Saturday 12 September 2009

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

Moth records.

Menophora japygiaria.
Back to using the Actinic trap after an attack on the MV by the local cats which resulted in a broken bulb. The weather was dry but quite a bit cooler with the temperature dropping down to 14 over night.
Cymbalophora pudica.
A new species for the garden was Cymbalophora pudica a species of Tiger Moth which I had seen before down on the coast at Penny Hales near Estapona.
Egyptian Bollworm (Earias insulana).
At least 10 Egyptian Bollworms (Earias insulana) were caught along with 3+ Menophora japygiaria, The Four-spotted (Tyta luctuosa), The Vestal (Rhodometra sacraria), Chlorissa etruscaria, 8+ Small Mottled Willows (Spodoptera exigua), Cosmopolitan (Mythimna loreyi), Palpita unionalis-vitrealis and Small Marbled (Eublemma parva).

Wednesday 9 September 2009

Ronda and Grazalema Visit, Malaga and Cadiz Provinces.

Calling on friends.

After taking Jayne and her two sisters into the centre of Ronda for a day of retail therapy and a nice lunch, I visited Peter Jones of Spanish Nature for a chat and a rummage around the web sites on the net. After a pleasant couple of hours I made my way to Sue and Clive's out nearer to Grazalema to have a rattle and see the newest member of the family Sam. We spent some time out in the garden, particularly down by the stream which boarders their land, a large part of one of the many trees fell of last winter and opened up a small area of ground and the bank of the stream. Almost straight away I had a new Dragonfly species for my list, Western Willow Spreadwing (Lestes viridis), several insects chased around in the dappled sunlight. Western Spectre (Boyeria irene) was also in the area but was only seen by Sue as she walked down the drive gates to let me out. Copper Demoiselle, (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis), Speckled Wood, (Pararge aegeria), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Blackcap (Curruca Capirotarda / Sylvia atricapilla) were all seen. They had just had visitors from Cornwall in the UK and had spent a week searching the area for Dragonflies. Over twenty species were seen but they were now back to work on the PCs keeping the Grazalema Guide and Wildside Holidays web sites up and running. After a cracking couple of hours I made my way back to Ronda to pick the girls up, we started to make our way towards home via a Vulture feeding station. On our arrival a few birds were sitting out in the field but that was about it, so we were just leaving when a tractor with a bucket load of offal left the near by village. What happened next surprised even me, within second two hundred plus Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) were circling the tractor as it turned of the road on to the track and made its way to the dumping site. As the vehicle stopped it was mobbed by birds, it tipped it's load and left the scavengers tearing the offal up and gorging them selves. We then drove back to the main road and got some distant views of the flock in flight as the tractor returned with the second course.
Photographs from the top: Western Willow Spreadwing (Lestes viridis), Copper Demoiselle, (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis), Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) on the ground and last two Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) in flight.

Tuesday 8 September 2009

Huetor Tajar, Granada Province.

On the way back from the shopping.

Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae).
I popped down to the Supermarket in Huetor and decided to cut across the fields on the return journey. A couple of the lucerne fields were being flooded and had attracted large numbers of passage Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae) of all ages and several other subspecies. Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and a single Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) were also feeding on the many insects and animals flushed out by the water.
Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata).
Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer Domesticus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) and a single female Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) were all in the same area.
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Several Lesser Emperors (Anax parthenope) and Red-veined Darts (Sympetrum fonscolombii) were flying around the weedy edges along with a single Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum tarraconesis).
African Grass Blue (Zizeeia knysna).
On a track just before the house several Long-tailed Blues, (Lampides boeticus) , a single Mediterranean Skipper, (Gegenes nostrodamus) were all seen on a small patch of Lucerne. Photographs from the top: Yellow Wagtails (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava), Crested LarkMMediterranean Skipper (Gegenes nostrodamus) and African Grass Blues (Zizeeia knysna).

Sunday 6 September 2009

Embalse del Cubillas, Granada Province.

Raptors and Waders.

Cubillas, the NE corner.
After dropping Jayne and her two sisters off at the market on the outskirts of Granada, I spent a couple of hours birding at the large reservoir at Cubillas. In the main shallow bay at the North East end of the water, there was a large area of exposed shoreline. 
Several Grey Herons (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and a single Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egretta garzetta) were all feeding along the waters edge, along with 50+ Little Ringed Plovers (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), 20+ Common Sandpipers (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos) and 5 Green Sandpipers (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus). 
Honey Buzzard (Aberjero Europeo / Pernis apivorus).
On the wider area of shore in the bay 100+ Honey Buzzards (Aberjero Europeo / Pernis apivorus) and 10+ Black Kites (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans) were sitting in the Tamarisks or on the ground waiting for the thermals to start and over the next hour and a half they all made there way up and off to the West. 
Spawning Carp.
In the Pine woods along the banks of the reservoir Cetti's (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Sardinian Warblers (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) were seen, along with Great (Carbonero Común / Parus major), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) and Long-tailed Tits (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus). Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax) all passed over the area and Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica), House (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Sand Martins (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia) low over the water. 
Pine woods along side the Reseroir.
Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinula Chloropus) and 5 Black-necked Grebes (Zampullín Cuellinegro / Podiceps nigricollis) were out on the water. 
Thousands of largish Carp of some species were also seen spawning in the very shallow water all the way along the eastern side of the reservoir.