Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Ronoral Pine woodlands near Antequera, Malaga Province.

Rio Frio Health walk at Ronoral Woods.

I picked the two guests that were walking with me up from the hotel and headed out, while David took the others on a different route up through the mountains. We parked up and walked the dirt roads through the Pines which later opened out and then changed to a mixture of Oaks and scrub. On the way round good numbers of birds were seen and heard, on the first section I picked up Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) and Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus). Some wildflowers were still in good condition but all the Orchids were well over with, flowers seen included Wild Leek (Allium ampeloprasum), Blue Alkanet (Anchusa azurea), Spotted Rockrose (Tuberaria guttata), Ground-pine Germander (Teucrium pseudochamaepitys), Spanish Mallow (Malva Hispanica) and Mucizonia hispida.
Out in the more open areas I added Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Bonelli’s Warblers (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido / Apus pallidus) and Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor). Butterflies were on the wing in good numbers including lots of Black-veined Whites (Aporia crataegi), Cardinal Fritillary (argynnis Pandora), Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra), Clouded Yellow (Colias crocea), Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus), Southern Gatekeeper (Pyronia cecilia), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera) and Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui). Hummingbird Hawkmoths (Macroglossum stellatarum) were also common including one which landed on a dirt bank and gave us some nice views and a chance with the camera. More wildflowers were seen on this more open stretch, Italian Sainfoin (Hedysarum coronarium), White Rockrose (Helianthemum apenninum), Helianthemum lavandulifolium, Caper (Capparis spinosa), Cynara cardunculus, Pine-cone Knapweed (Leuzea conifera), Large Blue Flax (Linum narbonense) and White Flax (Linum suffruticosum).
Photographs from the top: Spanish Mallow (Malva Hispanica), Black-veined Whites (Aporia crataegi), Hummingbird Hawkmoths (Macroglossum stellatarum) and Pine-cone Knapweed (Leuzea conifera).

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