Friday, 14 May 2010

The Gorge at Alhama de Granada, Granada Province.

A stroll along the river.

Jayne's Brother and Sister eventually arrived yesterday, after a few days delay due to the Icelandic volcano. So we decided that a quiet day was called for, so we had an easy morning and then went for a walk along the Rio Alhama where it runs through the gorge below the town of Alhama de Granada. The weather was not great as the wind was quite strong but this improved later. By the pool at the start of the walk we picked up a couple of Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina) on the water. Along the river the first species seen included Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) both singing nosily, White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax). In the poplar trees a couple of Golden Orioles (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) called and Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricapilla) sang along with several Nightingales (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos). On the banks along the stream there were large numbers of wildflowers in bloom including Pallenis spinosa, Common Poppy (Papaver rhoeas), Common Centaury (Centaurium erythraea), Blue Hounds-tongue (Cynoglossum creticum), Blue Alkanet (Anchusa azurea), Common Snapdragon (Antirrhinum major) and Linaria aeruginea.
Further along the gorge we added Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blue Rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) and Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia). Growing high on the rocks we also spotted the unusual Sarcocapnos enneaphylla, Buckler Mustard (Biscutella frutescens) and Chaenorrhinum Glareosum. Butterflies were surprisingly thin on the ground and we only picked up Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) and Small White (Artogeia rapae). Once we reach the town I doubled back to collect the car and the others went on up to Alhama and we meet up in one of the bars in the upper square.
Photographs from the top: Jayne, Barb and Martin, Sarcocapnos enneaphylla, The Gorge, Linaria aeruginea and Rio Alhama.

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