First day with Gretchen and Wendy from Utah in the US.
|Sierra Nevada Violet (Viola crassiuscula).|
|Gretchen and Wendy in one of the wooded lanes on the lower slopes.|
From here we drove up to the car parks near the barrier at 2500meters, on the way we stopped near on of the disused ski lifts and picked up Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina). We parked near the carpark and walked out towards the large green military building, here we soon had good views of a nice male Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), several Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and a couple of Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris).
We walked up passed the building and started out on the track towards the Barranco de San Juan but our way was blocked by a large slab of lying snow, in the area we saw a few flowers starting to bloom as the snow was melting, these included Galium pyrenaicum, Cliffhanger (Chaenorhinum villosum), Mucizonia hispida, Sierra Nevada Violet (Viola crassiuscula), Pterocephalus spathulatus, Putoria calabrica along with a couple of Spanish Ibex (Cabra pyreaica hispanica). We decided that crossing the snow was not a good idea so we made our way back along the track towards the car, on the way we had good views of a displaying Tawny Pipit (Bisbita campestre / Anthus campestris), both Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychlorus) and Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae) were seen along with the none flowering succulent leaves of the Nevada House Leek (Sempervivum vicentei ssp lainzii). Once back at the car we dropped down through the town to a spot at the start of one of the tracks out onto the slopes, we walked out along here for a while looking for both Birds and Butterflies. Birds included Common Whitethroat (Curruca Zarcera / Sylvia communis), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and the butterflies were Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus hypochionus), a single Apollo (Parnassius apollo subsp nevadensis) a species only found here, Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes), Panoptes Blue (Pseudophilotes panoptes), Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Large White (Pieris brassicae), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Blue Spotted Hairstreak (Satyrium spini) and Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe). We again returned back to the car and started to drop down, we turned off and took the old road down the rest of the way through Guejar-sierra but on the way we called and got a baguette for our lunch. A little later we stopped on the roads side and had our food sat under some nearby Pine trees, whilst there we saw several more species including Cardinal Fritillary (argynnis Pandora), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina), Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines), Berberis hispanica, Common Stork's-bill (Erodium cicutarium), Pine-cone Knapweed (Leuzea Conifera), Salvia lavandulifolia subsp vellerea, Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata ssp pullata), White Rockrose (Helianthemum apenninum) and as we were so far from water we were surprised to see a male Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator) and a female / teneral Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa) both of which passed by quickly.
We moved on from here and made a few more stops on the way down, near the river we picked up several more butterflies and birds including Marsh Fritillary (Euphydrayas aurinia beckeri), Mallow / False Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus alceae / tripolinus), Southern Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus boeticus), Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlano / Sylvia hortensis), Crag Martin, Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) heard only, Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes) a quick flyby and only seen by me and Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur). Wild flowers included Common Fumitory (Fumaria officinalis), Common Snapdragon (Antirrhinum major), Curry Plant (Helecrisum stoechaes), Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum), Pistorinia brevifolia and Pitch Trefoil (Psoralea bituminosa). From here we headed back down to the city where I made arrangements to meet Gretchen tomorrow for more of a birding day.
|Marsh Fritillary (Euphydrayas aurinia beckeri).|