Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Sierra de Grazalema, Natural Park, Cadiz Province.

A new Dragonfly for the list along with several Wildflowers.
Day two with Sue and Sam.

Today we were heading out to El Bosque for a guided tour of the Botanical Gardens by young Sam who had been there just a few days earlier with his classmates from his School in Grazalema. On the way over we made a stop just above the village to see the spectacular Campanula specularioides which was growing in large clumps on all the rock walls along side the road, also seen here were Sedum brevifolium, Sedum mucizonia, Sedum album and Sedum acre. In the same area we also heard Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea) and saw Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) and House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica). We also saw Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Small White (Artogeia rapae), Spanish Gatekeeper (Lobito listado / Pyronia bathsheba) and Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera).
From here we carried on towards El Bosque, once we arrived at the town we took a very bumpy road up to the Botanical Gardens and then spent the next couple of hours being shown around this cracking site by Sam. We started working our way up the paths checking out many of the plants which were well signed on the way, we paid particular attention to the Bladder Senna (Colutea arborescens) bushes where we looked for but did not find the uncommon Iolas Blue (Iolana iolas) but we were not surprised as we were a couple of weeks later than planned. I amongst the rocks and plants we located a male Iberian Wall Lizard (Podarcis hispanica) and a couple of the bigger Large Psammodromus (Lagartija colilarga / Psammodromus algirus). Butterflies that we did see included Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Swallowtail (Papilio machaon), Scarce Swallowtail (Chupaleches / Iphiclides podalirius feisthameli), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Long-tailed (Lampides boeticus) and Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous), False Ilex Hairstreak (Querquera / Satyrium esculi), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea) and Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra). Out in the car park I found a few species of plant growing in a wet flush running along side the track which included White Clover (Trifolium pratense ssp baeticum), Blue Hounds-tongue (Cynoglossum creticum) and Delphinium staphisagria.
Our next stop was just down the road where we had a look along a short length of river before going for Lunch, on the river we had a couple of Common Golden Ringed Dragonflies (Cordulegaster boltonii subsp algirica), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata). A little further along the track we scanned the fish farms for Dragons and found several Orange-winged Dropwings (Trithemis kirbyi) chasing each other around.
From here we headed back towards Sue's but stopped on the way to take a few photographs of some wildflowers and butterflies on a roadside hill. These included Common Centaury (Centaurium erythraea ssp grandiflorum), Pine-cone Knapweed (Leuzea Conifera), Mediterranean Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), White Rockrose (Helianthemum apenninum), Curry Plant (Helecrisum stoechaes), Iberian Marbled White (Melanargia lachesis), Blue Spotted Hairstreak (Satyrium spini), Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto) and Common Blue (Icaro (Dos Puntos) / Polyommatus icarus).
Again we continued on back through Grazalema and stopped on the roadside near a large rockface where I got some nice shots of the very rare Southern Campanula (Campanula mollis), more  Campanula specularioides and Sedum sediforme.
A little further down the road we stopped by the side of a small stream where in the passed we had seen Broad-bodied Chasers (Libellula depressa) and we were not disappointed as we soon had a nice male flying around infront of us along with males of Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope) and Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii). Birds included a fine male Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura) and an immature Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), and Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans).
From here we headed back up to Sue's where we had a drink, I then headed out again on my own. I made my way down to the spot where we had seen the Orchids yesterday and had another look before continuing on along the stream where I was looking for a couple of Dragonfly species that Steve Jones and Sue had see a week or two earlier. The first one that I found was Orange Featherleg (Platycnemis acutipennis), a species I had seen briefly last year at a different site but I did not manage to get any shot of them, this time I found many more insects and managed to get some shot that I was happy with. A little further on I saw a few larger Dragonflies which I suspected were the second of my targets. One of them kept landing on the far side of the pool, so there was no choice but to go in, I empted my pockets and started to wade across the pool but soon realised that it was deeper than I had guessed and I was soon having to take the small camera out of my shirt pocket as I was soon up to my chest. Eventually I reached the spot and as expected the dam thing took off and headed down to the far end of the pool, there were however dozens of Orange Featherlegs still there so I got some shots of them. Just as I was about to wade back to the far side of the pool the larger insect returned and I was able to get some nice shots and confirm that it was indeed a male Western Clubtail (Gomphus pulchellus). The Clubtail sat on its stem and allowed me to take my time to get some shots and remained there as I waded back, I was soaked right up to the collar on my shirt by the time I had stooped down to get in nice and close but it was well worth it. I then retraced my way back along the far bank to the car getting some very nice views of a small group of European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) and Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major). I then headed back up to the house and went down to our room to get changed, on the way down the stairs I noticed a shape on the floor which stood out even in the dark of the stairwell as a Mediterranean Scorpion (Escorpión Amarillo / Buthus Occitanus). I had my hands full of Camera equipment and other bits (well thats my excuse) so I called Sue who caught the thing in a cup. I then took it out side and reliesed it on a tree some way down the track away from the house and took some shots. On the way back I saw several Crested Tits (Herrerillo Capuchino /Parus cristatus), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Boar Thistle (Galactites tomentosa), Tolpis barbata, Spanish Gatekeeper (Lobito listado / Pyronia bathsheba), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla) and Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria).
Photographs from the top: Campanula specularioides, Sedum brevifoliumBlue Spotted Hairstreak (Satyrium spini), Southern Campanula (Campanula mollis), male Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa), 2x Orange Featherleg (Platycnemis acutipennis), male Western Clubtail (Gomphus pulchellus) and Mediterranean Scorpion (Escorpión Amarillo / Buthus Occitanus).

1 comment:

nic.b van es said...

wat een weelde om daar te lopen.prachtig.