Saturday 2 May 2015

Sierra de Loja, Granada Province.

A morning of Birds, Butterflies, Dragonflies, Orchids and Wild Flowers in the beautiful Sierra de Loja.

Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis).
I headed out early and made my way to Salar and up the Sierra de Loja from the Eastern slopes for a change, on the way I started the list off with House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).
Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops).
Just out side the village I stopped by the small Arroyo de Salar and had a walk, the first bird I saw was a Garden Warbler (Curruca Mosquitera / Sylvia borin) followed by Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes) and just as I was returning to the car a very nice male Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) flew over.
Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator).
I continued on up the road which soon change to track adding Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina).
Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalia).
I made a brief stop at a patch of uncultivated ground on the roadside where I checked for Orchids and plants seeing Yellow Bee (Ophrys lutea) and Mirror Orchids (Ophrys speculum) plus Common Asphodel (Asphodelus albus), Common Stork's-bill (Erodium cicutarium), Grey-leaved Cistus (Cistus albidus), Ground-pine Germander (Teucrium pseudochamaepitys), Large Blue Flax (Linum narbonense), Mediterranean Catchfly (Silene colorata), Mediterranean Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Navel-wort (Omphalodes commutata), Purple Bugloss (Echium plantagineum), Red Phlomis (Phlomis purpurea), Rosy garlic (Allium roseum), Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum) and Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata ssp pullata).
Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa).
I continued up the track going through Olives, Almond, abandoned groves and eventually out on to the mountain tops, on my way up I saw Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) and Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius).
Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis).
After having a chat with the Campo Guard and a farmer near one of the larger marble quarries I continued on along the track towards Charca del Negro, on the way I had Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Rock Pigeon (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Black-eared (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalia) and not yet in flower Lizard Orchids (Himantoglosum hircinum).
Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia).
Once I was at Charca I parked and went and sat in the rocks near the pool and waited to see what would come in to drink or perch near by for the camera. The first new species seen was a nice male Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia) quickly followed by Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans) and then the target species a fine male Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis) but this shy species knew I was there and stayed half hidden but it was still stunning.
Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica).
I moved a short way down the slope towards the goat house and again sat and waited, here I had distant but nice long views of a singing male Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlano / Sylvia hortensis), more Black-eared Wheatears, Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) and several butterflies including Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe), Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina), Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) and Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea).
Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae).
Back up at the pool I checked what I could see in the water and soon had views of both Sharp-ribbed Salamander (Pleurodeles waltl) and Natterjack Toads (Sapo Corredor / Bufo calamita) as they came up for air, a couple of Andalucian Wall Lizards (Podarcis vaucheri) on the rocks and a very small Viperine Snake (Culebra Viperina / Natrix maura) which slipped away through the Pond Water Crowsfoot (Ranunculus Peltatus). Over the pool a couple of male Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii) battled for territory and several Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) passed over feeding.I continued on to the next corned just passed the charca's in the car before turning around, on the boulders in this area I found a nice Male Black-eared Wheatear which sat nicely for the camera.
Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata)-
I dropped steadily down the hill to a spot I know where I usually see Spectacled Warbler (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata) and before I had even got out of the car a male was display flying from a large broom bush nearby, in the same area there were several Thekla Larks (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), a family party of Dartford Warblers (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata) which came right next to the car in an almond tree, Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus) and a single passing Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) which drifted off west. Again I continued down hill seeing a female Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Coal Tits (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) on the way and then had a look at the area around the old quarry.
Female Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca).
On the crags I found a single off duty Eagle Owl (Buho Real / Bubo bubo), 2 more Dartford Warblers, Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) which flew over high along with Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes), Panoptes Blue (Pseudophilotes panoptes), Small White (Artogeia rapae), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) and Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni).
I then dropped down to the motorway and headed for the Huétor Tajar junction, just before I got there a pair of Hawfinches (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes) flew across and right on the exit a Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica) was seeing off a Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).
After a visit to the supermarket I made my way home across the fields and finished the day with Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius) and Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus).

Friday 1 May 2015

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

Moth Trapping.

Pterostoma palpina (Pale Prominant).
Put the 125watt MV out last night and this morning checked the trap to find a goodish number of moths but less than expected as itwas warm and cloudy over night. 
Cacoecimorpha pronubana.
Species seen included Pterostoma palpina (Pale Prominant) x1 which was a new species for the garden, 663 Trichophaga Bipartitella x2, 961 Hadena sancta x2, 3498 Mirificarma eburnella x 8, 8965 (2465) Tyta luctuosa (The Four-spotted) x2, 367 (2403) Heliothis peltigera (Bordered Straw) x3, 9100 (2415) Acontia lucida (Pale Shoulder) x5, Aethes tornella x3 also possibly a new garden moth, 10022 (2202) Mythimna l-album (L-Album Wainscot), 9927 (2165) Aetheria (Hecatera) dysodea (Small Ranunculus) x1, Cacoecimorpha pronubana x1 again possibly another new species, 1655 (0720) Ethmia bipunctella x2, 4855 Epinotia thapsiana x 20+, 6719 (1398) Nomophila noctuella (Rush Veneer) x15+, 8186 (1714) Idaea degeneraria (Portland Ribbon Wave) x8, 10343 (2092) Agrotis puta puta (Shuttle Shaped Dart) x1, plus a few still to be named.

Aethes tornella.
10022 (2202) Mythimna l-album (L-Album Wainscot).
Heliothis peltigera (Bordered Straw).
9100 (2415) Acontia lucida (Pale Shoulder).

Thursday 30 April 2015

Balsa de Rigedor, Granada Province.

A quick look at a local pool after a visit to the Garden centre.

Male Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii).
Jayne and I went and picked up a few bits from the Garden Centre and on the way back I had half an hours scan around the man made but well naturalised pool just off the side of the A92. As I arrived I counted my way through the Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina) and found 27 males and 21 females out on the water. Other species on the water included Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos).
Male Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii).
On the margins I picked up Common Sandpiper (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and in the air there were good numbers of  Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and both Common (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus).
I walked along the bank through the Poplars, Willows and Almonds to the jetty where over the water I saw Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum cancellatum) x3, Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathinerum) x8, Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii) x15, Red-veined Darters (Sympetrum fonscolombii) x 12m and lots of Stripe-necked Terrapins (Mauremys leprosa).
Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina).
In the Poplars there were singing Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Melodious Warblers (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla) and Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus). In the vegitation I saw Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Large (Pieris brassicae) and Small White (Artogeia rapae).
Also seen and heard in the area were Stone Curlew (Alcaraván Común / Burhinus oedicnemus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus).

Home near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

An afternoon on the Terrace catching up with the computer jobs.

After getting a few bits caught up with during the morning and preping the lounge for a coat of paint tomorrow I spent the rest of the afternoon on the terrace catching up with a few tasks on the PC. Durng these few hours I recorded Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Melodious (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), the almost constant purr of the now common Turtle Doves (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), the rattle from the numerous Serins (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), a male Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), the aways present Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus).
Some butterflies were on the wing later in the day and I saw several species moving along the barranco including Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea), Brimstone (Gonepteryx rhamni), Large  (Pieris brassicae) and Small White (Artogeia rapae), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) and Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli).
At several points during the aftenoon I was joined on the terrace by a large Moorish Gecko (Tarentola mauritanica) and the ever noisy Iberian Water Frogs (Rana Común / Rana Perezi) called from the garden pool and down in the barranco.