Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Hacho, Loja, Granada Province.

An evening stroll.

Wild-leaved Irises (Iris planifolia).
Juan and Beatriz came over to our house for our weekly language lesson, while Jayne and Beatriz did the English part of the afternoon, Juan and I went just up the road to Hacho. Hacho is a small sierra just to the North of Loja.
We parked just off the side of the road between Loja and Ventorros de San Jose, as soon as we were out of the car Chika, Juans dog was off and running and did not stop for the next 3 hours or so. Juan and I started along the track at a far more sedate and found the first patch of the many thousands of Wild-leaved Irises (Iris planifolia) including a good number of white plants, some growing in quite large clumps.
Ophrys forestieri.
We continued on up to the pine woods, on the way several Common Crossbills (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
 Giant Orchid (Himantoglossum robertiana).
On the way up to the woods we found several spikes of the early flowering Ophrys forestieri growning on the track side bank and in the pine woods we guested that there were at least 200 Giant Orchids (Himantoglossum robertiana) with quite a few more forestieri and loads of rosettes of species to come. Also on the slopes we found a single flower of Sierra Nevada Crocus (Crocus nevadensis) a species I have seen up on the Sierra Nevada and on Sierra Loja.
Sierra Nevada Crocus (Crocus nevadensis).
We then dropped down into the Mediterrainean scrub picking up Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilargo / Sylvia undata), Brambling (Pizón Real / Fringilla montifringilla), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla).
Wild-leaved Irises (Iris planifolia).
We started to walk back down to the car but on the way we spent a while stood watching the Northern crags of Hacho, here we soon added Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and just on dark we heard the target an Eagle Owl (Buho Real / Bubo bubo) calling from a hidden crag but eventually it flew into view and called again from another large rock. We then went back to the house and had a cup of tea.

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