A bucket load of new species for Sue.
We next stopped on the road side above the ski resort where we had some very nice clumps of the Digitalis purpurea, the low growing Omalotheca supina var pusilla and plenty of over with Blue Hedgehog Broom (Erinacea anthyllis).
Once there we started off by watch a JCB digging a ditch which impressed Sam no end before starting a walk out along one of the nearby trails, straight away butterflies were being added to the species list, the first two were Apollo (Parnassius apollo subsp nevadensis) and Cardinal Fritillary (argynnis Pandora) both of which were feeding on some Jurinea humilis.
We continued on and soon found lots more plants including Arenaria imbricata, Chickweed (Cerastium boissieri), Biscutella glacialis, Dianthus subacaulis subsp brachyanthus, Ptilotrichum spinosum, Eryngium bourgatii and Nevada House Leek (Sempervivum vicentei ssp lainzii). We moved on along the track and we found a small area of snow remaining just below the track and Sam wanted some snowballs so I carefully shuffled my way down the slope and got him three, one for him to throw at each of us!!! Further on still we saw several more species of butterfly including Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae), Iberian Marbled White (Medioluto Ibérica / Melanargia lachesis), Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus hypochionus), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) and Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea).
|Jayne on the way to the Hoya de San Juan.|
From here we dropped down to a nice spot in some pine woodland where we had a picnic sat on a large rock. Whilst here we had a flyby Great Banded Grayling (Kanetisa circe) and down on a patch of thyme there were several Sage Skippers (Muschampia proto), a Grayling (Hipparchia semele), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) and Small White (Artogeia rapae).
After the picnic we went back into the town and parked near one of the closed hotels and had a walk out along another one of the many tracks and straight away we found a new orchid for Sue's list in the shape of a spike of Robust Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza elata) we later found several more spikes not yet in flower.
|Forester Moth Species.|
Further along the same track we saw our first Purple-shot Copper (Lycaena alciphron subsp gordius) which was feeding on a small patch of Thyme along with a Niobe Fritillary, Silver-studded Blue and an Apollo. A little higher up we saw a single male Nevada Blue (Plebicula golgus subsp golgus), Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Southern Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus boeticus) and Southern Heath Fritillary (Melitaea Celadussa).
Plants included the rare and beautiful Aquilegia nevadensis and Black Sedge (Carex nigra / Carex negro). Birds included Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Common Whitethroat (Curruca Zarcera / Sylvia communis), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes).
|Sue photographing the Marsh Orchids.|
In the flower beds I found a couple plants including Chenopodium foliosum, Sedum alba and Sedum Acre. When Sue and Sam came back down we found a bouncy castle in the town and Sam had a good finish to his busy day.
|Nevada Blue (Plebicula golgussubsp golgus).|
In this area we saw a lot more Aculepeira armida and several more plants including Santolina rosmarinifolia subsp canescens, more Myosotis decumbens subsp teresiana, Veronica anagallis-aquatica and Erigeron frigidus.
|Aculepeira armida on the Marsh Orchids|
|Sam at the end of a busy day.|