Monday, 17 June 2013

El Porche, Sierra Nevada, Granada Province.

An interesting day in the hills with a new Dragonfly species of my Granada Province List.

After taking Jayne into the City of Granada I headed up the main road towards the lower slopes of the Sierra Nevada, may first stop was in the Pine Woods near the El Porche turning. I parked on the roadside and headed in to the woods nearby, straight away I could hear both Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli) and Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus) over head and a little further up the slopes there was a cracking male Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans) singing from the top of a small stunted Pine. Butterflies were around in good numbers and at the start of the track there were a few Marsh Fritillary (Euphydrayas aurinia beckeri) which were sitting nicely on a leafless rose bush, also in the same area there were swarms of the pretty orange/ brown day flying Moth the Drab Looper (Minoa murinata) along with a few of what looked like the Chimney Sweeper (Odezia atrata) Moth. A little further along the track I came across a flock of Long-tailed Tits (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) which had smaller numbers of Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Great Tits (Carbonera Común / Parus major) mixed in whch was the first time I had noted a mixed flock here in Spain, something that is very common in the UK. In a more open area the wildflowers were still doing quite well and included Blue Hedgehog Broom (Erinacea anthyllis), Mediterranean Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Pine-cone Knapweed (Leuzea Conifera), Red Phlomis (Phlomis purpurea), White Rockrose (Helianthemum apenninum), Yellow Phlomis (Phlomis lychnitis) and Berberis hispanica, Polygala boissieri and Paeonia coriacea. More butterflies started to appear and over the next few minutes I added Black-veined White (Banca del Majuelo / Aporia crataegi), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla), Common Blue (Icaro (Dos Puntos) / Polyommatus icarus), Small White (Artogeia rapae), Moroccan Orange-tip (Anthocharis belia) and Panoptes Blue (Pseudophilotes panoptes). From here I dropped down into the Pines again and headed down hill towards the road, from here I could hear a couple of Woodlarks (Totovia / Lullula arborea) singing above me, a Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) and Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus). Once I was back on the road I found a nice clump of the beautiful Spanish Rusty Foxglove (Digitalis obscura) which were growing on the roadside. I wondered back up to the car and then moved a little further along the road and took one of the many tracks down to a cracking area of hawthorn studded grassland. There were a huge number of Black-veined Whites on the wing along with realy good numbers of Marsh Fritillaries and Small Skippers (Thymelicus sylvestris). Spent a very enjoyable couple of hours wondering around this site, during this time I saw two species of Owl-fly, the one Libelloides baeticus was named but the other I am still trying to sort. Whilst walking around I heard and saw Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata) and Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis). Butterfly numbers were also incressing and I added Grayling (Hipparchia semele), False Ilex Hairstreak (Querquera / Satyrium esculi), Large White (Pieris brassicae), Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus alceae), Queen of Spain Fritillary (Issoria lathonia), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus F lyllus), Spanish Gatekeeper (Lobito listado / Pyronia bathsheba), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus) and Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas). I returned to the car and dropped down to a wet flush down in the valley below this site, I again spent quite a while searching this area looking for Orchid species. I quickly found the first of several hundred Fragrant Bug Orchids (Orchis coriophora subsp fragrans) which covered this area of damp grassland. Along the small stream I came across a couple of Migrant Spreadwings (Lester barbarus) which were a new Dragon species for my Granada list, along side these beauties there were a small number of Large Red Damselflies (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) and a single Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii). Butterflies included Black Satyr (Satyrus actaea), Cardinal Fritillary (argynnis Pandora), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) and loads more Marsh Fritillaries and Small Skipper.


I had 5 hours in the hills and had planned on going to at least three more spots but I had found some many species at this site I had run out of time and had to return to the city to meet Jayne and have a late lunch.
Photographs from the top: Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla), Spanish Rusty Foxglove (Digitalis obscura), Marsh Fritillary (Euphydrayas aurinia beckeri), Libelloides baeticus, Unidentified Owl-fly, False Ilex Hairstreak (Querquera / Satyrium esculi), Black-veined White (Banca del Majuelo / Aporia crataegi) and Migrant Spreadwings (Lester barbarus). 





1 comment:

nic.b van es said...

Wat is het op dit moment toch heerlijk genieten in de natuur alles bloeit en leeft.