River valley and mountain Insects and Birds.
Paul and Helen Brock Day Five.
We all set off for a mornings insect hunting in the Arroyo Marin, Paul and Helen had visited the site with me last year and we had found some nice species. We started by walking along a shot track along side the stream where we found several White Featherlegs (Platycnemis latipes), Common Winter Damselfly (Sympecma fusca), Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Mediterranean Shieldbug (Carpocoris mediterraneus), Mammoth Wasp (Megascolia maculata), Cone-head Mantis (Empusa pennata), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Blue Tits (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Iberian Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Common (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and Alpine Swifts (Vencejo Real / Apus melba), Kingfisher (Martin Pescador / Alcedo atthis), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla) and Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli).
We next drove right down to the far end of the valley and parked before checking out the river and soon found a nice male Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi) as well as Southern Skimmer (Orthetrum brunneum), Small Pincertail (Onychogomphus forcipatus) and Copper Demoiselle (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis). In the trees and overhead we had Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica). As we walked along the river we saw butterflies including Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Spanish Chalk-hill Blue (Polyommatus albicans), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus F lyllus), Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous), Common / Southern Blue (Icaro (Dos Puntos) / Polyommatus icarus / celina), Large White (Pieris brassicae) and Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta). We moved back up the valley slightly and found a nice patch of Field Eryngo (Eryngium campestris) which had several insect species on it including Hairy (Dolycoris baccarum) and Sriped Shieldbugs (Graphosoma italicum), Graphosoma semipunctatum, Rhombic Leatherbug (Syromastus rhombeus), Spider-hunting Wasp (Cryptocheilus discolor), Red-underwing Skipper (Spialia sertorius), Striped Grayling (Pseudotergumia fidia), Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto) and Southern Gatekeeper (Pyronia cecilia).
Our last stop here was at the middle bridge and in the grassland around the spot we found Scarce Swallowtail (Chupaleches / Iphiclides podalirius feisthameli), Gorse Shieldbug (Piezodorus lituratus), Egyptian Grasshopper (Anacridium aegyptium), Argiope lobata, Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).
During the afternoon we made our way back towards Loja and went up to the 1000meter mark as the Sierra was shut to cars above this due to the high fire risk. By now it was getting hot so we walked along the roadside checking out the large amounts of Field Eryngo, here we found Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Common / Southern Blue, False Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus tripolinus), Haploprocta sulcicornis, mating pair of Potter Wasp species and a lot of other insect species. Birds included Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and Iberian Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus).
By the time we finished here we decided a head back in as it was getting rather hot and had gone over the +40 mark.
Photographs from the top: Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), White Featherleg (Platycnemis latipes), Graphosoma semipunctatum, Cone-head Mantis (Empusa pennata), Hairy Shieldbug (Dolycoris baccarum), Spider-hunting Wasp (Cryptocheilus discolor), Rhombic Leatherbug (Syromastus rhombeus) and the rest are unnamed at the moment.