Friday 3 June 2016

Near Bobadilla Hotel, Granada Province.

A mornings surveying a large finca on the edge of Granada Province.

False Ilex Hairstreak (Querquera / Satyrium esculi).
I met Catherine and her friend Sian at her Finca and we had a long walk around the Oak woodlands and fields on Catherine's land. We found a good number of wildflowers, birds, butterflies and other species. 
Red Phlomis (Phlomis purpurea).
I am not going to list them all here but some of the more interesting were Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos) and Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea).
Large Pincertail (Onychogomphus uncatus).
I also recorded Copper Demoiselle (Calopteryx haemorrhoidalis), Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula), Large Pincertail (Onychogomphus uncatus), Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba), False Ilex Hairstreak (Satyrium esculi), Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Bath White (Pontia daplidice), Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Ladder Snake (Rhinechis scalaris) and Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi). 
Large Red Damselfly (Pyrrhosoma nymphula).
Plants included Sword-leaved Helleborine (Cephalanatera longifolia), Blue Hounds-tongue (Cynoglossum creticum), Red Phlomis (Phlomis purpurea), Common Chicory (Cichorium intybus), Common Centaury (Centaurium erythraea), Curry Plant (Helecrisum stoechaes), Grey-leaved Cistus (Cistus albidus), Large Blue Flax (Linum narbonense), Mediterranean Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Rabbits bread (Andryala integrifolia), Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata ssp pullata), Yellow Phlomis (Phlomis lychnitis) and a great deal more.
Common Chicory (Cichorium intybus).
Common Chicory (Cichorium intybus).

Wednesday 1 June 2016

Sierra de Loja, Granada Province.

Our second day in the Sierra de Loja.
Kate and Jim Day Six.

Spectacled Warbler (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata).
We headed out and up the mountain for a repeat visit, this time we went straight to the small dell near to Charca del Negro making just a few short stops for birds including Black-eared (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica) and Black Wheatears (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Alpine Swift (Vencejo Real / Apus melba), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Red-rumped Swallow (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia) and then I spotted a very large leathery looking Ocellated Lizard (Lacerta lepida), with a second one on the track a little further on and a couple of Andalucian Wall Lizards (Podarcis vaucheri) on roadside rocks.
Spectacled Warbler (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata).
We stopped by the dell and spent a long while searching the area and seeing Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea), Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina), Spanish Marbled White (Melanargia ines), Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina), Red-underwing Skipper (Spialia sertorius), Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe), Moroccan Orange-tip (Anthocharis belia), Southern Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus boeticus), Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Large (Pieris brassicae) and Small Whites (Artogeia rapae).
Southern Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus boeticus).
Along with the butterflies we also saw Pyramidal (Anacamptis pyramidalia), Small Woodcock (Ophrys picta) and Lizard Orchids (Himantoglosum hircinum), Upland Peony (Paeonia coriacea), Viola dementria and Yellow Phlomis (Phlomis lychnitis). 
Erodium cheilanthifolium.
We continued on out past the pools and stopped at the nearby crags to try and photograph the butterflies which up till now I had thought were Spanish Argus (Aricia morronensis) but once we looked at the photographs we realised that we had actually had found a new colony of Geranium Argus (Eumedonia eumedon) for the area. There are small populations in nearby Sierras but ths was the first record Loja. 
Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina).
In the area we also found the food plant for these butterflies Erodium cheilanthifolium as well as Mediterranean Kidney Vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), Chickweed (Cerastium boissieri), Carduus granatensis, White Rockrose (Helianthemum apenninum), Mucizonia hispida, Putoria calabrica, Spanish Thistle (Scolymus hispanicus), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) and Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris).
Geranium Argus (Eumedonia eumedon).
We again moved on a short way and had a look at another area of crags and had nice views of Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Western Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlano / Sylvia hortensis), Scop's Owl (Autillo Europeo / Otus scops) heard, Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and several Spanish Ibex (Cabra pyreaica hispanica) way up on the crags.
Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe).
We started to make our way back down towards the pools and found a nice male Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis) off to our right but he stayed well out of range of the camera but as we were watching him a male Spectacled Warbler (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata) popped up in a stunted Hawthorn bush right by the side of the drivers window which made it easy for me to get the camera in action but harder for Kate and Jim. 
Small Woodcock Orchid (Orquídea abejera becada / Ophrys picta).
We stopped at the pools and found  Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Lorquin's Blue (Cupido lorquinii), Large Psammodromus (Lagartija colilarga / Psammodromus algirus), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros).
Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae).
As we dropped further down we saw Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus) and Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur).
Immature Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica).
Our last stop of the day wason the quarry track but we did not anything to the list except for Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria).
Carduus granatensis.

Tuesday 31 May 2016

Cacín Valley and Sierra de Loja Areas, Granada Province.

In the Valley and around the hill.
Kate and Jim Day Five.

Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).
We went up the motorway to Moraleda and out to the fields, on the way we had Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto). 
Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea).
Once we were out on the fields we soon located a single Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax) at the far end of a newly harvested cereal field. We had a quick chat with a group of farm workers on the next field to check that we were OK to dirve on the stubble before trying to get better views of the Bustard but before we reached the the spot we flushed up three Black-bellied Sandgrouse (Ganga Ortega / Pterocles orientalis) which landed again on the far edge of the field and then disappeared over the Almond Groves. 
Wild Peony (Paeonia broteroi).
We could not relocated the Little Bustard so we continued on to the ruin and saw a male Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Thekla (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and Short-toed Larks (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla). 
Late Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys ficalhoana).
Further on we picked up Roller (Carraca / Coracias garrulus) but they never came close enough for the camera to be used which was a bit of a theme with the birds today. In the same area we saw Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei) and European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster).
Late Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys ficalhoana).
We dropped down into El Turro seeing Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator) and Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata) on the way and had a coffee in the bar where we added Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia).
Adonis Blue (Lysandra bellargus).
We later retarced our way along the motorway past Loja and on to the road south to Zafarraya, after a few KM we stopped and checked a couple of cereal crop fields and had views of Montagu's Harrier but as with most of the birds they kept their distance. We also had Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Large  (Pieris brassicae) and Small Whites (Artogeia rapae), Southern Marbled Skipper (Carcharodus boeticus) and Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea).
Adonis Blue (Lysandra bellargus).
We continued along the road and parked under some roadside oaks and had a walk through the woodland and soon started to find new species including Wild Peony (Paeonia broteroi), Lange's (Androrchis langei), Lizard Orchid (Himantoglosum hircinum), Pyramidal (Anacamptis pyramidalia) and Late Sawfly Orchids (Ophrys ficalhoana), Epipactis temolsii, Carpentor Bee (Xylocopa violacea), Libelloides Baeticus, Clouded Yellow, Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina), Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina), Lorquin's Blue (Cupido lorquinii), Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Adonis Blue (Lysandra bellargus) and Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina). 
Libelloides Baeticus.
Bird wise we saw Bonelli's (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Subalpine (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans) and Orphean Warblers (Curruca Mirlano / Sylvia hortensis), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus), 6x Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus).
Libelloides Baeticus.
Our last stop of the day was on the lower tracks of Sierra de Loja where we rewalked the tracks around the low quarry. 
Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera).
In the area we had Red-underwing Skipper (Spialia sertorius), Blue Spotted Hairstreak (Satyrium spini), Spanish Gatekeeper (Pyronia bathsheba), Mucizonia hispida, Brown Bluebell (Jacinto bastardo / Dipcadi serotinum), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius) and Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia).
Mucizonia hispida.
Blue Spotted Hairstreak (Satyrium spini).
Brown Bluebell (Jacinto bastardo / Dipcadi serotinum).

Monday 30 May 2016

Northern Malaga Province.

A tour around several sites in Northern Malaga Province.
Kate and Jim Day Four.

Rufous Bush Robin (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes).
We drove west and on our way towards Antequera we started the day list off with Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto).
Rufous Bush Robin (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes).
We continued on west to a spot where I have seen a pair of Rufous Bush Robins (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes) in the past, we arrived but found no sign of them at the usual spot so we moved to the far side of the Vineyard but again we found no sign of the birds so we went for a drive along some track around the fields in the area which had simillar habitats.
Rufous Bush Robin (Alzacola / Cercotrichas galactotes).
After a while I caught a glimpes of a bird on a fence so we turned up a small track to the entrance to a small holding and had OKish views of our first Bush Robin.
Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta).
Just as we parked to look at it it flew down into the vines and out of sight but within seconds appeared right at the side of the vehicle and started to sing and continued to do so from a couple of spots amongst the folage giving us stunning views and making Kate and Jims cameras work very hard.
Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus).
In the same area we also saw Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster).
Hooverfly Species.
Our next stop was at Fuente de Piedra, the water levels were dropping fast but there was still small amounts in all of the outer pools and on the way in we picked up Black-winged Stilt (Ciguenela Común / Himantopus himantopus), Avocet (Avoceta Común / Recurvirostra avosetta), Little Ringed Plover (Chorlitejo Chico / Charadrius dubius), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra) and several Gull-billed Terns (Pagaza Piconegra / Gelochelidon nilotica).
European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster).
We parked and then had a look down on the boardwalk but the only bird of note here was a bathing Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus) which showed quiet nicely for several minutes in the open.
Spanish Gatekeeper (Lobito listado / Pyronia bathsheba).
We continued on around to the mirador checking the reedy ditch seeing only a single Iberian Blue-tail (Ischnura graellsii) and a small Hoverfly species, as we walked we had fly overs by Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) and Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans) we also saw or heard Greater Flamingo (Flamenco Común / Phoenicopterus roseus), Great Reed (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus), Reed (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Sardinian (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) and Cetti's Warblers (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti).
Day flying Moth species.
From the mirador we saw more Greater Flamingo's, Gull-billed Terns and round the back from the hides Common Pochard (Porrón Común / Aythya ferina), White-headed Duck (Malvasia Cabeciblanca / Oxyura leucocephala), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Little Grebe (Zampullín Común / Tachybaptus ruficollis) and Black-headed Gulls (Gaviota Riedora / Larus ridibundus).
Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris).
Once we were back at the car we headed to a spot just to the south of Fuente to try and get some photographs of European Bee-eaters at a spot I had found a week or so earlier on another tour, we arrived and after a short while so did the birds and the photographs were taken and we were on our way back towards Home but called in at a wooded valley on the way to see if we could catch up with a few more butterflies, we did and they included Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), Meadow Brown (Maniola jurtina), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus), Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina), Bath  (Pontia daplidice), Large (Pieris brassicae) and Small Whites (Artogeia rapae), Moroccan Orange-tip (Anthocharis belia), Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Small (Thymelicus sylvestris) and Lulworth Skippers (Thymelicus acteon), Southern (Pyronia cecilia) and Spanish Gatekeepers (Pyronia bathsheba), Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea) and Cleopatra (Gonepteryx cleopatra), we also had a very smart Day flying Moth but it still remains unnamed and Rose Chafer (Cetonia aurata).
Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos).
Birds at the site included Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
Rose Chafer (Cetonia aurata).
At the far end of this valley we saw three spikes of the uncommon Iberian Mirror Orchid (Ophrys vernixia) which I was pleased to see was doing well in a spot I had first seen it 8 years earlier.
Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus).
We also had Blue Hounds-tongue (Cynoglossum creticum), Brown Bluebell (Jacinto bastardo / Dipcadi serotinum), Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas), Grey-leaved Cistus (Cistus albidus), Meadow Saxifrage (Saxifraga granulata), Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum), Naples Garlic (Allium neapolitanum), Rabbits bread (Andryala integrifolia), Rosy garlic (Allium roseum), Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata ssp pullata), Yellow Phlomis (Phlomis lychnitis) and Globe Thistle (Echinops ritro) before we headed for Granada Province and the house.