Sunday, 21 May 2017

Sierra Morena, near Andujar, Jaen Province.

Granada Wildlifes Tour of Eastern Andalucia and beyond.
Day Nine of Eleven, Along the tracks in the hills and back down by the river.

Thread-winged Lacewings (Nemoptera bipennis).
We all had breakfast and the met up out side where we started the list with Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus) and House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica).
Mike L photographing the Thread-winged Lacewings (Nemoptera bipennis).
We made our way along the motorway, through Andujar to the area north of there for a mornings  birding in the rolling Oak woodlands. As we drove along the track we made several stops and had good views of Iberian / Azure-winged Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cyanus), Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea) and Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Griffon (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) and European Black Vultures (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus), Sparrowhawk (Gavilán Común / Accipiter nisus), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus viridis) and by a large fire break we had good views of a Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius) as it flew across the tree tops, later we also had good views of a Common Cuckoo (Cuco Común / Cuculus canorus).
Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) caterpillar on a well eaten Fennel Plant.
On the hillsides around us we also found Red (Ciervo común / Cervus elaphus) and Fallow Deers (Gamo común / Dama dama) and as we walked down the road a little way we also found False Ilex Hairstreak (Querquera / Satyrium esculi), Small White (Pieris rapae), Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria), Digitalis mariana subsp heywoodii, Grey-leaved Cistus (Cistus albidus), White Flax (Linum suffruticosum) and Red Phlomis (Phlomis purpurea).
Pam at work.
As we moved along the track we again stopped and after a little hunt finally had good views of a male Golden Oriole (Oropéndola / Oriolus oriolus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax),  Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major), Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans), European Bee-eater (Abejaruco Común / Merops apiaster), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), a couple of fly over Hawfinches (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes), two Swallowtail (Papilio machaon) caterpillars on a well eaten Fennel Plant, Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), several Thread-winged Lacewings (Nemoptera bipennis) and some very smart Iberis nazarita.
We reached the far end of the track where we spent quite a while looking for the days main target the White-rumped Swifts (Vencejo Cafre / Apus caffer) which breed in this area, after a while we picked up at least three birds flying along a ridge down river and a while later we had views of rumps as they came a little closer. In the same area we boosted the day list with Pallid Swifts (Vencejo Pálido /Apus pallidus), Crag Martin (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia) and on the dam walls lots of House accompanied by at least a single male Spanish Sparrow (Gorrión Moruno / Passer hispaniolensis). 
After a while we returned to the top of the ridge and picked up Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris) and Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus).
We drove off this area and had some lunch at a bar near the main road through the site, whilst we were eating we had good views of a couple of Two-tailed Pasha's (Charaxes jasius) chasing each other around the tree tops.
Later we dropped back down to the Rio Juandula but went on the downstream side of the bridge where we saw several new insect species including Orange Featherleg (Platycnemis acutipennis), Violet Dropwing (Trithemis annulata), Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus), Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus F lyllus), Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera) and Spanish Purple Hairstreak (Laeosopis roboris) and on the bird front we saw or heard Cetti's (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti) and Great Reed Warblers (Carricero Tordal / Acrocephalus arundinaceus), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) and as we returned to the van we picked up several raptors soaring along a near by ridge including 4x Spanish Imperial Eagles (Aguila Imperial Ibérica / Aguila adalberti), 2x European Black and several Griffon Vultures and a pair of Common Buzzards which were mobbing the eagles.
False Ilex Hairstreak (Querquera / Satyrium esculi).
We crossed the river and had a walk along the far upstream bank but as it was getting warm an late in the afternoon it was just a short stroll but we added Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Long-tailed (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) and Blue Tits (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Cardinal Fritillary (Pandora / Argynnis pandora) and more Spanish Purple Hairstreaks.
Iberis nazarita.
Iberis nazarita in seed.
We headed back to the hotel and later went out for a very nice meal in the town where we order far to much food as every thing including the Pizza's and Salads were massive, we had three Pizza's to take away in the end and ate them for lunch next day.

Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris).
Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) mobbing a Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aguila Imperial Ibérica / Aguila adalberti).

Heliotaurus ruficollis.

Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas).

Closterotomus sp.
Beetles Sp.

Beetle Sp.

Red Phlomis (Phlomis purpurea) by Pam.

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