Dragonflies and Butterflies in the Mountains North of Granada.
Paul and Helen Brock Day Three.
We drove out to the furthest point in the Sierra Huétor and made a short stop just off the motorway checking a large area unsuccessfully for Stick Insects but whilst we were there we did see Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and heard Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus). We moved just up the road and parked on the roadside and followed a fast flowing stream for a KM or so up stream checking the trees and fields along it's banks. we soon found the first of many Beautiful Demoiselles (Calopteryx virgo) both males and females were common right along the stream. Out on the grassland and amongst the thistles we found Purple Hairstreak (Quercusia Quercus), Southern Gatekeeper (Pyronia cecilia), Striped Grayling (Pseudotergumia fidia), Spanish Chalk-hill Blue (Polyommatus albicans), High Brown Fritillary (Fabriciana adippe) and Iberian Marbled White (Medioluto Ibérica / Melanargia lachesis). Back down by the river we saw several Large Pincertails (Onychogomphus uncatus) which sat for the camera which could not be said for the good numbers of Common Golden Ringed Dragonflies (Cordulegaster boltonii subsp algirica) or the single male Western Spectre (Boyeria Irene) which just would not sit. As we moved up stream we also heard or saw Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Long-tailed Tits (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sto theitta europaea), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major) and Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris). During this walk there were quite a few insect species seen but most still need to be named as well as False Ilex Hairstreak (Querquera / Satyrium esculi), Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus), Ornate Shieldbug (Eurydema ornata), Blue-winged Grasshopper (Oedipoda caerulescens), Mylabris quadripunctata, Hummingbird Hawkmoth (Macroglossum stellatarum), Silver-spotted Skipper (Hesperia comma) and Striped Grayling.
We eventually got back to the car and then crossed the road to the fields opposite where we had a very nice Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous), Small (Thymelicus sylvestris) and Lulworth Skippers (Thymelicus acteon), Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Tree Grayling (Neohipparchia statilinus), a very tatty Spanish Purple Hairstreak (Laeosopis roboris), Scarce Swallowtail (Chupaleches / Iphiclides podalirius feisthameli), Small (Artogeia rapae), Large (Pieris brassicae) and Bath Whites (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Copper Demoiselle (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica).
Again we eventually reached the car and moved a short way along the same road to the next motorway junction and parked on the roadside under some Pine trees and had our lunch before tracking down several Great Banded (Rey Moro / Kanetisa circe) and Rock Graylings (Hipparchi alcyone) we were watching whilst eating our food, we found several individuals and a couple of mating pairs which posed nicely for the camera along with Cardinal Fritillary (Pandora / argynnis Pandora), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), a couple of Long-horn Beetle species and quite a few other insects on the umbellifer plants. In the same area we had Sriped Shieldbug (Graphosoma italicum), Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus) and Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator).
We moved a bit further this time and over in to the Sierra de Alfacar where we checked a walk I had done many time but found very little which was willing to site as it was by now quite hotso we continued to another spot not to far away and had more of the same including Great Banded and Rock Graylings but then we found a cracking species which I had only once before seen a False Grayling (Arethusana arethusa) which gave us nice chance to get it's photo. By this time it was late afternoon and hot so we decided to call it a day and head back to the house.
Photographs from the top: Striped Grayling (Pseudotergumia fidia), Bee Species, Chalk-hill Blue (Polyommatus albicans), Tree Grayling (Neohipparchia statilinus), Mylabris quadripunctata, Long-horn Beetle Species, Great Banded Grayling (Rey Moro / Kanetisa circe), Cardinal Fritillary (Pandora / argynnis Pandora), Scarce Swallowtail (Chupaleches / Iphiclides podalirius feisthameli) and False Grayling (Arethusana arethusa).