Sunday, 23 March 2014

Coin area, Alhaurin del la Torre and Torremalinos, Malaga Province.

Shopping and Orchid hunting.



Jayne and I got up early and headed down to Coin in Malaga Province to the Sunday carboot sale that is held there. We spent some time walking around and actually bought something, a smart blue vase. As usual 99.9% of the stuff there had either come out of a local skip or should have been in one. From ther carboot we headed out into the campo to spend some time looking at orchids at a few sites between Coin and Malaga. The first was just a few KM down the road and before I had even got out of the car I could see several spikes of the beautiful Naked / Italian Man Orchid (Orquídea italiana / Orchis italica) on a roadside out crop. Near the foot of this rocky wall I also found several dusty spikes of the uncommon Two-leaved Gennaria (Gennaria diphylla), several Yellow Bee (Orquídea Abejera / Ophrys lutea) and a couple of well over with Sawfly Orchids (Flor de avispa / Ophrys tenthredinifera). In the woods nearby I heard and saw several Crested Tits (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), a Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus) and Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius). As I reached the car a Peregrine Falcon (Halcón Peregrino / Falco peregrinus) was heard and then seen on the cliffs of a small quarry near the road and in a stand of Eucaliptus I could hear both Common (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) and Iberian Chiffchaffs (Mosquitero Ibérico / Phylloscopus brehmii) singing. Our next stop was along the road to Puerto de los Pescadres where last year the site was scrapped off for some reason, this year there were next to no Orchids to be seen. Three years ago this was a good site for 8+ species of Orchid and each could be found in good numbers but this year I found 5 spikes of Sawfly Orchid and nothing else. Again we moved on to another site on the road to Mijas were I soon found several spikes of Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys scolopax), along with Pink Butterfly (Orchis papilionacea), Mirror Orchid (Ophrys speculum subsp speculum), Yellow Bee and Sawfly.We then dropped down to Alhaurin del la Torre to the Garden centre there, I dropped Jayne off and went back to a site near by where I was hoping to see the rare Atlas Orchid (Ophrys atlantica). I arrived at the spot to find that half of Spain haddecided to go there as well, parking was fun but eventually I found a spot and went for a walk. After quite a while I managed to find three spikes, none of which were in good condition. There were alot of still to flower plants there, so I am guessing that a visit in a couple of weeks would be much better. I did however also see another couple of spike of Woodcock Orchid and my first Moroccan Orange-tip (Anthocharis belia) of the year.
I next went back to the garden centre and met Jayne were we picked up a few plants before going down to Torremalinos for a late lunch and a walk along the sea front. Lunch was a very nice Paella in one of the Chiringuitos on the sea front.
Later we stopped at the Golf course nearby and had a look for and found Pepe the Superb Starling (Lamprotornis superbus) along with Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus) and my first Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) of the year.
 
Photographs from the top: Two-leaved Gennaria (Gennaria diphylla) close-up, Naked / Italian Man Orchid (Orquídea italiana / Orchis italica), Two-leaved Gennaria, Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys scolopax), Pink Butterfly (Orchis papilionacea), the Paella and Pepe the Superb Starling (Lamprotornis superbus).

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