Grabbing a couple of hours with the wildlife.
I dropped Carole and Jayne off at their Craft Group in Trabuca and headed the few km north to the Arroyo Marin where I was hoping to catch up with a few Butterflies and Dragon’s. I started by the first of the two bridges that cross the stream, on a small patch of dam mud /sand several butterflies were coming down to take the minerals. These included a couple of very nice Spanish Chalk-hill Blue (Lysandra albicans), Adonis Blue (Niña Celeste / Lysandra bellargus), Common Blue (Icaro (Dos Puntos) / Polyommatus icarus), Brown Argus (Aricia agestis) and Small White (Artogeia rapae). In the trees I could hear Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Wryneck (Torcecuello / Jynx torquilla) and Bonelli’s Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli) calling whist over head Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica) were feeding along with both House (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido / Apus pallidus). I then moved further along the valley to the next bridge and put the wading sandals on and headed down stream to the rocks in the centre of the main stream where I had cracking views of a couple of Small Pincertails (Onychogomphus forcipatus) and a flyby Western Spectre (Boyeria Irene). In the undergrowth along the bank good numbers of White Featherleg’s (Platycnemis latipes) were seen along with a couple of Small Red-eyed’s (Erythromma viridulum). Back on dry land I was soon totting up quite a nice list of butterflies including Lulworth Skipper (Thymelicus acteon), Spanish Gatekeeper (Lobito listado / Pyronia bathsheba), Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Southern Gatekeeper (Pyronia cecilia), Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus F lyllus), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae), Scarce Swallowtail (Chupaleches / Iphiclides podalirius feisthameli), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla), Marsh Fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia beckeri), Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus), Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias crocea), Cardinal Fritillary (Pandora / argynnis Pandora), Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra), Black-veined White (Banca del Majuelo / Aporia crataegi), Blue Spotted Hairstreak (Mancha azul / Satyrium spini) and Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice).
Its not the best time of the year for birds but I had nice views of Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Subalpine (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans), Orphean (Curruca Mirlona / Sylvia hortensis) and Bonelli’s Warblers (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus) and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata). Next I started the drive back along the valley, this time with the scope on the window just in case any thing stayed in view long enough for me to get a shot. The first cooperative chap was a nice male Blue Rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) which perched up on the ruined chimney of a disused finca; it was soon joined by an immature bird which was quite obviously hungry. The male flew off and soon came back with a couple juicy looking grubs which shut the youngster up for all of about 5 seconds. They were joined on the roof by a male Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and in the surrounding trees Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea) and Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotraustes) were all heard or seen. Further along I parked the car on the verge next to some dead tree stumps and just watched what turned up, almost straight away there was a female Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Great Tit (Carbonero Común / Parus major), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and well grown immature Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos). A Robin (Petirrrojo / Erithacus rubecula) was singing from a stream side Ivy covered Oak tree and on the dryer back to the right a male Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia) sang along with a Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) for accompaniment. After a while I moved further along to the more open area near the weight Bridge and here added Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis) heard only, Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba). On the banks there were good number of Scabious plants where I saw Berger’s Clouded Yellow (Colias alfacariensis), Blue Spotted Hairstreak (Mancha azul / Satyrium spini), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) and Large White (Pieris brassicae). After picking Jayne and Carole we headed home and on the way we saw a soaring Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) over the motorway.
Photographs from the top: Spanish Chalk-hill Blue (Lysandra albicans), Adonis Blue (Niña Celeste / Lysandra bellargus), probably just a Brown Argus (Aricia agestis), 2x Small Pincertails (Onychogomphus forcipatus, Lulworth Skipper (Thymelicus acteon) and 2x Blue Rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius).