Friday 22 April 2016

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

Moth Trapping.

Just for of the interesting species caught last night which included 9961 Hadena sancta, 10351 (2087) Agrotis segetum (Turnip Moth) and two which still need names below.
9961 Hadena sancta.
10351 (2087) Agrotis segetum (Turnip Moth).

Thursday 21 April 2016

La Malaha and the Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

A days birding with Pierre & Magdalena from Luxembourg.

Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus).
I met Pierre and Magdalena up in Granada City and then west heading for La Malaha calling in at a semi derilict Cortijo on the way where we had some good views of 20 or so Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), lots of Feral / Rock Pigeons (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia) and some noisy Jackdaws (Grajilla / Corvus monedula).
We moved on just down the road and took to the minor roads and tracks for a while, on the road we had very nice views of two male Little Bustards (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) chasing each other across the fields. Whilst we were parked we had hoards of hirundines around us including Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Sand Martin (Avión Zapador / Riparia riparia) and House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) as well as both Common (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica) and Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra).
Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
We continued on along the road and had two more Little Bustards on the ground before turning off on to one of the many tracks adding Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Short-toed Larks (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) to the list before reaching the road to Ventas de Huelma. After passing through Ventas we stopped on the road side and had a walk alng a rather muddy track where we heard or saw Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta),
Turtle (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur) and Collared Doves (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) and both a dark and light phase of Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus). After a well earned coffee we continued on down the Cacín Valley and in to the Gorge where we made a couple of stops seeing a very smart male Golden Oriole, Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes), Small White (Artogeia rapae) and Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea).
A view in to the disused Almond Groves.
We turned around and headed back to Cacín for a sandwich and the on up to the Contra Embalse de Bermejalis where I was pleased to see two Black Terns (Fumarel Común / Chlidonias niger) which were migrating through the area along with the usual Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra),
Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus).
Our next stop was at the bridge across the river where we had distant views of the Eagle Owl (Buho Real / Bubo bubo) and two chicks on the crags but we added little else here so we decided to have a look at the fields near to Moraleda before heading back up to the city, almost straight away we had a pair of Rollers (Carraca / Coracias garrulus) sat on the branch of a dead tree before we had reached the cortijo. Further on we had Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae) and to finish off a very pleasant day 8 Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis) on a ploughed field on our way out of the area on our way to the motorway.
Thanks to Pierre and Magdalena for their company and for supporting Granada Wildlife by taking this tour.

Tuesday 19 April 2016

Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

Day two with John Webster and Co, this time in my second favourite place around the locallish patch.

Dark SpiderOrchid (Ophrys incubacea).
I again met John and friends in the Cortijo de Tajar just off the A92 and had a quick coffee before heading east towards Granada and then out on to the fields around Moreleda. 
Our first stop was on a dirt track where we checked the verges out for Orchids and soon started to find some interesting species including Ophrys forestieri, Dark Spider (Ophrys incubacea), Bumblebee (Ophrys bombyliflora), Mirror (Ophrys speculum) and Yellow Bee Orchids (Ophrys lutea). 
Bumblebee Orchid (Ophrys bombyliflora).
We also had our first calling Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
Mirror Orchid (Ophrys speculum).
We moved on further out on to the tracks and up amongst the Almond grovers where we picked Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) and Woodchat Shrikes (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) and as soon as we stopped to check an area of abandoned Alomndsat least 5 Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis), more Great Spotted Cuckoo's, Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei) and Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus).
Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis).
Again we continued on out on to the more open fields and soon found Short-toed (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), Thekla (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis) and several spikes of Pink Butterfly Orchid (Anacamptis papilionacea). We also had Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea), Bath White (Pontia daplidice), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) and Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina) butterflies.
Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
We then drove down into the Cacín Valley and along to the bridge over the Rio Cacín where we had distant but good views of an Eagle Owl (Buho Real / Bubo bubo), heard a singing Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus) as well as Garden Warbler (Curruca Mosquitera / Sylvia borin), Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), 4x Common Sandpipers (Andarrios Chico / Actitis hypoleucos), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Reed (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus) and Bonelli's Warblers (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli) and a very smart pair of displaying Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus). 
Ophrys x chobautii.
Up at the reservour things were fairly quiet but we did find Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and  Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica). Further down the valley we stopped and had a look at the Roman bridge but added little so we carried on down the gorge where we saw a fly passed by the pair of Bonelli's Eagles (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Rock Pigeon (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs).
Naked / Italian Man Orchid (Orchis italica).
Our last stop was down in the pine woodlands around Embalse de Bermejalis where we had a few more Orchids for the list including the uncommon hybrid Ophrys x chobautii, Naked / Italian Man Orchid (Orchis italica) and several species seen earlier in the day. From here the group headed off to Alhama de Granada and I went home.

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

Moth Trapping.

7564 Itame vincularia.
Quite a good night with the trap as when I checked through the species there were 2 that were new for the garden list 1648 (0717) Ethmia terminella and 7564 Itame vincularia. Other species included 8710 (1998) Furcula bifida (Poplar Kitten), 8328 Nebula ibericata, 7725 Menophora japygiaria (Brassy Waved Umber), 9454 (2384) Hoplodrina ambigua (Vine's Rustic) and 6619 (1369) Uresiphita gilvata.
1648 (0717) Ethmia terminella.

9454 (2384) Hoplodrina ambigua (Vine's Rustic).
8710 (1998) Furcula bifida (Poplar Kitten).

8328 Nebula ibericata.

7725 Menophora japygiaria (Brassy Waved Umber).

Monday 18 April 2016

Sierra de Loja and Venta del Raya to Zafarraya road, Granada Province.

A day in the hills and along the valleys nearby.

Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
I met John and the others at the Cortijo de Tajar up near the motorway and we headed out to the Sierra de Loja entering the site via the town track.
Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea).
Our first stop was just below the building site which I am informed is going to be a new visitors centre for the Sierrs, if it ever actually opens. 
Cliffhanger (Chaenorhinum villosum).
At this point we found lots of spikes of the beautiful Yellow Bee Orchids (Ophrys lutea), a few Mirror (Ophrys speculum), Fan-lipped (Anacamptis collina) as well as Andalusian Storksbill (Erodium recorderi), Cliffhanger (Chaenorhinum villosum), Dove's Foot Cranesbill (Geranium molle), Field Madder (Sherardia arvensis), Field marigold (Calendula arvensis), Fleshy-leaved Thymelaea (Thymelaea hirsuta), Mediterranean Catchfly (Silene colorata), Rusty-back Fern (Ceterach officinarum), Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum), Star Clover (Trifolium stellatum) and Common Grape Hyacinth (Muscari neglectum).
Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus).

We also started to pick up a few bird species including Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes).
Looking for a flowering Tulip.
We move further up seeing several spikes of Giant Orchid (Himantoglossum robertiana) but they were just going passed their best.
Southern Wild Tulip (Tulipa sylvestris).

Again we moved on and parked on the roadside before walking up to the small disused quarry above the motorway, on the way the plant list grew as we added Viola dementria, White Mignonette (Reseda Alba), Wild Clary (Salvia verbenaca), Tassel Hyacinth (Muscari comosum), Spring Rockcress (Arabis verna), Southern Wild Tulip (Tulipa sylvestris ssp. australis), Southern Red Bartsia (Parentucellia latifolia), Shepherds Needles (Scandix pecten-veneris), Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Purple Bugloss (Echium plantagineum), Mediterranean Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Torcal Toadflax (Linaria anticaria), Grey-leaved Cistus (Cistus albidus), Common Snapdragon (Antirrhinum major), Common Fumitory (Fumaria officinalis), Common Asphodel (Asphodelus albus) and Man (Orchis anthropophora) and Sawfly Orchids (Ophrys tenthredinifera).
Naked / Italian Man Orchid (Orchis italica).
Birds were more difficult but we did see or hear Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa) and Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Spectacled Warblers (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata).
Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia).
We also started the butterfly list with Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea), Large (Pieris brassicae), Small (Artogeia rapae) and Bath Whites (Pontia daplidice), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes) and Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus). 
Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica).
Up on top of the highest crags we had a couple of Spanish Ibex (Cabra pyreaica hispanica) right on the skyline. 
A distant Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis).
We moved on up the track along the crags but made a quick stop to have a look at a new orchid for my site list in the shape of a single Naked / Italian Man Orchid (Orchis italica) and whilst we were stopped we had Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and a very distant calling Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus). 
A Storksbill meadow.
We again continued on heading for Charca del Negro, on the way we had good views of a soaring Bonelli's Eagle (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus).
Conical Orchid (Neotinea conica).
Once we were at Charca we picked up the Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis) and had good views of it several times along with the commoner Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) and Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia) and on the rocks there were the remains of Narcissus bugei and in the pool we saw several Sharp-ribbed Salamander (Pleurodeles waltl) as they came up for breath.
Pink Butterfly Orchid (Anacamptis papilionacea).
We continued on to the furthest crags and picked up  Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlano / Sylvia hortensis), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) and just as we started to drive back down the hill we picked up two very nice Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) which past right over head.
Common Grape Hyacinth (Muscari neglectum).
We dropped down the hill and then went for something to eat in Venta del Raya and the moved down the road to see the Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus) but they were inactive so we moved on down the road to a spot in the Oak woods where we again looked for plants and notched up a nice list again including Conical (Neotinea conica) and Southern Early Purple Orchids (Androrchis Olbiensis), Sword-leaved Helleborine (Cephalanatera longifolia), Blue Hounds-tongue (Cynoglossum creticum), Common Mallow (Malva sylvestris), Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas), Eruca (Eruca sativa), Yellow Gromwell (Neatostema apulum), Southern Daisy (Bellis cordifolia), White Rockrose (Helianthemum apenninum) and the only new bird species was Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus).
Sword-leaved Helleborine (Cephalanatera longifolia).
Our last stop of the day was just down the road and we only added a single butterfly, Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina) and a couple of Orchids to the list but the show of Pink Butterfly Orchids (Anacamptis papilionacea) was a really nice way to end this first day along with a single spike of Small Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys picta).
Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina).

Sunday 17 April 2016

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

Moth Trapping.

0663 Trichophaga Bipartitella.
The ones that I could sort in todays trap load included 0663 Trichophaga Bipartitella x2, 1655 (0720) Ethmia bipunctella x2, 4855 Epinotia thapsiana x8, 7926 (1968) Aspitates ochrearia ochrearia (Yellow Belle) x4, 8186 (1714) Idaea degeneraria (Portland Ribbon Wave) x2, 8509 (1825) Eupithecia cenaureata (Lime-speck Pug) x1, 8599 1862, Gymnoscelis rufifasciata (Double-striped Pug) x3, 9100 (2415) Acontia lucida (Pale Shoulder) x1, 9425 Caradrina proxima x1, 9433 (2389) Caradrina clavipalpis (Pale Mottled Willow) x 5 and 10022 (2202) Mythimna l-album (L-Album Wainscot) x1 the unidentified will come soon.
(0720) Ethmia bipunctella.
8509 (1825) Eupithecia cenaureata (Lime-speck Pug).
8599 1862, Gymnoscelis rufifasciata (Double-striped Pug).

9100 (2415) Acontia lucida (Pale Shoulder).

9433 (2389) Caradrina clavipalpis (Pale Mottled Willow)
10022 (2202) Mythimna l-album (L-Album Wainscot).

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

The unidentified Moths.

A few Moths from the other night that need names.