Wednesday 5 April 2017

Serra de Loja, Granada Province.

A second trip up Sierra de Loja to mop up on a few species.
Kate and Jim McCusker, Day Eight.

Southern Early Purple Orchid (ChupaerosAndrorchis Olbiensis).
We started off by driving up to the lower quarry and checking the slopes again and we had good views of Dartford (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Spectacled (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata) and Sardinian Warblers (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Black Wheatear (Collalba Negra / Oenanthe leucura), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina).
Southern Early Purple Orchid (ChupaerosAndrorchis Olbiensis).
We also had Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea), Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Mirror (Ophrys speculum), Sawfly (Ophrys tenthredinifera), Southern Early Purple Orchid (Androrchis Olbiensis) in good numbers and varyng colours, Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea), Andalusian Storksbill (Erodium recorderi), Mediterranean Catchfly (Silene colorata), Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum), Southern Daisy (Bellis cordifolia), Southern Knapweed (Centaurea pullata) and Viola dementria.
Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata) by Kate / Jim.
We moved off up the crags and before we reached the tops we saw Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Woodchat Shrike (Alcaudón Común / Lanius senator), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), a late Meadow Pipit (Bisbita Pratense / Anthus pratensis) which flew up the slope in front of the car, Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs).
Spectacled Warbler (Curruca Tomillera / Sylvia conspicillata) by Kate / Jim.
Once we were up on the tops we had an Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) which was singing from the top of a nearby Oak tree, Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Black-eared Wheatears (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus).
Viola dementria.
Up around the pools at Charca Negro and the far crags we found Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), a pair Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos) which were dsplaying on a nearby crag, Alpine Swift (Vencejo Real / Apus melba), 3x Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) soaring over head, Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), a group of 50 or so Red-billed Choughs (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) and on a small pool below us there were a couple of pairs of Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos). 
Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula).
In the same are we saw Upland Peony (Paeonia coriacea) flowering amongst the rocks as well as Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Southern Brown Argus (Aricia cramera) and an Andalucian Wall Lizard (Podarcis vaucheri) which disappeared into a crack in a large rock.
Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis) by Kate / Jim.
On our way back down we called into a couple dells and gullies where in the calmer areas we saw Iris Subbiflora, Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina), my first Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe) of the year, Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes) and Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus).
Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia) by Kate / Jim.
Just before we headed off the hill we returned to the Quarry and scanned the cliffs again and found the Eagle Owl (Buho Real / Bubo bubo) was sat on the front of the nest platform and just before we drove out we found Spanish Toadflax (Linaria amethystea), Linum trigynum and a line of Thaumetopoea pityocampa (Pine Processionary) catapillars.
Black-eared Wheatear (Collalba Rubia / Oenanthe hispanica).
This was the end of Kate and Jims tour with Granada Wildlife but they are back in June for the butterflies, Thanks for this tour and looking forward to seeing you both again in June, Mick.
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
Red-billed Choughs (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax).
Knapweed Fritillary (Melitaea phoebe).
Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina).
Eagle Owl (Buho Real / Bubo bubo).
Iris Subbiflora.
8691 Thaumetopoea pityocampa (Pine Processionary) catapillars.
Spanish Toadflax (Linaria amethystea).
Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea).
Unnamed Linaria sp.

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