Friday, 26 June 2015

Somport Pass area and travelling back, Huesca Province.

Our last day in the high mountains.
Granada Wildlife Pyrenees Tour Day Seven.

We had another good breakfast before setting out for the Somport Pass seeing the usual species around the hotel and on the way including Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Red (Milano Real / Milvus milvus) and Black Kites (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), Egyptian (Alimoche Común / Neophron percnopterus) and Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Common Buzzards (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) and Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor).
We arrived at the pass and took a road off to the right and parked before having a walk along a hill side track looking for Ring Ouzel ( Mirlo Capiblanco / Turdus torquatus) a species which had so far surprisingly avoided us. At the bottom end of the track in a wide wet flush we saw plenty of Heath Spotted Orchids (Dactylorhiza maculata), Purple-edged Coppers (Lycaena hippothoe), Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae), Pearly Heath (Coenonympha arcania), Common Wall Lizard (Podarcis muralis) and as we approached a quite large gully we had a smart Common Golden Ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii) do a fly passed and land on a dead stalk long enough for me to get a shot. Further along the track we had the first of several Rufous-tailed Rock Thrushes (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis) which was sat out on an old dead pine stump, in the same area new species for the trip and day included Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and displaying Water Pipits (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta). Below the track there was a new species of butterfly for the trip a Cinquefoil Skipper (Pyrgus cirsii) which was followed by Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus hypochionus), Pearly Heath (Coenonympha arcania), Piedmont Ringlet (Erebia meolans), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) and Large Wall Brown (Lasiommata maera). At the far end of the walk we found some clumps of Rhododendron ferrugineum a nice pink flowered bush, Rosa dumalis and in the same area we had more singing male Rufous-tailed Rock Thrushes, Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Dunnock (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe). As we eventually (OK we saw more than expected and it took awhile) walked back towards the van we had brief and distant views of our only Ring Ouzel as it disappeared in to a tree up the slope where it sat for a while whilst Nick got the scope on it. Other species seen on the walk included Apollo (Apolo / Parnassius apollo), Swallowtail (Papilio machaon), Adonis Blue (Niña Celeste / Lysandra bellargus), Dingy Skipper (Erynnis tages), Fragrant Orchid (Gymnadenia conopsea), a Long-horn Beetle species, Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra), Alpine Marmot (Marmota marmota), Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes).
Once we were back at the van we went a short way back to the main road where we stopped again to admire an immature Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) before going up near the border and having a well earned coffee before dropping down to a small reservoir a few hundred meters away. On the way we checked a roadside puddle which had a very nice male Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa) sat on a dead twig and a couple of Large Red Damselflies (Pyrrhosoma nymphula) trying to hide in the thicker vegetation.
Once we were on the track we found lots of Heath Spotted, a few Broad-leaved Marsh (Dactylorhiza majalis), Fragrant and a still to be determined Marsh Orchid species. On the damper areas we found several white Fragrant Orchids, Common Twayblade (Neottia ovata), the only Spanish Argus (Aricia morronensis) of the trip necturing on Pyrenean Cranesbill (Geranium pyrenaicum), Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Water Pipit and Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea).
We went back up the road a while later and had lunch at the same place as the coffee earlier and had a look at an area on the oposite side of the road where Nick, Mick H and Mick L had found some Citril Finches (Verderón Serrano / Serinus citrinella) coming down to collect grit. Later we dropped down the main road to a track which lead into the hills where we had another walk looking at the butterflies and wildflowers. In the grasslands we saw Mountain Ringlet (Erebia epiphron), Spanish Brassy Ringlet (Erebia hispania), Piedmont Ringlet, Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus F lyllus),
Idas Blue (Plebejus idas), Round-headed Rampion (Phyteuma orbiculare) and Phyteuma spicatum L. subsp. pyrenaicum, Greater Butterfly Orchid (Platanthera chlorantha), Garden Warbler (Curruca Mosquitera / Sylvia borin), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Yellowhammer (Escribano Cerillo / Emberiza citrinella), Goldfinch and Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus).
We started to make our way down the main road back towards the hotel but took a more direct crosscountry route, the first stop was made when I picked up a female Red-backed Shrike (Alcaudón Dorsirrojo / Lanius collurio) in a roadside bush which was a few minutes later seen again with a very smart male bird. At the same spot we saw or heard Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis), Bullfinch (Camachuelo Común / Pyrrhula pyrrhula), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone) and on a roadside bramble patch Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla), Long-tailed (Lampides boeticus) and Holly Blues (Celastrina argiolus), Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni) and Large White (Pieris brassicae).
Again we continued on winding our way steadily back towards Hecho, on the way we made another stop to look at some wildflowers including Aphyllanthes monspliensis, Ox-eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare), Rosy garlic (Allium roseum), White Rockrose (Helianthemum apenninum) and a couple of Gorse species which still need names as well as several very smart Chestnut Heaths (Coenonympha glycerion iphioides), Marbled White (Melanargia galathea), Brown Argus (Aricia agestis) and Small White (Artogeia rapae).
We got back to the hotel and some of the group went in and four of us headed off up to the far end of the Hecho Valley for a last look before we headed back to Barcelona tomorrow. We parked and started to walk further up the valley and with in minutes we picked up a stunning adult Lammergeier / Bearded Vulture (Quebrantahuesos / Gypaetus barbatus) which dropped down out of view as soon as we got on it. We moved quickly to the edge of the drop and soon located the bird jumping around on the groundbefore taking off and flying straight towards us and then off down the river. In the same area we saw Egyptian Vulture, Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), Alpine Bartsia (Bartsia alpina), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) and Common Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus). We turned around and made our way back to the van and then enjoyed our last evening meal back at the hotel and did some packing ready for tomorrows trip back to the ariport.

Photographs from the top: The Group below the Somport Pass, Purple-edged Copper (Lycaena hippothoe) and a Heath Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza maculata), Common Golden Ringed Dragonfly (Cordulegaster boltonii), Rufous-tailed Rock Thrushes (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis), Long-horn Beetle species, Rhododendron ferrugineum, Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa), white Fragrant Orchid (Gymnadenia conopsea), Spanish Argus (Aricia morronensis), Broad-leaved Marsh (Dactylorhiza majalis), Looking up to the Somport Pass, Chestnut Heath (Coenonympha glycerion iphioides) and 3x Lammergeier / Bearded Vulture (Quebrantahuesos / Gypaetus barbatus).


1 comment:

Bas said...

dat zijn nog eens expedities daar kom je nog eens wat tegen, geweldig mooi.