Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Zafarraya area, Granada Province.

A new Butterfly for my Granada list and some Orchids.

Jayne's niece Claire and here boyfriend Jason were over from the UK visiting, so we went for a quick run out to the area around Alhama de Granada. On the way I made a couple of quick stops to look at the Orchids on the road side. The first stop was near Zafarraya where I was looking to see the progress of some plants of Epipactis tremolsii, unfortunately they had moved on little from my last visit to the area a few weeks earlier. In the same meadow there were some cracking spikes of the tall, late flowering variety of the Sawfly Orchid (Abejorros, flor de avispa / Ophrys tenthredinifera var ficalhoana), loads of Lange's Orchids (Orchis langei), a few Yellow Bee Orchids (Ophrys lutea) still in good condition, going over Sword-leaved Helleborines (Cephalanthera longifolia), Small Tongue Orchid (Serapias parviflora), lots of yet to flower Lizard Orchids (Himantoglossum hircinum) and some well over with Small Early Purple Orchid (Satirión manchado / Orchis Mascula ssp Olbiensis). Just as I got back to the car Jayne pointed out a small butterfly which stayed long enough for me to get a couple of shots, in the close up views on the camera it was obvious that Jayne had just fond my first Lorquin's Blue (Cupido lorquinii) for the Province.
We moved on and stopped on the road side a little further on to look at a group of Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) and a pair of Bonelli's Eagles (Aguila-azor Perdicera / Hieraaetus faciatus) which were circling a near by hill top.
We arrived in Alhama and had a stroll around and then a couple of drinks and a menu del dia which went down very nicely. In the gorge I picked up several Rock Sparrows (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), a male Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis).
On the run back towards home we picked up European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus) and quite a few Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni).
Photographs from the top: Lange's Orchids (Orchis langei), Upperwing shot of Lorquin's Blue (Cupido lorquinii) and Lower wing shot.

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