Monday, 13 July 2015

Sierra Nevada, Granada Province.

A day in the high mountains of the Sierra Nevada.
Paul and Helen Brock Day Two.

Paul, Helen and I were up and out heading for the 2500m area of the Sierra Nevada looking for insects, on the way we saw Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Iberian Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor).
We parked near the hotel which burnt down last year and is being rebuilt and had a walk along a nearby track, it was still quite cool but we did start to find a few species including Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Purple-shot Copper (Lycaena alciphron subsp gordius), Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera) and one of the main target species an Apollo (Apolo / Parnassius apollo subsp nevadensis). Up on the slopes above us I saw a Dunnock (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) and Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina). A bit further on we found several Silver-studded Blue (Plebejus argus hypochionus), quite a few more Apollo's, Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina), Iberian Marbled White (Medioluto Ibérica / Melanargia lachesis), Black Satyr (Negra / Satyrus actaea), Small- Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Dark-green Fritillary (Argynnis aglaja), Small White (Artogeia rapae) and a very fancy eyed Hoverfly type insect called Band-eyed Drone Fly (Eristalinus taeniops).
At the furthest point we turned around and walked back towards the car adding Heath Fritillary (Melitaea athalia), Queen of Spain Fritillary (Issoria lathonia), Niobe Fritillary (Argynnis niobe), Mediterranean Shieldbug (Carpocoris mediterraneus), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and another of the top target species from Pauls list a very smart Nevada Blue (Niña de Sierra Nevada / Plebicula golgus subsp golgus). On the oposite side of the track from this find we checked a wet flush and Robust Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza elata), Southern Darter (Sympetrum meridionale), Mediterranean Shieldbug (Carpocoris mediterraneus), a Mirid Bug and Gorse Shieldbug (Piezodorus lituratus).
Well that was the morning gone so we move a little higher up to the top car park and walked a short distance along one of the nearby tracks and almost straight away we started to find rather active Spanish Brassy Ringlet (Erebia hispania), lots more Apollo'sIberian Grasshopper (Omocestus bolivari), Queen of Spain Fritillary's, Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae), Oriental Meadow Brown (Hyponephele lupinnus), Iberian Grasshopper (Omocestus bolivari), Carpentor Bee (Xylocopa violacea), Armeria splendens ssp splendens, Arenaria imbricata, Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), Erigeron frigidus, Mediterranean Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Spanish Mountain Thistle (Ptilostemon hispanicus), Eryngium glaciale and Spanish Ibex (Cabra pyreaica hispanica).
Birds included Tawny Pipit (Bisbita campestre / Anthus campestris), Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Skylark (Alondra Común / Alauda arvensis) and Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor).
We returned to the car and headed back down the mountain and back to the house.

Photographs from the top: Nevada Blue (Niña de Sierra Nevada / Plebicula golgus subsp golgus), Band-eyed Drone Fly (Eristalinus taeniops), Iberian Grasshopper (Omocestus bolivari), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Small- Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Mirid Bug, Gorse Shieldbug (Piezodorus lituratus), Tawny Pipit (Bisbita campestre / Anthus campestris), Southern Darter (Sympetrum meridionale) and Apollo (Apolo / Parnassius apollo subsp nevadensis).

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