A couple of new Orchids for a site just up the road.
Juan Perez and Beartiz came over from Granada and while Beatriz and Jayne did the all important English lesson Juan and I headed up to Hacho which is a small sierra just 5 minute up the road from the house. We parked at the bottom of the track a with Chika we headed up towards the quarry through the mixed woodlands and oak scrub. Stright away we started to find the first of hundreds of Yellow Bee Orchids (Ophrys lutea), a lot of well over with Giant Orchids (Himantoglossum robertiana), a couple of just hanging on Fan-lipped Orchids (Orchis conica) and then the first of the new species, we found a nice group of Pink Butterfly Orchids (Orchis papilionacea). During the walk we must have seen well over a hundred spikes of this fantastic looking plant. Before we reached the pines we also saw good numbers of Sawfly Orchids (Ophrys tenthredinifera) in varying states of flower with some completely over with and a few still in perfect condition, along with these there were a few dried spikes of the early flowering Southern Early Purple Orchid (Orchis olbiensis). The Wild Peony's (Paeonia broteroi) which were growing under the Oaks were in full flower, as were the carpets of Tassel Hyacinths (Muscari comosum), Iberis pectinata, Linaria anticaria, Biscutella auriculata, Navel-wort (Omphalodes commutata), Warty Spurge (Euphorbia squamigera), White Rockrose (Helianthemum apenninum), Med Catchfly (Silene colorata), Mediterranean Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria) and Grey-leaved Cistus (Cistus albidus). During this part of the walk we also recorded several birds species including Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Blackbird(Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), SpotlessStarling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos). We then moved on up through to the Pine woods and again straight away we were finding good numbers of the Pink Butterfly Orchids all the way through this area and right along through the Oak scrub and all the way back down the banks back as far as the car. Also in the pines we found a single spike of Naked / Italian Man Orchid (Orchis italica) and a dozens or so of Ophrys forestieri. Other wildflowers in this area included Field marigold (Calendula arvensis), Yellow Anemone (Anemone palmata) and Rosy garlic (Allium roseum). On the way back down to the car we added CirlBunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris). Photographs from the top: Iberis pectinata, Biscutella auriculata, Pink Butterfly Orchid (Orchis papilionacea, Linaria anticaria and Red-striped Oil Beetle (Berberomeloe majalis).