Friday 3 April 2015

Near Atarfe, Granada, Granada Province.

A cracking day seeing a new Orchid Hybrid for Granada Province and possibly Andalucia.

Ophrys fusca (lupercalis/foriesteri) × Ophrys tenthredinifera = Ophrys × sancti-leonardii.

Ophrys × sancti-leonardii.
After seeing and commenting on a post by Granada Natural on Facebook I was contacted and offered the chance to go and see these exciting plants found by Jose Antonio Cucharero.
I met Jose Antonio Díaz  from Granada Natural at a service area just off the A92 and we headed to the site where we were soon joined by Lucas Gutiérrez Jiménez, Jose Antonio Cucharero, Eduardo Duro and Angel Esteban.
Ophrys × sancti-leonardii.
As we walked through the Pine woods to the spot we saw good numbers of spikes of Ophrys dyris, Mirror Orchid (Espejo de Venus / Ophrys speculum subsp speculum) and Sawfly Orchid (Flor de avispa / Ophrys tenthredinifera).
Ophrys × sancti-leonardii.
When we reached the location for the hybrid I was amazed to see how many spikes there were and how variable the flowers were, I soon had the camera to work and for the first time I actually used a tripod for the job which helped greatly as to start with the light was not great. some 300 shots later I had a look around with the others and added Yellow Bee Orchid (Orquídea Abejera / Ophrys lutea) to the list.
Ophrys × sancti-leonardii.
Birds seen and heard whilst we were in the woods included Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Bonelli's (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Crested (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Iberian Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius) and Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus).
Ophrys × sancti-leonardii.
Once things warmed up a few butterflies started to put in an appearance including several Green Hairstreaks (Callophrys rubi), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Bath  (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Large (Pieris brassicae) and Small Whites (Artogeia rapae), Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Swallowtail (Papilio machaon), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Moroccan Orange-tip (Anthocharis belia) and Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra).
Ophrys dyris.
I would like to say a big thanks to the chaps who made me very welcome during their Orchid meeting and for the help and tips with the photograph. I had a great morning in good company with some special plants.
Ophrys dyris.
Ophrys dyris.
Mirror Orchid (Ophrys speculum).
Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera).
Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera).

Tuesday 31 March 2015

Rio Velez and Vinuela, Malaga Province.

A warm quiet couple of hours on the river.

Night Heron (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax).
On the way down to Torre del Mar via Salar and Puente don Emanuel I saw Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), a Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius) which flew across the road and landed n an Almond tree giving us nice views, Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Iberian Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and several Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) both on roadside wires and a ruined building.
Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) Female.
Once down on the coast I dropped Jayne at the shopping centre and went for a quick look along the Rio Velez but as Jayne had had an earlier appointment we were later in the day than usual so things had already warmed up some what.
Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula).
As soon as I arrived I noticed anice adult Night Heron (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax) sat in the lower branches of a poplar tree, both Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) were roosting right in the upper branches and a couple of Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) were feeding down in the river amongst the dock leaves.
Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis).
On the track side flowers there were several large Carpentor Bee (Xylocopa violacea) whizzing around and several Small (Artogeia rapae), Large (Pieris brassicae) and Bath Whites (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice) flapping around at a much slower pace. As I walked down towards the beach I soon added Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Monk Parakeet (Cotorra Argentina / Myiopsitta monachus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) and Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos) to the list.
Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti).
I scanned the sea once I reached the beach but apart from several Yellow-legged Gulls (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and a couple of Great Cormorants (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo) it was empty except of some wrinkles who really should be made to keep there cloths on.
Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus).
I checked the beack pool and saw the 5x Greater Flamingo's (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus) that 3 Spanish photographers had told me about earlier and several Eurasian Coots (Focha Común / Fulica atra), the single neck collared Red-knobbed (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), 3x Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus) and a noisy (even noisie than the Stilts this time) Common Redshank (Archibebe Común / Tringa totanus), 2x Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) and in the reeds around a small stagnant pool a Crake species which zipped out of site before I could confirm it was a Baillon's (Polluela Chica / Porzana pusilla) which was my initial thought.
Red Avadavat (Bengali Rojo / Amandava amandava).
I sat down on the dryish mud at the side of the pool and waited there for about 1.5 hours but the bird did not show again, I did get good views of a Cetti's, my first Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) of the year, a small flock of Red Avadavats (Bengali Rojo / Amandava amandava) and a single Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope).
Red Avadavat (Bengali Rojo / Amandava amandava).
I walked back up the River but only added Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and a few wild flowers including Common Mallow (Malva sylvestris), Crown Daisy (Chrysanthemum carinatum var discolor), Eruca (Eruca sativa), Field Madder (Sherardia arvensis), Field marigold (Calendula arvensis) and Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum).
Pink Butterfly Orchid (Orchis papilionacea).
Once I was back at the car I went and met Jayne and we had some lunch in a small resturant in torre del Mar before calling in at several garden centres on the way home. Near to lake Vinuela we made a quick roadside stop so that I could get some shots for a clump of Pink Butterfly Orchid (Orchis papilionacea).
Pink Butterfly Orchid (Orchis papilionacea).

Sunday 29 March 2015

Charca de Suarez, Motril, Granada Province.

A rare days birding for Dave Grundy after checking the Moth Trap.

White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia).
We got up a bit earlier and met by the trap where we checked and potted a few moths before heading out towards granada and then down the motorway down to Motril and in to Charca de Suarez. On the way down we saw several Iberian Magpies (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and two White Storks (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia) which were perched on the tops of two light fittings on an empty industial estate near Granada.
White Stork (Ciguena Blanca / Ciconia ciconia).
Once we were at Charca we parked and picked up Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica). Once we were inside we went to the hide over looking Laguna del Trébol and soon picked up Eurasian (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and Red-knobbed Coots (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), a male Eurasian Wigeon (Sibón Europeo / Anas penelope) and a singing Sedge Warbler (Carricerin Común / Acrocephalus schoenobaenus).
We moved around to the main hide seeing Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula).
Red-knobbed Coot (Focha Moruna / Fulca cristata).
We arrived at the hide over looking Laguna de las Aneas and with a scan of the lake we soon found the female Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca) and her two hybrid young, Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Northern Shoveler (Pato Cuchara / Anas clypeata), Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and just as we were about to move on an adult Night Heron (Marinete Común / Nycticorax nycticorax) which flew around before landing with the Grey Herons in a willow on the far side of the pool.
Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio).
After watching the Night Heron for a while we walked on around to the new scrap seeing a couple of Shelduck (Tarro Blanco / Tadoma tadorna) in flight on the way and listened to a singing Iberian Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Ibérico / Phylloscopus brehmii) in the poplars along with several Common Chiffchaffs (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita).
Ferruginous Duck (Porrón Pardo / Aythya nyroca).
On the scrap we saw singles of Green Sandpiper (Andarrios Grande / Tringa ochropus), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago) and two Black-winged Stilts (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
Our next stop was in the hide over looking the long narrow Laguna del Taraje where we had views of a male Little Bittern (Avetorillo Común / Ixobrychus minutus), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta) and a glimpes of a female Little Crake ( Polluela Bastarda / Porzana parva) as it dashed across a small gap in the reeds. Just as we moved on around the reserve we had a very nice Monarch (Danaus plexippus) fly passed us and a Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope) dash along a wet ditch.
Purple Heron (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea).
The next hide was having some work do to it so we went straight to the second hide over looking Laguna del Trébol and on the way we had a flock of 13 Purple Herons (Garza Imperial / Ardea purpurea) fly over, some of the birds tried to land but in the end the flock flew off heading East. Once we were in the hide Dave pulled one out of the hat when he spotted a second female Little Crake right at the far end of the pool as it walked along the reedy margin. We left the hide and had views of a Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) which was sat in thetop of a nearby willow and some of the same flock of Purple Herons or a different group dropped in and then flew off again but this group was only made up of 11 birds. We had a second look at the main hide over looking the largest pool but only added a female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) to the list before we made our way back to the car and drove north towards Granada and then out in to the country side on the road towards La Malaha and called in at the spot where we saw the Storks earlier in the day and had better views of the Lesser Kestrels there and picked up Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra) for the day list.
Sedge Warbler (Carricerin Común / Acrocephalus schoenobaenus).
On our way through Ventas de Huelma we stopped and grabbed a sandwich which we took with us and eat whilst we scanned the ridges for raptors which included a single Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) and several Common Kestrels (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) along with Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax) and several Bath Whites (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice).
We contined on along the road and dropped down into the Cacín Valley and up to the Embalse de Cacín, there we no new species on the water but whilst there we did see 3 European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) which were my first for the year, along with Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and a calling Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus).
White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
Further up the valley we stopped in the pines and had a look at several spikes of Ophry's forestieri growing on the verge as well as Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs).
We drove up through El Turro and on to a large area offields but due to the time of day it was quiet and we only managed to add a single Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius) and several butterfly species including Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Swallowtail (Papilio machaon), Scarce Swallowtail (Chupaleches / Iphiclides podalirius feisthameli), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera) and Province Hairstreak (Cardenillo / Tomares ballus).
Ophrys forestieri.
Also seen in this area were several spikes of Fan-lipped Orchid (Anacamptis conica), Blue Hounds-tongue (Cynoglossum creticum), Borage (Borago officinalis), Common Mallow (Malva sylvestris), Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas), Crown Daisy (Chrysanthemum carinatum var discolor), Field marigold (Calendula arvensis), Field Gromwell (Lithospermum arvense), Henbit Deadnettle (Lamium amplexicaule), Mediterranean Catchfly (Silene colorata), Purple Bugloss (Echium plantagineum), Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis) and Yellow flax (Linum tenue). We then started to head back to the house and set the Moth traps for the last time during Daves stay.