Sunday, 7 April 2013

Hacho, Loja, Granada Province.

100s of Orchids and a few birds.

This weekend we were looking after Yogi, Paul and Cherry's dog while they were away for a few days. We decided to take him for his afternoon walk on the Northern slopes of Hacho a smallish Sierra just to the North of Loja. We parked on the track near the large quarry on the road up to Ventorros de San Jose and while Jayne collected cone Yogi and I walked the woods looking for Orchids. We were soon seeing lots of Giant Orchids (Himantoglossum robertiana) which were starting to go over a bit but this is not surprising as I have been seeing this species in flower here for well over a month. The next species that stood out was the beautiful little Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera subsp tenthredinifera) the early flowering short version of this plant, within a few minutes I had seen at least a 100 spikes. Next came the very variable Small Early Purple Orchid (Orchis olbiensis) which was found in small groups, some groups numbered up to 30 plants and most contained flowers of different colours. Lower down the hill I saw my first Yellow Bee (Ophrys lutea) and Mirror Orchids (Ophrys speculum subsp speculum) but just the odd ones. I then walked up into a disused quarry where I came across a sight that I see more and more in the Spanish countryside at the moment, a large pile of rubble dumped by some scum-bag builder on a beautiful piece of land. Anyway I dropped back down to the lower part of the site where I found several spikes of Fan-lipped Orchids (Orchis conica) which were growing amongst a few spikes of Snake's Head Fritillary (Fritillaria hispanica). I walked back up to the car and then on passed up into the scrubbier areas of the hill, along here I found lots of Ophrys forestieri most of which were past their best. Also seen here were Ranunculus spicatus ssp blepharicarpos, Asphodelus ramosus, Field marigold (Calendula arvensis), Grey-leaved Cistus (Cistus albidus), Pink Med Catchfly (Silene colorata), Common Grape Hyacinth (Muscari neglectum), Common Fumitory (Fumaria officinalis), Blue Hounds-tongue (Cynoglossum creticum), Yellow Anemone (Anemone palmata), Purple Viper's Bugloss (Echium plantagineum), Rosy garlic (Allium roseum) and Rue-leaved Saxifrage (Saxifraga tridactylites). During this walk round I saw and heard several species of birds including Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Common Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilargo / Sylvia undata), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and the whole time I was there an Eagle Owl (Buho Real / Bubo bubo) was calling from the crags above the site. I then walked back down to the car where we found Jayne still up on the hill before we headed home.
Photographs from the top: 4x Small Early Purple Orchid (Orchis olbiensis), Snake's Head Fritillary (Fritillaria hispanica), Mirror Orchid (Ophrys speculum subsp speculum), Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera subsp tenthredinifera) and Ranunculus spicatus ssp blepharicarpos.

1 comment:

nic.b van es said...

wat zijn dat toch fantastisch mooie planten.