Saturday 1 April 2017

Padul Wetlands and Cacín Valley, Granada Province.

Crakes, a Cuckoo and some Orchids.
Kate and Jim McCusker, Day Six.

Spotted Crakes (Polluela Pintoja / Porzana porzana).
After a day catching up with a few jobs at home yesterday and a rest day for Kate and Jim we were back to it with a visit to Padul Wetlands looking for the Spotted Crakes (Polluela Pintoja / Porzana porzana) which had been around for a short while. 
Spotted Crakes (Polluela Pintoja / Porzana porzana).
As soon as we arrived we saw a single bird which dived for cover but soon came out on to the area of mud where it had been showing well over the last few days and Kate rattled off a few shots before it again disappeared and headed off into the far reedbed. 
False Mallow / Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus tripolinus / alceae).
As the bird had decided to go wandering and the wind was bitterly cold Kate went back to the car, Jim and I gave it a while longer but the bird did not return and none of the others showed.
Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice).
In the same area we also saw and heard Water Rail (Rascón Europeo / Rallus aquaticus), Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta), Reed Warbler (Carricero Común / Acrocephalus scrpaceus), Eurasian Coot (Focha Común / Fulica atra), Common Moorhen (Gallineta Común / Gallinulas chloropus), White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) and Barn Swallows (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica).
Provence Hairstreak (Cardenillo / Tomares ballus).
Our next stop was at a semi-disused Cortijo near La Malaha where we had good views of several Lesser Kestrels (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni) but they were flighty and did not sit for us. 
Large White (Pieris brassicae).
In the same area we found Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), a calling Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia).
Red-horned Poppy (Glaucium corniculatum).
We moved on again and out on to the fields on the other side of the town and soon found several Small (Pieris rapae) and Bath Whites (Pontia daplidice), False Mallow / Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus tripolinus / alceae), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) and a flyby Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli).
Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).

Birds on this first area included Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Calandra (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra) and Short-toed Larks (Terrera Común / Calandrella brachydactyla), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), a distant Little Bustard (Sisón Común / Tetrax tetrax), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula) and several very high Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus) pushing on North.
Adonis aestivalis.
On a fallow area on the far side of the site we spent some time looking at the butterflies and plants there. The butterflies included a rather tatty looking Provence Hairstreak (Tomares ballus), Large White (Pieris brassicae), Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina), Clouded Yellow Colias corcea), Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) and Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera).
Prickly Poppy (Papaver argenone).
Wild flowers in the same area included Corn Poppy (Papaver rhoeas), Roemeria hybrida, Prickly Poppy (Papaver argenone), Adonis aestivalis, Purple Bugloss (Echium plantagineum), Shepherds Needles (Scandix pecten-veneris), Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis), Henbit Deadnettle (Lamium amplexicaule), Field marigold (Calendula arvensis), Field Gromwell (Lithospermum arvense), Eruca (Eruca sativa), Crown Daisy (Chrysanthemum carinatum var discolor), Common Grape Hyacinth (Muscari neglectum), Common Fumitory (Fumaria officinalis), Borage (Borago officinalis), Mallow-leaved Bindweed (Convolvulus althaeoides), Squirting Cucumber (Ecballium elaterium) and Red-horned Poppy (Glaucium corniculatum).
Naked / Italian Man Orchid (Orquídea italiana / Orchis italica).
A little further along the track we disturbed a beautiful Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius) which flew up into an Almond tree and then down into a low bush where we got shots as it was harrissed by a male Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator).
Mirror Orchid (Ophrys speculum subsp speculum).
Our next stop was down on the shores of the Embalse de Bermejalis where we searched the woodlands for some of the Orchids which grow there and picked up quite a nice selection including lots of the stunning Naked / Italian Man Orchid (Orchis italica) along with Mirror (Ophrys speculum), Fan-lipped (Anacamptis collina), Sawfly (Ophrys tenthredinifera), Somber Bee (Ophrys fusca / O. forestieri), Giant (Himantoglossum robertiana) and a single Pink Butterfly Orchid (Anacamptis papilionacea)  as well as White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Common Crossbill (Piquituerto Común / Loxia curvirostra) and Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs).
Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera subsp tenthredinifera).
Instead of going back towards the hotel along the Cacín valley we cut across country to the fields near Moraleda picking up a couple of confiding Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
Pink Butterfly Orchid (Anacamptis papilionacea).
On the fields birds were few and far etween but we did see lots of Green-Striped (Euchloe belemia), Bath and Western Dappled Whites (Euchloe crameri), several more Swallowtails and at a spot not far from the town Bumblebee (Ophrys bombyliflora), Dark Spider (Ophrys incubacea) and Yellow Bee Orchids (Ophrys lutea) all of which were new for the day. we then headed back to Huétor Tajar and to the Hotel Cortijo de Tajar.
Somber Bee Orchid (Ophrys fusca / O. forestieri).
Fan-lipped Orchid (Anacamptis collina).
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).

Swallowtail (Papilio machaon).
Dark Spider Orchid (Ophrys incubacea).
Bumblebee Orchid (Ophrys bombyliflora).

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