Another RFH walk.
Today's hike was the usual Sunday trail around the El Chorro gorge area. 11 of us set off through the pine woodlands and down along the river to the far end of the Kings walk. On the way I was amazed how many Man Orchids (Flor del Ahorcado / Aceras anthropophorum) were growing under the Pine trees, during the walk I must have seen 500+ spikes. Also seen in good numbers were Mirror (Espejo de Venus / Ophrys speculum subsp speculum), Yellow Bee (Abejera amarilla / Ophrys Lutea) and Sawfly Orchids (Abejorros, flor de avispa / Ophrys tenthredinifera). Common Crossbills (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra) could be heard and seen almost continuously throughout the walk, along with Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Great (Carbonero Común / Parus major), Crested (Herrerillo Capuchino /Parus cristatus) and Coal Tits (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla) and Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major). Near the Kings walk we added flight views of Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Blue Rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Alpine (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) and Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido / Apus pallidus), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia) and Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea). We then did the steady up hill stretch of the trail, at the top near one of the view points there was a nice colony of about 20 spikes of Pink Butterfly Orchids (Orquídea mariposa / Orchis papilionacea). Also seen during the walk were Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis), Borage (Borago officinalis), Rock Marigold (Calendula suffruticosa), Grey-leaved Cistis (Cistis albidus), Mallow-leaved Bindweed (Convolvulus althaeoides), Brown Bluebell (Dipcadi serotinum), Purple Vipers Bugloss (Echium lycopsis), Snake's Head Fritillary (Fritillaria hispanica) and Tassel Hyacinth (Muscari comosum), just a few of the wildflowers seen. Butterflies were also about as it was pleasantly warm and they included Bath White (Pontia daplidice), Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra), Clouded Yellow (Colias crocea), Large White (Pieris brassicae), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), Small White (Artogeia rapae), Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina), Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) and Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera).
During the journey back to the Hotel we passed Laguna Dulce and other flooded areas and picked up Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenuela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Black-headed Gull (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Common Pochard (Porrón Europeo / Aythya ferina), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Great Crested Grebe (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus ruber), Gull-billed Tern (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and Lesser Black-backed Gull (Gaviota Somria / Larus fuscus).
Photographs from the top: Man Orchids (Flor del Ahorcado / Aceras anthropophorum), Grey-leaved Cistis (Cistis albidus) and Snake's Head Fritillary (Fritillaria hispanica).