A walk around the Turbines and Crags.
A small group of 6 met at Charca del Negra for a short walk around the higher parts of Sierra de Loja. We started off by checking the area around the pools and soon had good views of Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis), Black-eared Wheatears (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica), Red-billed Choughs (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) and Rock Sparrows (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia). On the nearby cliffs we saw several species of wildflower clinging on in the cracks including Saxifraga Camposii, Mediterranean Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Snapdragon (Antirrhinum controversum), Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima) and Bitting Stonecrop (Sedum acre). In the small pools we had views of several Sharp-ribbed Salamanders (Pleurodeles waltl) as they came up to breath and a patroling Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator). We continued on along the track around towards the Goat Cave taking in some of the fantastic views and seeing Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Thekla Larks (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) and Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros). There were also some new plants seen including Chickweed (Cerastium boissieri), Erodium cheilanthifolium, Blue Hedgehog Broom (Erinacea anthyllis), Buckler Mustard (Biscutella frutescens), Common Snapdragon (Antirrhinum major), Mediterranean Catchfly (Silene colorata), Ptilotrichum spinosum and Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum). We moved up on to the top of a ridge and dropped down the opposite site back towards the main track adding Spectacled Warbler (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata), Tawny Pipit (Bisbita campestre / Anthus campestris), Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) along the way as well as Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae), Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri), Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina), Spanish Gatekeeper (Lobito listado / Pyronia bathsheba), Pyramidal Orchid (Orquidea Pyramidal /nacamptis pyramidalia), Red Phlomis (Phlomis purpurea) and Upland Peony (Paeonia coriacea) before we returned to the car and dropped back down the hill.
Photographs from the top: Sharp-ribbed Salamanders (Pleurodeles waltl), The Group -Roger, Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri), Erodium cheilanthifolium, Saxifraga Camposii and Thekla Larks (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae).