Thursday 23 June 2011

Some where in Granada Province.

Two rare Orchids and a couple of new Butterflies.

Algerian Butterfly Orchid (Plantanthera algeriensis).
After the aborted visit last weekend, we tried to find a market (which we did at Santa Fe) and then go up into the hills for the Orchid species that I had missed the last time. The market was busy but enjoyable, we piked up some nice fresh fruit and veg from on of the many stalls.
We then headed off into the mountains to the same site for the Red Helleborine's (Cephalanthera rubra) as we were at last weekend when the car throw a wobbly with the steering. The same 15 or so plants were flowering but slightly past their best. Also flowering here were Polygala boissieri, Bladder Vetch (Anthyllis tetraphylla), Aphyllanthes monspliensis and Salvia lavandulifolia
Algerian Butterfly Orchid (Plantanthera algeriensis).
The next stop was a little further along the track where I left Jayne reading near the car while I did the couple of Kms along a private track to the site for the Algerian Butterfly Orchid (Plantanthera algeriensis). I arrived to find that the Robust Marsh Orchids (Dactylorhiza elata) and Common Twayblades (Listera ovata) seen on my last visit with Juan were going or had gone over but the Butterfly Orchids were perfect. I counted at least 25 plants , most of which were around 30cm tall and had around a dozen or so flowers. Also flowering was Thalictrum speciosissimum.
Thalictrum speciosissimum.
Butterflies were also abundant at the site and on the walk down and they included two new species for my list, Mother of Pearl Blue (Plebicula nivescens) and High-brown Fritillary (Argynnis adippe). The others were Cardinal Fritillary (argynnis Pandora), Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra), Clouded Yellow (Colias crocea), Black-veined White (Aporia crataegi), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Grayling (Hipparchia semele), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla), Spanish Gatekeeper (Lobito listado / Pyronia bathsheba), Scarce Swallowtail (Chupaleches / Iphiclides podalirius feisthameli), Wood White (Leptidea sinapis), Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines), Bath White (Pontia daplidice), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) and Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris). 
Mother of Pearl Blue (Plebicula nivescens).
Common Golden Ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii subsp algirica) was again on site but as usual avoided the camera with greta timing and skill. 
High-brown Fritillary (Argynnis adippe).
I had not taken my bins with me but I picked up Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans), Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Robin (Petirrrojo / Erithacus rubecula), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus) and Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla) on the way.

Sunday 19 June 2011

Sierra's around Granada, Granada Province.

New Orchid for my Granada List.

Red Helleborine (Cephalanthera rubra).
Jayne and I made our way up to Granada to go to the large Sunday market on the outskirts of the City but as we arrived we found that annual summer Feria was on so the market was cancelled. So we then started the trip up to Sierra's earlier that expected. As we drove into the car park the motor started to make a strange noise, which I thought was something to do with the clutch but it turned out to be the power steering system. I parked up and had a look around the area where Juan had told me he had found several spikes of Red Helleborines (Cephalanthera rubra), after a short search I found 15 or so plants. 
Red Helleborine (Cephalanthera rubra).
These crackers were a new species for my Granada Orchid list. In the area there were large numbers of Common Golden Ringed Dragonflies (Cordulegaster boltonii subsp algirica) and at one location they seemed to be swarming, with around 30 insects in a roadside group.
Red Helleborine (Cephalanthera rubra).
As we pulled out of the car park the noises from the car got worse so the visit to the main Orchid site nearby was postponed and we made a dash for home, topping the hydraulic oil up on the way. On the Monday we took it down to the mechanic who found a leak in one of the pipes and repaired it nice and quickly.