Saturday 28 May 2016

Granada Coast, Granada Province.

A bit of a miss more than hit day today.
Kate and Jim Day Three.

Dipper (Mirlo Acuático / Cinclus cinclus).
We started the day at a spot along the Río Guadalfeo near Vélez de Benaudalla after seeing a Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos) on the way down near Padul. On the river we soon found the target Dipper (Mirlo Acuático / Cinclus cinclus) which Kate and Jim had wanted, they did not come close but I think they got some desent shots. 
Dipper (Mirlo Acuático / Cinclus cinclus).
We also had Cetti's (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos).
Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata).
Our second stop was on the road behind Charca del Suarez where we soon found the first of several Monarchs (Danaus plexippus) but in the very strong wind it was difficult to get shots but we did get there in the end. In the same area we also had Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi), Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), a Red-necked Nightjar (Chotacabras Cuellirrojo / Caprimulgus ruficollis) which flew in, landed and straight back off before I could get Kate and Jim on to it, Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Common Quail (Codorniz Común / Coturnix coturnix) and Red Avadavat (Bengali Rojo / Amandava amandava).
Monarch (Danaus plexippus).
The reserve was our next stop but things were very quite and we had the first dip of the day as we did not find any of the Mediterranean Chameleons (Chamaeleo chamaeleon) we had hoped for. 
Red-knobbed Coot (Focha cornuda / Fulca cristata).
We did however see Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Nightingale, Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta), Red-knobbed Coot (Focha cornuda / Fulca cristata), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Squacco Heron (Garcilla Cangrejera / Ardeola ralloides) x3, Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Western Swamp-hen (Calamon Común / Porphyrio porphyrio), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) as well as Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa), Stripe-less Tree Frog (Hyla meridionalis), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), African Grass Blue (Zizeeia knysna), Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous) and Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope).
Red-knobbed Coots (Focha cornuda / Fulca cristata).
We had some lunch and then drove down the coast to Cerro Gordo but the wind was very strong by now and most things were keeping their heads down and we struggled a bit but managed Pallid  (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and Common Swifts (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) and Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus).
Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur).
We continued on up the coast and then made our way inland and headed back towards the house across the fields near Zafarraya and added Short-toed (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Calandra Larks (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) and Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) before we reached the house.
Little Egret (Garceta Común / Egreeta garzetta).

Friday 27 May 2016

Sierra Nevada, Granada Province.

A visit to the Serra Nevada looking for Butterflies.
Kate and Jim Day Two.

Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes).
Kate, Jim and I headed out to El Purche on the lower Western slopes, we parked and searched a steepish flower covered slope and soon started to find some very nice species of butterfly including a cooperative Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes), several Provençal Fritillaries (Melitaea deione), Large (Pieris brassicae) and Small Whites (Artogeia rapae), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Southern (Polyommatus celina) and Lorquin's Blues (Cupido lorquinii), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba), Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera) and Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea).
Provençal Fritillary (Melitaea deione).
As we were photographing the Moroccan Orange-tip a pale phase Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) circled above us, in the area we also had singing Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus) and Great Tits (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).
Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus).
Other species seen included 9100 Acontia lucida (Pale Shoulder), 5611 Synaphe Moldavica, Andalusian Storksbill (Erodium recorderi), Bitting Stonecrop (Sedum acre), Cliffhanger (Chaenorhinum villosum), Common Grape Hyacinth (Muscari neglectum), Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas), Dove's Foot Cranesbill (Geranium molle), Eruca (Eruca sativa), Ground-pine Germander (Teucrium pseudochamaepitys), Meadow Saxifrage (Saxifraga granulata), Mediterranean Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Navel-wort (Omphalodes commutata), Ox-eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare), Purple Bugloss (Echium plantagineum), Rabbits bread (Andryala integrifolia), Rock phagnalon (Phagnalon rupestre), Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata ssp pullata), White Mignonette (Reseda Alba) and White Rockrose (Helianthemum apenninum). 
Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus).
Our next stop was further up the hill at the botanical gardens where we walked down to the lower meadows and pools checking the many flowering plants as we went down.
Saxifraga erioblasta.
Almost straight away we had a very smart Western Dappled White (Euchloe crameri) and a good many of the buttefly species already seen but lower down we saw an egg laying Scarce Swallowtail (Chupaleches / Iphiclides podalirius feisthameli), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe), Southern Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus boeticus), Southern Gatekeeper (Pyronia cecilia) as well as Large Psammodromus (Lagartija colilarga / Psammodromus algirus) and Moorish Gecko (Tarentola mauritanica). 
Saxifraga erioblasta.
Wild flowers included Yellow Phlomis (Phlomis lychnitis), White stonecrop (Sedum album), Woad (Isatis tinctoria), Tassel Hyacinth (Muscari comosum), Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Grey-leaved Cistus (Cistus albidus) and Curry Plant (Helecrisum stoechaes).
Onosma tricerosperma ssp granatensis.
Birds included Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia) and Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major).
Linaria aeruginea subsp aeruginea.
We had spent quite a while in the gardens and had met up with Juan Jesus the warden at the site who very kindly gave Kate and Jim a lift back up the slope to the car, we then dropped back down and took the old road down towards Guejar-sierra.
Lange's Orchid (Androrchis langei).
Not far from the visitor Centre we stopped on the roadside and photographed some smart wildflowers which included Linaria aeruginea subsp aeruginea, Saxifraga erioblasta, Blue Hedgehog Broom (Erinacea anthyllis) and Onosma tricerosperma ssp granatensis.
Lesser Spotted Fritillary (Melitaea trivia).
We continued on down the hill a short way and parked on the roadside and searched a small area of rocky grassland where we had a single spike of Lange's Orchid (Androrchis langei), Saponaria ocymoides, Lesser Spotted Fritillary (Melitaea trivia), Sage Skipper (Muschampia proto), Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius) and European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster).
Lesser Spotted Fritillary (Melitaea trivia).

We dropped further down the hill and made a stop near the river in the bottom of the valley, Jim and I had a stroll down to the water and found another Lesser Spotted Fritillary as well as a couple of Marsh Fritillary (Euphydrayas aurinia beckeri), a Queen of Spain Fritillary (Issoria lathonia) and Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina). 
Marsh Fritillary (Euphydrayas aurinia beckeri).
As well as Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Dipper (Mirlo Acuático / Cinclus cinclus) and several Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris).
Lesser Spotted Fritillary (Melitaea trivia).

We then dropped back down past Granada and back to the house.

Wednesday 25 May 2016

Sierra de Loja, Granada Province, Spain.

A day in the hills with Kate and Jim from the UK.
Kate and Jim Day One.

Southern Gatekeeper (Pyronia cecilia).
Kate and Jim had arrived a couple of days earlier but due to Kate being unwell this was our first day in the field and we started with one of my favourite place, Sierra de Loja.
Southern Gatekeeper (Pyronia cecilia).
We started on the slopes just past the Abades service area and soon started to find interesting species including Southern Gatekeeper (Pyronia cecilia), Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina), Panoptes Blue (Pseudophilotes panoptes), Small White (Artogeia rapae), Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia),
Panoptes Blue (Pseudophilotes panoptes).
 Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Blue Alkanet (Anchusa azurea), Blue Hounds-tongue (Cynoglossum creticum), Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas), Common Snapdragon (Antirrhinum major), Eruca (Eruca sativa), Ground-pine Germander (Teucrium pseudochamaepitys), Mallow-leaved Bindweed (Convolvulus althaeoides), Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum), Navel-wort (Omphalodes commutata), Pitch Trefoil (Psoralea bituminosa), Rabbits bread (Andryala integrifolia), Rosy Garlic (Allium roseum), Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum), Bellardia trixagoSouthern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata ssp pullata), Southern Red Bartsia (Parentucellia latifolia), Star Clover (Trifolium stellatum), Wild Gladiolus (Gladiolus illyricus) and Yellow Phlomis (Phlomis lychnitis).
Cerastium boissieri.
We moved on up to the lower quarry and walked back down the track, during this stroll we found Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala). 
Blue Spotted Hairstreak (Satyrium spini).
Butterflies included Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes), Southern Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus boeticus), Blue Spotted Hairstreak (Satyrium spini), Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba), Large White (Pieris brassicae), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas).
Pyramidal Orchid (Orquidea Pyramidal / Anacamptis pyramidalia).
We also had Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalia), Mediterranean Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Southern Wild Tulip (Tulipa sylvestris ssp. australis) seed pods, Centaurea boissieri, Cerastium boissieri, Dianthus brachyanthus, Brown Bluebell (Jacinto bastardo / Dipcadi serotinum), Curry Plant (Helecrisum stoechaes) and plenty of 5611 Synaphe diffidalis.
Lythria sanguinaria.
Again we moved on up passed the crags picking up Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Jackdaw, Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus). 
Ocellated Lizard (Lacerta lepida).
Once we were up to the top of the crags we checked the flat area out and had 8222a Lythria sanguinaria a very smart looking day flying moth, Alpine (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) and Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) and several Spanish Marbled Whites (Medioluto Inés / Melanargia ines).
Ocellated Lizard (Lacerta lepida).
We drove fairly quickly over to a small dell near to Charca del Negro just stopping a couple of times seeing a huge Ocellated Lizard (Lacerta lepida) sat on a rock with really leathery looking flolds in his neck and a smaller nicer looking one on the track as well as several Black-eared Wheatears (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa) and Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
Southern Mountain Argus (Aricia montensis).
At the dell we found Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina), Southern Blue (Polyommatus celina), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Red-underwing Skipper (Spialia sertorius), Lizard Orchid (Himantoglosum hircinum), Upland Peony (Paeonia coriacea), Large Psammodromus (Lagartija colilarga / Psammodromus algirus) and Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra).
Southern Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus boeticus).
We next stopped at Charca and had a short walk but we only added Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) and Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes). In the same area there was a fantastic show of Andalusian Storksbill (Erodium recorderi), Blue Hedgehog Broom (Erinacea anthyllis), Buckler Mustard (Biscutella frutescens), Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator) and Sharp-ribbed Salamander  (Pleurodeles waltl). 
Erodium cheilanthifolium.
We went on just a short way past the Goat / Fossel caves and parked, here Jim and I searched for what I thought were Spanish Argus (Aricia morronensis), we saw them but failed to get shot but we succeded later in the week and were suprised with our find.
Upland Peony (Paeonia coriacea).
In the same area we did see Erodium cheilanthifolium, Southern Mountain Argus (Aricia montensis), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea), Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra) and Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) before we made our way steadily down the hill and back towards the house.