Thursday, 14 June 2012

Sierra behind, Trabuco, Malaga Province.

Sitting under an Oak tree.
I found myself in the hills behind the town of Villanueva del Trabuco after dropping Jayne off at the Amiga’s de casa Garden Party which she was attending. To be more precise right between Sierra Gorda and San Jorge in an area of Oak trees, I set up my chair below a largish tree which had a
small watering area for the goats and sat quietly just watching to see what came to me. The first birds were several Common Chaffinches (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) which were quickly followed by Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea) and a pair of Hawfinches (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotraustes) which did not approach the watering area but sat in a nearby hawthorn for a while. Several species of butterfly were also flicking around in the branches including Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias crocea), Dusky Meadow Brown (Lobito / Hyponephele lycaon), False Ilex Hairstreak (Querquera / Satyrium esculi), Grayling (Hipparchia semele) and a Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychlorus) which just sat with its wings closed and would not show its colours. More birds came down to the dripping water over the next couple of hours including Wryneck (Torcecuello / Jynx torquilla) for just ½ a second, Great (Carbonero Común / Parus major) and Crested Tits (Herrerillo Capuchino /Parus cristatus), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra) and Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris).
In the area around the trees I also saw Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica). Other butterflies seen were Spanish Gatekeeper (Lobito listado / Pyronia bathsheba) by the 100, Southern Gatekeeper (Pyronia cecilia), Blue Spotted Hairstreak (Mancha azul / Satyrium spini), Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra), Brown Argus (Aricia agestis), Small White (Artogeia rapae), Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris) and Cardinal Fritillary (Pandora / argynnis Pandora). I later drove back down to Trabuco and picked up Jayne and whilst we drove home we had a melanistic Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) fly over the motorway.

Photographs from the top: female Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), False Ilex Hairstreak (Querquera / Satyrium esculi), Grayling (Hipparchia semele) and Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychlorus).

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