Friday, 4 March 2016

Travelling to Grazalema area, Cadiz Province.

A wonder around Ronda followed by a few hours in the field near to Grazalema.

After an appointment with the Doc's Jayne and I headed off towards Grazalema where we were going to visit Sue and Sam and to meet Sue's new Partener carlos. We drove through to a garage just to the west of Antequera where we had breakfast before going to Ronda. We parked and then spent some time along the main street, after a while I left Jayne shopping and went down to the Gorge where I scanned the skys looking for birds and soon had views of Red-billed Choughs (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Crag (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Serins (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus). Jayne met me down by the Gorge and then we headed back up the main street calling in at the main square and having a very good menu del dia before going back to the car and driving out towards Montejaque. We parked just before the gorge and I had a walk almost all the way through seeing Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Rock (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia) and Cirl Buntings (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), more Red-billed Choughs and Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis).
On the rocks there were good numbers of Southern Early Purple Orchids (Chupaeros / Androrchis Olbiensis), a single spike of Somber Bee Orchid (Abejera oscura / Ophrys fusca subsp fusca), Andalusian Storksbill (Erodium recorderi), Branched Asphodel (Asphodelus ramosus), Ranunculus picatus subsp blepharicarpos, Wild Clematis (Clematis vitalba), Intermediate Periwinkle (Vinca difformis), Rock phagnalon (Phagnalon rupestre), Rusty-back Fern (Ceterach officinarum), Southern Daisy (Bellis cordifolia), Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima), Fedia (Fedia cornucopiae), Field Marigold (Calendula arvensis), Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata ssp pullata), a singe spike of Reverchoni's Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum reverchoni), Meadow Saxifrage (Saxifraga granulata), Spanish Bluebell (Scilla hispanica) and Mediterranean Catchfly (Silene colorata).
Just down the road we made another stop in a field full of the stunning Narcissus cerrolazae which were flowering amongst the dead stems of last years thistles which made taking photographs quite painful. In the same area we saw Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala).
Our next stop was at La Rana nearer to Sue's where I parked aon the roadside and had a walk across the fields there where I saw Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Large Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis polychlorus), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Large White (Pieris brassicae), Lesser Celendine (Ranunculus ficaria), lots of Romulea bulbocodium, Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes).
We then dropped down to the river at Campobuches where I had a walk along the river, the ground was very damp but I managed to pick my way through to the far end seeing Long-tailed (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) and Great Tits (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Small White (Artogeia rapae), Hoop-petticoat Daffodil (Narcissus bulbocodium) and more Narcissus cerrolazae and as I walked back towards the car a flock of 8 Hawfinches (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes).
We then went up to Sue's and got the fire going whilst we waited for them to arrive, whilst there I only added Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax) to the list whilst unloading the car. Later Sue, Sam and Carlos arrived and we had a nice meal and a late night chatting.

Photographs from the top: Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Southern Early Purple Orchids (ChupaerosAndrorchis Olbiensis), Intermediate Periwinkle (Vinca difformis), Meadow Saxifrage (Saxifraga granulata), Ranunculus picatus subsp blepharicarpos, Andalusian Storksbill (Erodium recorderi), Narcissus cerrolazae, Romulea bulbocodium, 2x Sheep and Lambs, Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) and Lesser Celendine (Ranunculus ficaria).




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