Monday, 17 April 2017

Venta del Raya to Zafarraya, Granada Province.

A morning photographing Birds and Orchids with Ian Phillips and his sister.

Male Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus).
After sorting a few things in Loja I headed south through Zaffaraya to Puente Don Emanuel but found the place I want to visit was shut so I made my way back up over the ridge to a spot where I spent an hour or so before I met Ian watching several Montagu's Harrier's (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus). 
Female Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus).
In the same area I also had Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), Pallid Swift (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Collared (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and Turtle Doves (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei).
Male Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus).
I was meeting Ian and his Sister just down the valley, on the drive down I picked up Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Jay (Arrendajo / Garrulus glandarius), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia) and Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes).
Male Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus).
I arrived a little early and checked the area around where I was parked and soon found Giant (Himantoglossum robertiana), Yellow Bee (Ophrys lutea) and Conical Orchids (Neotinea conica), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea) and Bath White (Pontia daplidice). 
Giant Orchid (Himantoglossum robertiana).
Birds seen and heard included Wryneck (Torcecuello / Jynx torquilla), Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Subalpine (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans), Bonelli's (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli) and Western Orphean Warblers (Curruca Mirlano / Sylvia hortensis).
Small Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys picta).
Ian and his Sister arrived and we walked around the whole site building the Orchid list with Fan-lipped (Anacamptis collina) but they were mostly over with, Sawfly (Ophrys tenthredinifera), Pink Butterfly (Anacamptis papilionacea) with a very nice large group under the Almonds and Small Woodcock (Ophrys picta). Butterflies were also boosted with Provence Orange-tip (Anthocharis euphenodes), Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) and Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina).
Yellow Bee (Ophrys lutea).
We moved back up the valley and checked an area of Oak Woodlands, bird wise we found Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus) and the orchid and butterfly lists were boosted with Sword-leaved Helleborine (Cephalanatera longifolia), Dense-flowered (Neotinea maculata) and Southern Early Purple Orchids (Androrchis Olbiensis) and Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera), Small (Pieris rapae) and Large Whites (Pieris brassicae).
Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera).
Once we had checked these areas we made our way up to the spot where I had started the morning and watched the Montagu's Harriers again and they put on a nice show. 
Conical Orchids (Neotinea conica).
I left Ian and headed off home just stopping briefly to photograph some Corn Poppy's (Papaver rhoeas) growing below Sierra de Loja.
Small Woodcock Orchid (Ophrys picta).
Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina).
Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli).
Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli).
Ian and his sister looking at the Pink Butterflies.
Sword-leaved Helleborine (Cephalanatera longifolia).
Sword-leaved Helleborine (Cephalanatera longifolia).
Dense-flowered Orchid (Neotinea maculata).
The Poppy field.

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