A day on my favourite part of my local patch.
(Pam and John, Day Three).
From here we returned back to the car and started to make our way along the crags and parked around three quarters of the way up and started to check the Hawthorn scrub below the road, we soon had good views of both Orphean (Curruca Mirlano / Sylvia hortensis) and Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans), with the former sitting almost in the open while it preened.
In the same area we also had views of Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) and the first of many Thekla Larks (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae). We moved on up the crags to the bend at the top where we again stopped and checked what was about, here we added our first Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica), Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe), Southern Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus boeticus), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli), Small White (Artogeia rapae), Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Marsh Fritillary (Euphydrayas aurinia beckeri), Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri) and Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea). From here we made our way across the mountain towards Charca del Negro, on the way we saw many more Black-eared Wheatears, another pair of Black Wheatears and Thekla's.
Once we reached the Charca we had very good views of Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and passing Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus). On the pool a male Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator) was holding territory and was chasing off a couple of Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii) which were also on the same pool which was covered in Pond Water Crowsfoot (Ranunculus Peltatus). Here we also saw several large tadpoles of the Sharp-ribbed Salamander (Pleurodeles waltl), we eventually found an adult Salamander but it quickly disappeared into the weeds. We were looking for the Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis) but unlike the last few visits we did not find the bird near the pool so we headed further on around to the area of crags passed the Goat Caves where we stopped twice but did not see the thrush so we started to retrace our steps but almost as soon as we turned around we saw a cracking male Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush sat on a large rock right on the side of the road, we had good views through the bins and as I started to get out of the car to set up the scope the bird flew off up on to the crags and was not seen again.
On the way back down we stopped at a couple of places and had very nice views of a couple of Crested Larks (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) on the fields near the goat cave, a species we do not see up in this area very often and halfway down we had good views of a pair of Spectacled Warblers (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata). In this area we also added a few butterflies including Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Cardinal Fritillary (argynnis Pandora), Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina) and Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra).
|Blue Spotted Hairstreak (Satyrium spini).|
|Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax).|
From here we headed down the hill and along the Motorway to a site near Moraleda where we worked our way along the tracks out in the agricultural areas, during the drive we picked up Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Short-toed Lark (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) and a pair of Rollers (Carraca / Coracias garrulus) which were breeding in a tree on the site. On the high ground we around the Cortijo we saw a couple of Swallowtails (Papilio machaon) hill topping.
|Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis).|