An amazing day in the mountain with a small group organised by Jose Antonio Díaz of Granada Natural.
|Immature Lammergeier / Bearded Vulture (Quebrantahuesos / Gypaetus barbatus).|
I left home at 08:00 to meet a small group for a day photographing wildlife on the Western slopes of the Sierra Nevada between 2500m and 2980m. I arrived a bit early and had a quick look at the Rio Genil near the garage where we were meeting, here I saw Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala).
|Nevada House Leek (Sempervivum minutum).|
|Spanish Argus (Aricia morronensis).|
Plants on this first section included Jurinea humilis, Ptilotrichum spinosum, Eryngium glaciale and just passed the Virgin we came in to an area of the little Geranium Erodium cheilanthifolium which whilst not only being beautiful is the food plant of the uncommon Spanish Argus (Aricia morronensis) which is a local subspecieson the mountain.
We continued on up the road and took the turn to the upper ski station and then turned off on to a track which twisted and turned its way up to Lagunillas de la Virgin where we had lunch.
On the way we made lots of stops to photograph some of the rarest of the endemic plants founds in the area, just after we left the road Mari Carmen got very excited when a very
|Sierra Nevada Violet (Viola crassiuscula / Violeta de Sierra Nevada).|
We had lunch and then checked out the scree above the site where we found a cracking clump of Linaria glacialis, along with Sideritis glacialis, Silene rupestris, Dianthus subacaulis subsp brachyanthus and Arenaria imbricata.
The bird moved along the ridge and then dropped down much closer and checked out the area above the laguna below us which meant we got some superb views and I managed some okish shots.
|Lagunillas de la Virgin.|
Once we were back at the cars we dropped down the hill a short way to a disused visiting area where there were a couple of small pools and large areas of damp grassland where we found a few spikes of Robust Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza elata), what I think were lots of spkes of Nepeta granatensis, Corn Cockle (Agrostemma githago), Carpentor Bee (Xylocopa violacea), a single male Southern Skimmer (Orthetrum brunneum), Iberian Marbled White (Melanargia lachesis) and the spider Aculepeira armida.
|Apollo (Apolo / Parnassius apollo subsp nevadensis).|
We saw a fantastic range of rare and endemic species in an outstanding area of beautiful views and scenery. Thanks again for inviting me on this superb day.