A couple of hours on the local patch with Juan Pérez Contreras.
Juan and I headed out from the house up to the nearby mountain of Hacho just to the North of Loja where we checked out the woodlands on the Northern slopes. The lower area is mainly pine woodland but as we climbed we headed in to Oak scrub before moving back across the ridge and down in to the Pines again.
As we started out we found quite a lot of dried spikes of Ophrys forestieri and Giant Orchid (Himantoglossum robertiana), but we also found good numbers of Yellow Bee (Orquídea Abejera / Ophrys lutea), Pink Butterfly (Orchis papilionacea) and Man Orchid (Orchis anthropophora) in good condition.
As we climbed the wooded slope we heard and saw Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and the two star finds were a Red-necked Nightjar (Chotacabras Cuellirrojo / Caprimulgus ruficollis) which gave us brief but good views as it flew through the trees and a Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia) which I flushed by accident from it's nest as we descended the slopes passing a small bush which was over hanging the path. I do not normally photograph nests and eggs but as I had already disturbed the bird and the nest was so beautiful I thought that the few extra seconds it would take would do no harm.
Other plants seen whilst on out walk included Southern Wild Tulip (Tulipa sylvestris ssp. australis), Wild Peony (Paeonia broteroi), Wild Gladiolus (Gladiolus illyricus), Tassel Hyacinth (Muscari comosum), Mediterranean Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Linaria anticaria and the uncommon Dictamnus hispanicus.
Photographs from the top: Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia) nest and eggs, Man Orchid (Orchis anthropophora) and Southern Wild Tulip (Tulipa sylvestris ssp. australis).