A couple of days with Sue and Sam near Grazalema.
Jayne and I hit the road early and made our way over towards Ronda, on the way we made a stop at Laguna Dulce where I spent half an hour scanning the pool. As usual the commonest species was Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), followed by White-headed Ducks (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Gadwall (Anade Friso / Anas strepera), Little (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Great Crested (Somormujo Lavanco / Podiceps cristatus) and Black-necked Grebes (Zampullín Cullinegro / Podiceps nigricollis), Lesser Black-backed (Gaviota Sombria / Larus fuscus) and Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus), Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) and on the margins Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Northern Lapwing (Avefria Europea / Vanellus vanellus) and Yellow Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae). In the air and around the margins there were a good number of species seen and heard including Alpine (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) and Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Crag (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Gull-billed Tern (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Great Reed (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus) and Reed Warblers (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
Once I ad finished in the hide we drove on to Ronda where Jayne wanted to look at a couple of shops so I went down to the Gorge and had a look at what was about there, the commonest species seen by far was the torist which was a good sign for Ronda and Spain. Birds recorded were Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco
naumanni), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia) and most surprising was a flock of 3 Spoonbills (Espátula Común / Platalea leucorodia) which appeared to be moving North / South, possibly coming from Embalse de Zahara-El Gastor and heading down to the coast.
After lunch Jayne and I headed to Sue´s house where I had a quick look around the garden before Sue arrived, species seen included Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Crested (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus) and Great Tits (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus). Insects were also every where and included Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Common Blue (Icaro (Dos Puntos) / Polyommatus icarus), False Ilex Hairstreak (Querquera / Satyrium esculi), Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus lavatherae), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Small White (Artogeia rapae), Spanish Gatekeeper (Lobito listado / Pyronia bathsheba) and Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera). Sue arrived and we all went in and had a drink and a chat out on the terrace bufore I went for a quick look around a quickly drying out river bed not far from the house. As I arrived I flushed a Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis) from its perch on one the pools and also soon had Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis), Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus) and Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus). A little further along the more open stretch of water I found several very nice spikes of Summer Lady's Tresses (Spiranthes aestivalis) which were growing just above the water line on tussocks in the remaining pools, all the other plants that we had seen last year had been eaten by the larger number of cattle that now graze the pasture. At the same spot I also had a couple of dozen newly emerged Western Willow Spreadwings (Lestres viridis) and the rush stands in the river at this point were covered in their exuvia. I continued on down the river picking up a few more birds species on the way including Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and a surprisingly aggresive Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) which when I came around a bend flew at me squawking and landed a couple of meters away giving me abuse and then flew off. On the larger pool in the woods and in the Cistus scrub on the banks I saw several Orange Featherlegs (Platycnemis acutipennis), Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus F lyllus), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla), Adonis Blue (Niña Celeste / Lysandra bellargus), Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera) and Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria). On my way back to the car I added another couple of bird species before headed back to Sue´s which were Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes) and Wryneck (Torcecuello / Jynx torquilla). Also seeen during this walk were Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa), Large Psammodromus (Lagartija colilarga / Psammodromus algirus) and Iberian Water Frog (Rana Común / Rana Perezi).
Photographs from the top: Adult male Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans), Immature Subalpine Warbler, Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni), Orange Featherlegs (Platycnemis acutipennis), Summer Lady's Tresses (Spiranthes aestivalis), Male Western Willow Spreadwing (Lestres viridis), Female Western Willow Spreadwing and the exuvia of Western Willow Spreadwings.