Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Sierra de Mijas, Coin, Malaga Province and Huétor Fields, Granada Province.

Shopping, Birds and Orchids.

Jayne and I headed off down the coast and then inland to Alaurín del la Torre where we visited a couple of charity shops hoping that Jayne may pick up some material for her patch work but we were unlucky this time. Our next stop was in the Pine woods on the North West corner of Sierra de Mijas where I was looking for Orchids, on the way up we saw a migrating Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba). In the wooded area I heard Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra) and saw Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus) and Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus). In the grassland I found several Orchid species including some very nice spikes of Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys scolopax subsp Scolopax), Pink Butterfly Orchid (Orchis papilionacea), Mirror Orchid (Ophrys speculum subsp speculum) and Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera). There were also a few butterflies about, the commonest were African Grass Blue (Nina esmaltada / Zizeeia knysna) and Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), these were seen along with the odd Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) and a single Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra). We then moved on up the road to a site a bit nearer to Coin but was very disapointed when I got there to find the the site had been ploughed up to produce a fire break. I did have a good search around but I could find very few of the Orchids which usually covered this area including some extreamly rare species. I did find a few Sawfly Orchids and singles of Ophrys dyris and Mirror Orchid. Other things of interest were a couple of Moroccan Orange-tips (Anthocharis belia), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Large White (Pieris brassicae) and Clouded Yellow. We then dropped back down towards Malaga, calling at a garden centre on the way to the Lario's Centre in the City. Later we headed back home and called at the flooded fields on the fields north of the town, straight away I located two of the Egyptian Geese (Ganso del Nilo / Alopochen aegyptiaca) that had turned upa few days ago, also see were Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), White (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Yellow Wagtails (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae) and on the way back up to the house we saw Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus).
Photographs from the top: 2x Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys scolopax subsp Scolopax), Mirror Orchid (Ophrys speculum subsp speculum), Pink Butterfly Orchid (Orchis papilionacea), African Grass Blue (Nina esmaltada / Zizeeia knysna) and Ophrys dyris.

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