Friday, 20 May 2011

Granada Province.

Somewhere in the hills!

I meet Juan for an afternoons orchid hunting in the sierra's around Granada, we immediatly started the visit with some cracking spikes of Orchis cazorlensis in a nearby pine wood. They were growing alongside two possibly three plants of Cazorlensis X langei. In the general area around this site we also saw lots of the pale yellow Barton's (Dactylorhiza insularis) and well over with Dense-flowered Orchids (Neotinea maculata). Whilst we were here we also picked up Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus). We then spent some time driving slowly along woodland tracks and roads and along the way we found good numbers of Lange's Orchids (Orchis langei) including an albino spike, half a dozen or so spikes of Champagne Orchid (Orchis Champagneuxii) which we think is a new 10km square record for this species, Lizard Orchid (Himantoglossum hircinum), Sword-leaved Helleborine (Cephalanthera longifolia) and Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea).
The next spot was some way off the road and requirred a walk of a couple of KMs , which was fine on the way but up hill on the way back. At this spot we found at least 45 spikes of the locally rare Common Twayblade (Listera ovata) and good numbers of Robust Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza elata). Also amongst the scrub there were some nice blooms of an Aquilegia species and a Soloman's-seal (Polygonatum) and cracking Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos) did a fly over just as we were leaving for the walk back up the hill. Our last spot was on the road side were we found more Orchis cazorlensis, a few well past their best Small Early Purple Orchid (Satirión manchado / Orchis Mascula ssp Olbiensis), lots more Orchis langei, Purple Limodore (Limodorum abortivum) and a possible Early Purple Orchid (Orchis mascula).
Photographs from the top: Orchis cazorlensis, Cazorlensis X langei, Barton's Orchid (Dactylorhiza insularis), 2x Common Twayblade (Listera ovata), Aquilegia species and Soloman's-seal (Polygonatum)and Purple Limodore (Limodorum abortivum).

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