglicum subsp melanantherum, Ptilotrichum spinosum and Eryngiun glaciale.
Plantago nivalis.
Blue Dream's (Chaenorrhinum glareosum).