Friday 7 October 2016

Caminito del Rey, Malaga Province.

Our second walk along the cliffs of El Chorro's caminito del Rey.

Jayne, Linda and Jan.
We picked Jan and Linda up at 08:00 and headed off the the start point for the days adventure along the Caminito, on the way I saw Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) and Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus) and just as we approached the Embalses near the start of the walk Jayne spotted a small herd of Spanish Ibex (Cabra pyreaica hispanica) just below the dam wall.
Rock Pigeon (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia).
On the walk out to the control point for the Caminito I added Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra), Coal (Carbonero Garrapinos / Parus ater) and Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) and Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus).
On the walk out to the start.
Once we were on the cliff walk we saw lots of Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), some in flight and some sat on the cliff tops. With the Vultures sat on the cliffs  found a couple of Bonelli's Eagles (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), lots of both Feral and Rock Pigeons (Paloma Bravia / Columba livia), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor) and in the sky above us lots, 100+ Alpine Swift (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) calling loadly and Blue lettuce (Lactuca tenerrima) growing from the cracks in the Limestone. 
Having a breather.
In the wooded middle part of the walk I saw Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Redstart (Colirroja Real / Phoenicurus phoenicurus), Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), a Goshawk (Azor Común / Accipitor gentillis) which was circling over the pines on the ridge and a couple of Andalucian Wall Lizards (Podarcis vaucheri).
Two Bonelli's Eagles (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus) and a Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
On the second cliff walk I had the first Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), a male Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and just before the end of the walk a Bath White (Pontia daplidice).
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
We finished the walk and the drove to Riofrio where we had some lunch before heading home.
Bath White (Pontia daplidice).

Thursday 6 October 2016

Huétor Tajar, Granada Province.

A few hours warm birding around the Local Patch.

Female Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii).
After dropping the recycling off in Huétor Jayne dropped me on the road out to Mesia and headed off to Trabuco for the weekly craft group meeting and lunch with the ladies. I started by walking towards Mesia in the sun scanning the fields on both sides of the road and soon picked up Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), African Grass Blue (Nina esmaltada / Zizeeia knysna), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea) and Small White (Pieris rapae).
Small White (Pieris rapae).
Further along the road I took a track off to my right and followed a reed filled ditch out to the Arroyo Vilano finding Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Whinchat (Tarabilla Nortena / Saxicola rubetra), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops) and the first off 100s of Spanish (Yellow) Wagtail (Lavandera Boyera / Motacilla flava iberiae) of three different subspecies. 
Female Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).
In the reed chocked Arroyo I heard and then saw the first of several elusive Cetti's (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Reed Warblers (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus) and on the far fields a small flock of around 20 or so Western Cattle Egrets (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis) and a single Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) were following a tractor that was ploughing in the remains of burnt off Maze stubble. I walked along the raised bank at the side of the Arroyo looping back as far as the mesia road, a Snipe (Agachadiza Común / Gallinago gallinago) flushed up from the reeds and a small band of Serins (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) flew off from a stand of weeds and thistles with a few Goldfinches and several Greenfinches (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris). 
Male Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata).
I walked back to the start of the track where I had turned off but this time went the opposite direction following the roadside ditch back in the direction of La Fabrica. The ditch was quite except for a couple of Cetti's, Reed and Sardinian Warblers (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala) as were the remains of the small pools where I added just Red-veined Darter (Sympetrum fonscolombii), Stripe-necked Terrapin (Mauremys leprosa), Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi) and a fly over Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica). Just a short way further along the track I turned off and took another track along side the railway line which paided off with in seconds when I found a good group of Caper plants (Capparis spinosa) and then several Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore) butterflies along with a single Large White (Pieris brassicae), Long-tailed Blue (Lampides boeticus) and Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).
Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore).
Further along this track I came to a very reedy over grown irrigation ditch which looked promising so I sat down on a concrete block and waited to see what appeared, soon I had seen Reed Warbler, Zitting Cisticola, Common Stonechat, Whinchat, Common Waxbill (Estrilda Ondulada / Estrilda astrild), Common Redstart (Colirroja Real / Phoenicurus phoenicurus) and the bird I had hoped for a Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica).
Desert Orange-tip (Colotis evagore).
I then walked on along the Irrigation channel passing a large poplar plantation, on the way I found a nice Bridge Spider (Larinioides sclopetarius) with its web stretched out across one of the sluice gates in the channel, Swallowtail (Papilio machaon), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Blue / Common Emperor (Anax imperator), Keeled Skimmer (Orthetrum coerulescens), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus) and just as I reached the tarmac again a Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus) which rattled along the side of the railway line flushing up the Serins, Goldfinches and Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina) from the stubble. 
Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica).
The next section of the walk was quiet so I took a short along the side of a couple of Asparagus fields to the side of the Arroya again seeing Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe) and Tree Sparrow (Gorrión Molinero / Passer montanus). 
Bluethroat (Pechiazul / Luscinia svecica).
The Arroyo was quiet but I scanned the roof tops of the old farm buildings and found a Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) sat in one of the chimny pots and down on the water there were males of both Southern Skimmer (Orthetrum brunneum) and Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi).
Bridge Spider (Larinioides sclopetarius).
My next stop was in the bar near by where I had a drink and sandwich which was disturbed when a female Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus) flapped along the Arroyo. 
Bath White (Pontia daplidice).
After lunch I walked back up to the house along the road checking the ditch all the way, new species seen before I reach home included Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla) and a Bath White (Pontia daplidice).
Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus).
Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus).

Wednesday 5 October 2016

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

Moth Trapping.

7598 Perigune convergata,
Actinic trap in the garden, a clear night with a minimum temp of +17. Species included 6719 Nomophila noctuella (Rush Veneer), 7598 Perigune convergata, 7725 Menophora japygiaria (Brassy Waved Umber), 8045 Scopula ornata (Lace border), 8211 Rhodometra sacraria (The Vestal), 8802 Cryphia pallida, 9142 Eublemma parva (Small Marbled), 9433 Paradrina clavipalpis (Pale Mottled Willow), 10347 Agrotis trux (Cresent Dart), 9621 Episema gruenri. 9628 Leucochlaena oditis (Beautiful Gothic), 10212 Xestia xanthographa (Square-spot Rustic), 10215 Xestia kermesina, 10326 Eucoptocnemis optabilis, 10335 Agrotis lata and 10343 Agrotis puta (Shuttle Shaped Dart).

Thanks to Eduardo Marabuto and José Luis Yela for the help with the identification of some of the species.

8802 Cryphia pallida,

10335 Agrotis lata.

9621 Episema gruenri.

10347 Agrotis trux (Cresent Dart),

10326 Eucoptocnemis optabilis,

9628 Leucochlaena oditis (Beautiful Gothic),

10212 Xestia xanthographa (Square-spot Rustic),

10215 Xestia kermesina,

9433 Paradrina clavipalpis (Pale Mottled Willow),

10212 Xestia xanthographa (Square-spot Rustic),

Tuesday 4 October 2016

Near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

Moth Trapping.

4592 Cacoecimorpha pronubana (Carnation Tortrix), 8877 Catocala elocata, 9462 Spodoptera littoralis (Mediterranean Brocade) new species for the garden, 9497 Thalpophila vitalba also another new species, 9565 Agrochola lychnidis (Beaded Chestnut), 9616 Episema glaucina, 10212 Xestia xanthographa (Square-spot Rustic), 10273 Euxoa temera, 10336 Agrotis crassa (Great Dart),  10460 Earias insulana (Egyptian Bollworm).
10273 Euxoa temera,

4592 Cacoecimorpha pronubana (Carnation Tortrix).

10336 Agrotis crassa (Great Dart).

10212 Xestia xanthographa (Square-spot Rustic).

10212 Xestia xanthographa (Square-spot Rustic).

9497 Thalpophila vitalba.

10212 Xestia xanthographa (Square-spot Rustic).
9616 Episema glaucina.

8877 Catocala elocata.

9462 Spodoptera littoralis (Mediterranean Brocade).

10460 Earias insulana (Egyptian Bollworm).

9616 Episema glaucina.

Monday 3 October 2016

Home near Huétor Tajar, Granada Province, Spain.

Migrants around the house.

Spent the morning in the garden again and enjoyed the company of both Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca) a female type and a male Common Redstart (Colirroja Real / Phoenicurus phoenicurus) and once I had finished the jobs I spent a while catching up on Computer work on the terrace. 
The Pied Flycatcher again showed well in the fig tree along with several Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), a male Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) both species gorging themselves on the last of the fruit along with Blackcaps (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Blue Tits (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus). Passage was also going on in the skies with parties of hirundines passng West including good numbers of Red-rumped (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica) and Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), a flock of around 35 Alpine Swifts (Vencejo Real / Apus melba) and a rather late group of 5 European Bee-eaters (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster) low along the Barranco.
Insects included Orange-winged Dropwing (Trithemis kirbyi) which popped over the wall a few times from next doors pool, Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea), Large White (Pieris brassicae) and a Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) which landed several times in the Almond tree.