Saturday 16 June 2012

Sierra de Huétor, Granada Province.

More Butterflies and hills!

Beautiful Demoiselle’s (Calopteryx virgo).

Pam, John and I set off towards Granada and then skirted the northern side and went to the far end of the Sierra de Huétor. 
We started the day along the Prado Negro near Venta del Mollinillo where we very quickly picked up large numbers of Beautiful Demoiselle’s (Calopteryx virgo) along the wooded stream. 
I had seen just a single insect a few years ago so when we turned up and found hundreds I was very pleased but large numbers do not mean that they are going to be any easier to get shots.
Eventually we got some good results and added Large Pincertail (Onychogomphus uncatus) and Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) to the list along with a smart looking Plumb Moth which is still in the to be identified file. 
Beautiful Demoiselle’s (Calopteryx virgo).
Butterflies were all over the meadow including several Iberian Marbled Whites (Melanargia lachesis), a couple of Knapweed Fritillaries (Melitaea phoebe), Meadow Browns (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus F lyllus), Small White (Artogeia rapae) and Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias crocea). 
Right by the entrance we could hear a couple of calling Golden Orioles (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) in the Poplar trees that lined the stream, these were seen along with Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Bonelli’s Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius). 
Large Pincertail (Onychogomphus uncatus).
John and I continued up the valley while Pam got out the pencils and did some drawing; on a swifter part of the stream we located a male Common Golden Ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii subsp algirica) which was defending its territory vigorously against a couple more Large Pincertails
On this stretch there were lots more Beautiful Demoiselle’s and they were joined by a single male Copper Demoiselle (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis) and in the scrub along the shore we found several Common Blues (Icaro (Dos Puntos) / Polyommatus icarus), some very tatty Black-veined White (Banca del Majuelo / Aporia crataegi) and a couple of Blue Spotted Hairstreaks (Mancha azul / Satyrium spini). 
On the walk back down to Pam we added Great (Carbonero Común / Parus major), Long-tailed (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) and Blue Tits (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) to the seen list and heard a Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus). 
Iberian Marbled White (Melanargia lachesis).
New butterflies for the day were Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra), Cardinal Fritillary (Pandora / argynnis Pandora) and Brown Argus (Aricia agestis). We also saw several of the common day flying moth the Chimney Sweeper (Odezia atrata).
We then made our way back to the car and moved on to a site deeper into the Sierra called Fuente de los Potros where there is a large picnic area and a Casa Forestal. 
Here we followed a short walk which had been laid through the woods from the far end of the car park finding several spikes of Robust Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza elata) and Bug Orchid (Orchis coriophora). There we more butterflies, some were coming down to the water side made them easier to see, they included Grayling (Hipparchia semele), Spanish (Lobito listado / Pyronia bathsheba) and Southern Gatekeepers (Pyronia cecilia) and Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera).
Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe).
We also saw another Common Golden Ringed here along with Robin (Petirrrojo / Erithacus rubecula), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus) and Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs).
We then started the drive through to La Alfaguara where we were going to have lunch on the way we stopped a couple of times, the first was when I got views of a Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) but by the time we got out of the car it had moved on and we just picked up more Black-veined Whites and added Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans) to the bird list.
Escher’s Blue (Agrodiaetus escheri).
A little further on our second stop was again because of a butterfly I had picked up in flight as we drove passed an area of open grassland, this time I had thought that it was a Rock Grayling (Hipparchi alcyone) but very quickly realized that it was actually my second ever Great Banded Grayling (Kanetisa circe), we had good views of it as it skirted the Cistus plants that lined the edge of the clearing.
We followed and eventually it perched very briefly in an Oak tree, just as it took flight again my attention was drawn to a small brown and red butterfly which was flitting around in the Cistus plants, after a couple of brief views the insect sat out and let us identify it as the hard to find Nettle-tree Butterfly (Libythea celtis) before zipping off into the distance. Here we also added Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto), Dusky Meadow Brown (Lobito / Hyponephele lycaon) and Scarce Swallowtail (Chupaleches / Iphiclides podalirius feisthameli) along with a couple of singing Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea) and a calling Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major).
Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto).
Lunch was our next port of call at the Venta at Alfaguara and after having a plate of Tomato’s with Garlic, Poor-mans Potato’s and Broad beans mixed with Eggs and Ham we were set up for a walk in the woods nearby.
We did not get any new butterflies here but had good views of Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla) and Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino /Parus cristatus) and found around 20 spikes of the uncommon Red Helleborine (Cephalanthera rubra).
From here we moved on to our last site of the day at Cerro de Fuente Fria, where I was hoping we would find Rock Grayling.
Rock Grayling (Hipparchi alcyone).
We started the walk up to the Civil war defenses which have been rebuild around the summit of the hill, on the way we had a male Escher’s Blue (Agrodiaetus escheri) and a single Rock Grayling which behaved very well and sat on the trunk of a pine tree so that John could get nice views.
Here we had several calling Coal Tits (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) and then a bit of a surprise when a Hobby (Alcotán Europeo / Falco subbuteo) flew out of a nearby tree, a species that I see occasionally on passage but this was far to late in the summer to be passing through.
We then headed back to the house where Jayne had prepared us a very nice meal, which we ate out on the terrace and spent the rest of the evening chatting and watching Stone Curlews (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus) and Red-necked Nightjar (Chotacabras Cuellirrojo / Caprimulgus ruficollis) flying over the olives. The tally of butterflies for the two days in the field came to a vert pleasing 44 and of these 21 were new for Johns list and 3 were new for my Spanish list.

Thursday 14 June 2012

Sierra behind, Trabuco, Malaga Province.

Sitting under an Oak tree.

Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs).
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. 
Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea).
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.
False Ilex Hairstreak (Querquera / Satyrium esculi).
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).
Grayling (Hipparchia semele).
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), Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Small White (Artogeia rapae), Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris) and Cardinal Fritillary (Pandora / argynnis Pandora).
Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychlorus).
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.

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Sierra Nevada, Granada Province.

33+ species of butterflies and a lot more.

Marsh Fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia beckeri).
John and Pam Fielder arrived yesterday for their 3rd or 4th visit to our house and were staying for a week to get to know the area and it’s wildlife a bit better. This year instead of concentrating on the birds we were doing more work on John’s butterfly list which we started back in 2010.
We started the day at the deep water Embalse de Canales in the Genil Valley above Granada, we walked out on to the dam wall and immediately started the butterfly list off with a male Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus) which was moving between a couple of broom bushes.
Also on these brooms were a single female Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata) dragonfly and several Carpenter Bees (Xylocopa violacea) which with their large size and dark colouration look quite menacing but are quite harmless unless you are a beam in some ones old house!
We walked out to the far end of the dam to the cliffs where we soon picked up a couple of Blue Rock Thrushes (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), a male Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) and a pair of Red-billed Choughs (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) which flew from the cliffs to join a second pair on the Embalse control tower.
In the air there were goodnumbers of both Pallid (Vencejo Pálido / Apus pallidus) and Common Swifts (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).
Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris).
We then walked back along the path nearest the water and picked up a couple of the very fancy Thread Lacewings (Nemoptera bipennis) which look good but make flying seem hard work. On the bird front we saw a singing male Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Crested Lark (Cogujada Común / Galerida cristata), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius) and Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs).
We continued on further up the valley passing a large group of school children who were making their way along the same valley. We stopped a little further on and walked a short track down to the river and crossed the bridge to a spot where a couple of years ago I had taken some nice shots of a Queen of Spain Fritillary (Issoria lathonia) and after just a few seconds we were in luck as the species was still at the same spot. A cracked flew up and down the centre of the track and chased of several other species including Spanish Gatekeeper (Lobito listado / Pyronia bathsheba) and our first Marsh Fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia beckeri) of the day.
Marsh Fritillary (Euphydryas aurinia beckeri).
Down by the river we had some good views of a male Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), a singing Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes) but there was no sign of the Dipper (Mirlo Acuático / Cinclus cinclus) that had clearly nested at the spot. Our chances of seeing anything else was greatly reduced by the arrival of some very well mannered and compared to other groups of school children I have come across quite quiet kids with there teachers. On the way back up the track we added Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricapilla), Robin (Petirrrojo / Erithacus rubecula) and Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) to the bird list while Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus alceae), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) and Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera) joined the butterflies.
Our next stop was just a little way along the same road where we again dropped down to the river but this time we went right down on to the pebbly margins where we were in for quite a wildlife treat as there were at least 3 to 400 adult Marsh Fritillaries all down on the edge of a 20 metre length of the stone river bank, along with these there were several Southern Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus boeticus) and Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Holly Blues (Celastrina argiolus), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) and Small White (Artogeia rapae).
Lesser Spotted Fritillary (Melitaea trivia).
We spent quite a while here amazed at the numbers of Marsh Frit’s which were not just down by the river but on all the surrounding brambles and any yellow flower that could be seen, I would guess that in total there were between 6 and 700 insects in that area alone and we saw lot more at almost every stop we made on the lower slopes. As we started to walk back to the car a single Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines) was seen and both Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) and Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus) were heard from nearby trees. We then started to climb up and away from the river into the denser Sweet Chestnut woodlands, after the first few hairpin bends we parked and straight away our attention was draw to a larger butterfly which was flying higher up in one of the chestnut trees, eventually it dropped down low enough to identify it as a very smart High-brown Fritillary (Argynnis adippe) and almost at the same moment a male Mother of Pearl Blue (Plebicula nivescens) came in and landed on the same bramble as the frit but sod’s law said that there was a chain-link between us and them.
We then turned around and caught up with Pam who was doing some artistic shots of some very large Goats-beard type seed heads, a short walk along the road from here to an area of flowers on a steep bank gave us two very interesting species, both of which have turned out to be new for my Spanish list. The first was a female Escher’s Blue (Agrodiaetus escheri) which looked really good in amongst a clump of Tufted Vetch (Vicia villosa).
The second was a Lesser Spotted Fritillary (Melitaea trivia) which was at first down the steep bank and out of the range of the cameras but one of the many Marsh Frit’s flushed it and it flew up and landed right next to Pam and we managed to get some shot.
I had at first identified this insect as the Spotted Fritillary (Melitaea didyma) as the Collins guide shows the distribution of the Lesser being just in the North of the Peninsular but after checking the new book on the butterflies of Sierra Nevada I find it is within range.
We did really well at this spot and also added Cardinal Fritillary (Pandora / argynnis Pandora), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias crocea), a late tatty looking Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina), Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina), and Large White (Pieris brassicae). A little further on we again stopped on the road side this time to have a look at a couple of Orchids which grow in a roadside ditch, the first Robust Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza elata) was in full flower but the much rarer Epipactis fageticola was at least a week away from blooming.
Lesser Spotted Fritillary (Melitaea trivia).
 Moving on to the next site found us still amongst the Chestnuts but with a much greater mix of other trees as well, here we added another Orchid to the list by finding a few spikes of the uncommon Small-leaved Helleborine (Epipactis microphylla) on the roadside. John and I did a walk along the road, heading up hill we came out into an area of fields which were full of Cherry trees and the road sides were line with bramble filled hedges. Here we picked up more of the very common Marsh Frit’s and our first Black-veined White (Banca del Majuelo / Aporia crataegi), Brown Argus (Aricia agestis), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla), Scarce Swallowtail (Chupaleches / Iphiclides podalirius feisthameli) and Grayling (Hipparchia semele).
Birds included Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Great Tit (Carbonero Común / Parus major), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) several flying over head, Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Bonelli’s Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricapilla) and Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula).
Grayling (Hipparchia semele).
On the walk back to the car we saw a small group of blues chasing each other around a dam area of soil which turned out to be some active and difficult to photograph Silver-studded Blues (Plebejus argus hypochionus). At yet another spot further up the hill towards the visitors centre we stopped and had a walk in amongst an area of thyme filled grassland and in this area we picked up our first Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), several more Grayling’s and a smart looking yellow Moth which I have yet to put a name to. While we were in the woodlands a few wild flowers were identified including False Sainfoin (Vicia onobrychioides), Berberis vulgarisWhite Bryany (Bryonia cretica), Common Myrtle (Myrtus communis) and Salvia lavandulifolia.
We then dropped down just a km or so along the main road up to the ski resort where we got a very good lunch before carrying on up to the car park at 2500 meters. Just before we reached the top we picked up a couple of Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) and a small flock of Rock Sparrows (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia).
From here we took the track out towards the Barranco de San Juan but there was a cool wind and not many butterflies, we did however see a single Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae), an Iberian Marbled White (Melanargia lachesis) and on the bird front a couple of male Northern Wheatears (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulga / Falco tinnunculus) and several more Pallid Swifts. As there were so few butterflies here were dropped down through the resort and made our way out on to a track which took us out onto the ski slopes, there were a few more insects here including our only Moroccan Orange Tip (Anthocharis belia) of the week and this turned out to be the only new species seen up at this altitude.
Escher’s Blue (Agrodiaetus escheri).
We did see quite a few species of wildflower up in this area including Verbascum nevadenseMediterranean Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Arenarim imbricataLeucanthemopsis pectinataLinaria aeruginea ssp nevadensisPterocephalus spathulatus and Saponaria ocymoides. From this spot we took a steady drive back to the house, getting back at around 18:30. Later in the evening we picked up Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and Red-necked Nightjar (Chotacabras Cuellirrojo / Caprimulgus ruficollis) from the roof terrace whilst talking about a memorable day over a beer.

Sunday 10 June 2012

Day two, Sierra Morena, Jaen Province.

Four out of five of us go way empty handed on the Lynx front!

The Rio Guadalen.
Day two started somewhat earlier than yesterday at 07:00, we started much as I had done the day before by heading down to the river and driving along to the dam. Her we parked up and walked back along the near shore line to wards the road, but spent some time looking on the dam wall for the Rock Sparrows (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia) we could hear but failed to see. From the bridge we had a fleeting glimpse of a Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) as it whizzed off down stream and of a male Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotraustes) landed in a small tree before dropping into the denser bushes. On the rocks there were at least two immature Grey Wagtails (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) along with an adult White (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba). An almost constant noise along the river was the calls of both Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei) and Golden Orioles (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) we saw several of the latter but the Woodpeckers stayed well out of sight.
Dan watching the Woodchats.
From a high point in the road we had good views out over the river and the surrounding woodlands, from here we picked up Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) which seemed to be just about every where in this area. Butterflies were also picked up as we walked and these included Cardinal Fritillary (Pandora / argynnis Pandora), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias crocea), Spanish Gatekeeper (Lobito listado / Pyronia bathsheba), Mallow / False Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus alceae / tripolinus) and Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla). Before we reached the road we had a short break sat at one of the many picnic benches along the route and got some cracking views of a family of Woodchat Shrikes (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla). From here we retraced our tracks back towards the car, on the way we found more very fresh looking Lynx prints in the road side dust along with other tracks which looked like they were made by a large Lizard, Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) and a small Beetle.
Spanish Purple Hairstreak (Laeosopis roboris).
In the trees and scrub along the river we had nice views of a family party of Nightingales (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), a pair of Subalpine Warblers (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans) and very smart male Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus). After quite some time we got back to the cars but gave the Rock Sparrows another try before heading off for some lunch, this time we had some good views of them and also Cetti’s Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus) and Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirundo daurica). We also spent some time watching some huge Carp floating around under the aquatic vegetation and whilst we were doing this added Broad Scarlet (Crocothemis erythraea) and Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator) to the dragonfly list.
Great Banded Grayling (Kanetisa circe) taken by Dan.
Last birds for the morning were a group of passing Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) which moved through quite high.
We then headed back for some lunch and a bit of relief from the now quite warm sun. Later we returned to the river but went further down stream this time which turned out to be a wise move, We soon started to add some very interesting butterflies to the list including a couple of cracking Spanish Purple Hairstreaks (Laeosopis roboris) which sat nicely on bramble leaves, Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Small White (Artogeia rapae), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus) and Berger’s Clouded Yellow (Colias alfacariensis). Dan then called me back to the damp ditch that we had just crossed where he had an unusual butterfly sat on the side of a tree which turned out to be new to us all a Great Banded Grayling (Kanetisa circe) which proved hard to photograph but Dan managed to get one half decent shot.
The group by the river.
We then continued on to a spot at the side of the river where the shoes came off and some hot feet were cooled down in the water, whilst here we saw another Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), more Golden Orioles, Nightingales and a couple more dragonflies, Epaulet Skimmer (Orthetrum chrysostigma) and Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata).
After a nice cooling off period we headed back out on to the track down to the Embalse de Jandula, we again stopped quite a few times as we made our way. We saw pretty much the same species as the day before, the Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlona / Sylvia hortensis) was still calling from the same spot, Both Deer species were seen near the road side and lots of the Black fighting Bulls were still in the fields looking rather placid.
Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata).
We got down to the dam and had a look out the far side of the tunnel where we picked up Long-tailed (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Great (Carbonero Común / Parus major) and Blue Tits (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Blue Rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia) and Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor). We went back through the tunnel and out on to the dam wall we added another Mammal to the list here with half a dozen or so Spanish Ibex (Capra pyreaica hispanica) seen lounging around on the rocky slope. We look for but did not see any signs of yesterdays White-rumped Swifts (Vencejo Cafre / Apus caffer) we did however see Red-rumped and Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) along with House (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris). We then ventured up the hill back into the main area for the Lynx, we stopped at the spot where we saw the Goshawk (Azor Común / Accipitor gentillis) yesterday and it did a brief reappearance but just at the moment when Matt picked up what he was 100% sure was a Lynx moving between two stands of bushes.
Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis).
After much searching we failed to get any more sightings of the cracking animal, we guessed that it either settled down in amongst the stand of stunted Oaks where Matt had last seen it or had managed to slip out the back and away. We went a little way up the hill to get a different angle on the area but the results were the same but we did get a very pale Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) which flew along the ridge with a couple of Griffon Vultures and a small group of Blacks (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus). On the nearby slopes a Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) was seen and heard singing, a Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata) scolded us from the cistus scrub and a couple of Red-legged Partridges (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa) called loudly.
Black Vulture (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus).
We continued to search for Matt’s Lynx for quite some time but eventually we admitted defeat and  headed off, Dan and his family went back to the hostel and I went home. We did not all see the main target species on this trip but we saw some very special wildlife including some beautiful Butterflies, delicate looking Dragon's and colourful birds. Thanks to Dan for getting in touch and to the rest of his family for a very enjoyable couple of days.