Wednesday 22 July 2015

Western Sierra Nevada, Granada Province.

A day looking for Butterflies.
Day one with Bent Halfdan Pedersen from Denmark.

Apollo (Apolo / Parnassius apollo subsp nevadensis).
I met Bent in Granada and we headed up the hill as far as you can drive and then took a track from there and soon found the first of a few new species that Bent had wanted to see the Spanish Brassy Ringlet (Erebia hispania), Apollo (Apolo / Parnassius apollo subsp nevadensis) and Idas Blue (Plebejus idas). 
Sierra Nevada Ocellated Lizard (Lacerta lepida / Timon nevadensis).
In the same area we also saw Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Queen of Spain Fritillary (Issoria lathonia), Band-eyed Drone Fly (Eristalinus taeniops), Spanish Ibex (Cabra pyreaica hispanica), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Tawny Pipit (Bisbita campestre / Anthus campestris), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), Nevada House Leek (Sempervivum minutum), Centranthus nevadensis, Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), Erigeron frigidus, Eryngium glaciale and Leucanthemopsis pectinata.
Band-eyed Drone Fly (Eristalinus taeniops).
Our second site was a little lower down the road on a track which heads out from the ski resort and again we started to find new species but butterfly numbers were much reduced from just a week ago and Blue species were almost missing all together. We did however record Bath White (Pontia daplidice), Purple-shot Copper (Lycaena alciphron subsp gordius), Dusky Meadow Brown (Hyponephele lycaon), Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Iberian Marbled White (Melanargia lachesis), Black Satyr (Satyrus actaea), Silver-spotted (Hesperia comma), Sage (Muschampia proto) and  Small Skippers (Thymelicus sylvestris), Large White (Pieris brassicae), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Dark-green (Argynnis aglaja) and Niobe Fritillaries (Argynnis niobe).
Tree Grayling (Neohipparchia statilinus).
During the walk we also saw the first Sierra Nevada Ocellated Lizard (Lacerta lepida / Timon nevadensis) of the day as well as Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa), Common Whitethroat (Curruca Zarcera / Sylvia communis), Dunnock (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
We again dropped down the road stopping at the Botanical Gardens where we checked the lower grassy areas out as this was where I saw good numbers of butterflies a week or so earlier. We started off by seeing several Rock Graylings (Hipparchi alcyone), Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous), Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus), Great Banded Grayling (Kanetisa circe), Grayling (Hipparchia semele), Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra), Cardinal Fritillary (Argynnis Pandora), Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina) and in an area of  Pyrenean Oaks (Quercus pyrenaica) a couple of Purple Hairstreaks (Quercusia Quercus) and Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria).
Trichodes leucopsideus.
Whilst we were concentrating on the butterflies I also saw or heard Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus) and a scampering Red Squirrel (Ardilla común / Sclurus vulgaris).
We then went back up to the car and took the old road down through Guejar-sierra, on the way we stopped at an open area in the pine woods and found Dusky Heath (Coenonympha dorus), Lesser Spotted Fritillary (Melitaea trivia), Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli), False Ilex Hairstreak (Satyrium esculi), Red-underwing Skipper (Spialia sertorius) and Tree Grayling (Neohipparchia statilinus) before dropping back in to the city for the end of day one.

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