Friday, 17 July 2015

Sierra Nevada, Granada Province.

Several hours around the Botanical Gardens then off down the old road.
Paul and Helen Brock Day Six.

Our third but not final visit to the Sierra Nevada hills, this time we were starting at the newish botanical gardens on the main road up to the ski resort. We arrived a bit early so we checked out and area of land nearby which turned out to be the best area of the day as we found a great many new insects in the herbs and bushes including two female and one male of the Stick Insect (Pijnackeria hispanica) along with Dicranocephalus setulosus nymph, Stagonomus amoenus, Ornate Shieldbug (Eurydema ornata), Dock Bug (Coreus marginatus), Speckled Bush-cricket (Leptophyes punctatissima) and a couple of still to be named Long-horn Beetles. Birds in the area included Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Coal Tit (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Goshawk (Azor Común / Accipitor gentillis), Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus) and Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax). On the crags above the area we picked up a small herd of Spanish Ibex (Cabra pyreaica hispanica) picking there wy along the rocks.
Once it was open we dropped down into the Botanical Gardens and made our way around the many tracks and paths. Near the visitor centre we found a very smart Sierra Nevada Ocellated Lizard (Lacerta lepida / Timon nevadensis) as well as a couple of Large Psammodromus (Lagartija colilarga / Psammodromus algirus) and Andalucian Wall Lizards (Podarcis vaucheri). As we walked around the top tracks we saw both nymph and adults of Canthophorus melanopterus a small shinny blue Shieldbug, Blue-winged Grasshopper (Oedipoda caerulescens), Mediterranean Shieldbug (Carpocoris mediterraneus), Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Rock Grayling (Hipparchi alcyone), Common / Southern Blue (Icaro (Dos Puntos) / Polyommatus icarus / celina) and in a large Pyrenean Oak (Quercus pyrenaica) we found several Purple Hairstreaks (Quercusia Quercus). We continued on around the site checking any broom plants for more Stick Insects but found none, we did however see Grayling (Hipparchia semele), Iberian Marbled White (Medioluto Ibérica / Melanargia lachesis), Great Banded Grayling (Rey Moro / Kanetisa circe), Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra) and many more insect species. Birds seen and heard were Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) and Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops). On the wetter flushes we found a coule of spikes of Robust Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza elata) and several Iberian Water Frogs (Rana Común / Rana Perezi),  On the far side of the site we checked a small pool a found several Southern Skimmers (Orthetrum brunneum), Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Scarlet Darter (Crocothemis erythraea), Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii), Cardinal Fritillary (Pandora / argynnis Pandora), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina ssp hispulla) and Swallowtail (Papilio machaon). We made our way back up to the car and then dropped down to the visitor centre on the main road a few KM below the botanical gardens, the two young lads that worked in the centre which is now open much more often were very helpful and supplied us with some very good information. From here we dropped down the old road towards Guejar-sierra, on the way we stopped at a small area of grassland where we found Silver-spotted Skipper (Hesperia comma), Lesser Spotted Fritillary (Melitaea trivia), Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Saddleback Bush-cricket (Ephippiger ephippiger), a couple of Weevel species, Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis) and Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius).
Down by the river we had views of Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Dipper (Mirlo Acuático / Cinclus cinclus), Common Winter Damselfly (Sympecma fusca), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea) and again many other insects species. The day flashed by and it was soon time to make our way back towards the house.

Photographs from the top: Stick Insect (Pijnackeria hispanica) x2, Dock Bug (Coreus marginatus), Andalucian Wall Lizard (Podarcis vaucheri), Tiger Long-horn Beetle species, Canthophorus Celanopterus, Spilostethus species, Weevel species, Common Winter Damselfly (Sympecma fusca) and Lesser Spotted Fritillary (Melitaea trivia).

1 comment:

Bas said...

geweldig mooi dit kleine leven in het najaar.