A morning in the woodlands looking for butterflies.
I had a couple of hours to kill so I headed up on to the lower slopes of the Sierra Nevada looking for Butterflies and Dragonflies. I started off just below the Visitor Center on the old road down to Guejar-sierra. At the first I parked on the side of the road and had a wonder around a large area of grassland lined with Pine woodland and whilst I was there I picked up a few species of bird including a cracking male Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Coal Tits (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra) and a calling Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis). Whilst I was having a bimble around here I also saw quite a few species of butterfly, Tree Grayling (Neohipparchia statilinus) was by far the commonest species closely followed by Striped Grayling (Pseudotergumia fidia) and Oriental Meadow Brown (Hyponephele lupinnus). On a small rocky ridge on the sharp corner in the road I found the first of a few Dusky Heaths (Ninfa de Esper / Coenonympha dorus), Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto), Rock Grayling (Hipparchi alcyone), Scarce Swallowtail (Chupaleches / Iphiclides podalirius feisthameli) and Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera). On the main open area there were good numbers of Clouded Yellows (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Common Blues ( Icaro (Dos Puntos) / Polyommatus icarus), Small Heaths (Coenonympha pamphilus F lyllus) and under the pines a couple of Speckled Woods (Pararge aegeria).
Lower down I parked by the bridge which crosses the Rio Genil and dropped down below it on to the rocks to look for some dragons, straight away there were a small number of Common Golden Ringed Dragonflies (Cordulegaster boltonii subsp algirica) which were chasing around the over hanging Willow trees. I alsosaw a rather tatty Comma ("C" blanca / Polygomum c-album), a Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) and several Painted Lady's (Vanessa cardui). I then notice that one of the Golden Rings was settling regularly down on an area of brambles so I climbed down to the river side to try and get some shot. On the way I disturbed a male Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum) which soon came back to its perch and let me take a few shots. After a while the Golden Ring also came back and settled whilst it finished off it's last catch and allowed me to take a few pictures. In the same area I also saw Small White (Artogeia rapae), Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Grey (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and White Wagtails (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).
Photographs from the top: Dusky Heaths (Ninfa de Esper / Coenonympha dorus), Golden Ringed Dragonflies (Cordulegaster boltonii subsp algirica) and Desert Darter (Sympetrum sinaiticum).