A day practising with the new lens with mixed results.
I dropped Jayne off for a mornings retail therapy in the city and headed up to the woodlands around the road out to El Porche and along the old road to Guejar-sierra. I parked on the roadside and walked a track out in to anarea of open pine woodlands, on the way I either saw or heard Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Long-tailed (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Crested (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) and Blue Tits (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli) and Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata). There were also quite a few wildflowers along the way including Berberis vulgaris, Small Pink Cistus (Cistus crispus), Spanish Rusty Foxglove (Digitalis obscura), Galactites tomentosa, White Rockrose (Helianthemum apenninum), Stinking Hellebore (Helleborus foetidus), Iberis pectinata, Large Blue Flax (Linum narbonense), Onosma tricerosperma ssp granatensis, Paeonia coriacea, Polygala boissieri, Salvia lavandulifolia and a few spikes of Fragrant Bug Orchid (Orchis coriophora subsp fragrans). Butterflies and Moths were also present and included Green Hairstreak (Callophrys rubi), Black-veined White (Banca del Majuelo / Aporia crataegi), Knapweed (Melitaea phoebe) and Marsh Fritillaries (Euphydrayas aurinia beckeri) and Hummingbird Hawkmoth (Macroglossum stellatarum).
From here I continued on up the hill for a while then dropped back down on the old road to Guejar-sierra calling at a few spots on the way, the first was an open roadside grassland area where I quickly found several more new species of butterfly for the day list including Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Scarce Swallowtail (Chupaleches / Iphiclides podalirius feisthameli), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus F lyllus), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus alceae), Common Blue (Icaro (Dos Puntos) / Polyommatus icarus), Blue Spotted Hairstreak (Mancha Azul / Satyrium spini), Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice) plus quite a few more Marsh Fritillaries.
Birds were quiet but I did add Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) and Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo). Around the plants and amongst the scrub I had several Carpentor Bees (Xylocopa violacea), Hornet (Vespa crabro) and a very nice male Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator) which was hunting well away from any water. Again I dropped down the road and made a second stop at a roadside stream and water hole, in the ditch I found several spikes of yet to flower Robust Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza elata) and a little further down the hill both Small-leaved Helleborine (Epipactis microphylla) and Epipactis fageticola which were no where near ready to bloom. On a dead spike in a hedgerow I had a very nice male Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa) and several more species of butterfly in the same area including Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra) and Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui). I stopped just a short way down the next hill and found several spikes of over with Barton's Orchid (Dactylorhiza insularis) as well as Water Avens (Geum rivale), Southern Polypody (Polypodium cambricum), Rosy garlic (Allium roseum), Little Robin (Geranium Purpureum), White Bryany (Bryonia cretica), Rush Loosestrife (Lythrum junceum) and two day flying moths the Latticed Heath (Chiasmia clathrata) and Synaphe Moldavica.
I then dropped right down to the Rio Genil and checked out a track that I have seen some nice species on before, almost as soon as I got out of the car I started to see Marsh Fritillaries and by the time I had finished I must have seen a couple of hundred.I walked down to and crossed the river and up a track on the far side, during this walk I added Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Dipper (Mirlo Acuático / Cinclus cinclus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlano / Sylvia hortensis) and Wryneck (Torcecuello / Jynx torquilla) to the bird list and Marbled (Carcharodus lavatherae) and Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Cardinal (Pandora / argynnis Pandora) and Queen of Spain Fritillary (Issoria lathonia) to the butterfly list. Along the track side I also saw a hanging clump of Dianthus lusitanus.
I then had a quick look on the meadows near the bars just below where I was parked but only added Small White (Artogeia rapae), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus) and Spanish Marbled White (Medioluto Inés / Melanargia ines) to the list before going and having lunch with Jayne down in the city.
Photographs from the top: Marsh Fritillary (Euphydrayas aurinia beckeri), Fragrant Bug Orchid (Orchis coriophora subsp fragrans), Hummingbird Hawkmoth (Macroglossum stellatarum), Marsh Fritillary, Small-leaved Helleborine (Epipactis microphylla) not yet in flower, Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Small White (Artogeia rapae) and Dianthus lusitanus.