Thursday, 1 January 2015

Some of the Highlights from 2014

Best year yet for Loja / Granada Wildlife.

 

Third place in the bird catigory goes to Rufous Bush Robin (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes), locally a very rare species. We have just one site in the area but the birds showed well and posed beautifully for the Camera.


In second came the stunning Little Swifts (Vencejo Moro / Apus affinis) which we saw during the very successful spring tour in Western Andalucia, these were a Spanish lifer (seen in UK and Morocco before).

Bird of the year for me was not actually a lifer but a rare and difficult to see species which I spent a superb hour and a half watching at Padul Wetland near Granada. This Baillon's Crake (Polluela Chica / Porzana pusilla) performed in the smelly ditch and showed down to less than a meter for a lot of the time, too close to focus on.
 
Dargonflies featured well in 2014 with a couple of tour dedecated to the superb insects. In third came the stunning Orange-spotted Emerald (Oxygastra curtisii) with several insects being see during a tour at the end of May.

In second and I can not believe it's only in second came the amazing Splendid Cruiser (Macromia splendens) which lead Steve Jones and I a merry dance back in May. A super rare species which we were lucky enought to get some shots of after a lot of hard work.


Top slot for the Dragons goes to a species I had heard of but never expected to see, the Green Hooktail (Paragomphus genei). Thanks must go to Fernando Enrique Navarrete for showing us this stunning species.






















Several days tours also targeted Butterflies with some very interesting species being seen including.

 Apollo (Apolo / Parnassius apollo subsp nevadensis), 

Moroccan Orange-tip (Anthocharis belia),


 Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina),

 Berger's Clouded Yellow (Colias de Berger / Colias alfacariensis),

Orchids were also seen on several of the tours with a couple of dedecated multi-day tours going further afield in to Malaga and Cadiz Provinces.

 Dark Spider Orchid (Ophrys incubacea),  

 Man Orchid (Orchis anthropophora), 

 Algerian Butterfly Orchids (plantanthera algeriensis),

Bumblebee Orchid (Orquídea abejorro / Ophrys bombyliflora), 

Wild Flowers were seen in good numbers including several of the very rare and endemic Sierra Nevada species. 
 Nevada House Leek (Sempervivum minutum), 

 Alpine Gentian (Gentiana alpina),

 Aquilegia nevadensis,


Linaria glacialis,

1 comment:

Edmund Mackrill said...

Words fail me Mick - every species/photo is superb. To me they all rank equally. A truly splendid array of what there is to see in your back yard. And a wonderful testament to your skills as both a guide and a photographer. I always seem to be waiting for the next installment !!
All the best for 2015.