Saturday 5 March 2016

Grazalema Area, Cadiz Province.

Looking for Narcisuss and Amphibians.

Sam, Sue and Jayne on their way up the track.
After a late breakfast we headed out for a walk along a footpath in the valley above the village of Grazalema following the road towards El Bosque. We parked and started the walk, in the car park we could hear Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus) and Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs) and just after crossing the first bridge we had the first of quite a few Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
Andalusian Storksill (Erodium recorderi).
We continued on along the track, some of which had good vegetation on the side but most of the area had been strimmed which meant that there was a lack of plants but we did find Andalusian (Erodium recorderi) and Mallow-leaved Storksbills (Erodium malacoides), Oleander (Nerium oleander), Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata ssp pullata), Southern (Bellis cordifolia) and Annual Daisy (Bellis annua) and then the species we had gone for the stunning Narcissus cuatrecasasii which was flowering from several cracks in a large block of rock on the track side. 
Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).
On the rock there was also a small Crusifer type plant which I am still needing to name along with Rusty-backed Fern (Ceterach officinarum) and Maidenhair Spleenwort (Asplenium trichomanes) and Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata ssp pullata). 
Narcissus cuatrecasasii.
In one of the small concrete water cisterns along side the track we found 5 or 6 larvae of Fire Salamanda (Salamandra salamandra) and on the way back down towards the car we found a large number of Pine Processionary Moth Caterpillar's (Thaumetopoea pityocampa) but managed to avoid them but got some photographs. 
Pine Processionary Moth Caterpillar's (Thaumetopoea pityocampa).
As we walked back down towards the car we found Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) along with Small White (Artogeia rapae), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) and Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea).
Once we were back at the car we went for lunch at the Venta near the house before going for a walk out on to the nearest part of La Rana where we were going to check out a small pool for Amphibians. 
Sam chilling at the Venta.
On the way round we found several spikes of Samwfly Orchids (Ophrys tenthredinifera) before getting to the pool. 
Pygmy Marbled Newt (Triturus pygmaeus).
Once there we spent some time searching amongst the Blanket Weed and eventually we found several Pygmy Marbled Newts (Triturus pygmaeus) which was a new species of Amphibian for my Spanish List. 
Southern Early Purple Orchid (Androrchis Olbiensis).
We walked back around to the bar and on the way we heard a couple of calling Green Woodpeckers (Pito Real / Picus viridis), Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis), Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea) and Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor). 
Marsh Chamomile (Chamaemelum fuscatum).
We reached the car and then went back to the house where I took some shots of a very nice Southern Early Purple Orchid (Androrchis Olbiensis) and Marsh Chamomile (Chamaemelum fuscatum) which was growing in Sue's Garden.

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.

Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax).
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. 
Southern Early Purple Orchid (Chupaeros / Androrchis Olbiensis).
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). 
Intermediate Periwinkle (Vinca difformis).
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. 
Meadow Saxifrage (Saxifraga granulata).
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).
Ranunculus picatus subsp blepharicarpos.
On the rocks there were good numbers of Southern Early Purple Orchids (Androrchis Olbiensis), a single spike of Somber Bee Orchid (Ophrys 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).
Andalusian Storksbill (Erodium recorderi).
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. 
Narcissus cerrolazae.
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).
Romulea bulbocodium.
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).
Sheep and Lamb.
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.
Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas).
Lesser Celendine (Ranunculus ficaria).