Friday 9 June 2017

Astún and Candanchú, Aragon and travelling.

Granada Wildlifes tour of Belchite and the Pyrenees.
Day Seven. Back to the high mountains.

Old Bridge over the Rio Aragon.
Around the hotel after a great breakfast we saw Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
Aquilegia vulgaris.
En-route to the mountains we took the cross country route and stopped a few times picked up Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Great Spotted Woodpecker (Pico Picapinos / Dendrocopos major),  
Spanish Heath (Coenonympha glycerion iphioides).

Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Egyptian Vulture (Alimoche Común / Neophron percnopterus) and then on the bridge which crosses the Rio Aragon we picked up Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Black Redstart, Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Garden Warbler (Curruca Mosquitera / Sylvia borin),
Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera).
Feral Pigeon (Paloma Bravía / Columba livia), Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalia), Ivy-leaved Toadflax (Cymbalaria muralis), Aquilegia vulgaris, Large Blue Flax (Linum narbonense), White Rockrose (Helianthemum apenninum) and Large Wall Brown (Lasiommata maera).
Robust MarshOrchid (Dactylorhiza elata).
Moving on we came to a picnic area and had a good look around the area of Pine woods and along the river seeing Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), at least three Bonelli's Warblers (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli) which were chasing each other round the trees, Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Firecrest (Reyezuelo Listado / Regulus ignicapillus), Crested Tit (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus) and along a small damp patch in the center of the site Greater Butterfly (Platanthera chlorantha), Robust Marsh (Dactylorhiza elata), Fragrant (Gymnadenia conopsea), Pyramidal, Bee (Ophrys apifera) and several well over with Lady Orchids (Orchis purpurea).
Greater Butterfly Orchid (Platanthera chlorantha).
In the same area we also found Branched Asphodel (Asphodelus ramosus), Marsh Violet (Viola palustris), Spanish Heath (Coenonympha glycerion iphioides), Large White (Pieris brassicae) and Small Skipper (Thymelicus sylvestris).
Greater Butterfly Orchid (Platanthera chlorantha).
Further along the road in an area of more open fields we made another stop and checked the hay meadows for birds but they came from the skys first including Egyptian and Griffon Vultures, Red Kite, Carion Crow, Common Magpie, Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), male and female Red-backed Shrikes (Alcaudón Dorsirrojo / Lanius collurio) sat out on a wire along with a male Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra). In the hedgerow bushes a Nightingale sang and a couple of Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa) called. 
Agrimony (Agrimonia Eupatoria).
There were also a couple of new plants found Agrimony (Agrimonia Eupatoria), Sainfoin (onobrychis viciifolia) and lots of Perez's Frogs (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi) which were calling from  nearby farm pool.
Common Marbled White (Melanargia galathea).

In a wooded valley futher on we stopped and had a pair of Bonelli's Eagles (Aguila-azor / Hieraetus faciatus) which circled over nearby trees along with a Booted (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), these were followed by an American F15 being chased down by a Euro-fighter.
Spanish Chalk-hill Blue (Polyommatus albicans).

In the same area we had Wren, Nightingale, Chaffinch, a singing Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Spanish Gatekeeper (Lobito listado / Pyronia bathsheba), Pearl-bordered Fritillary (Boloria euphrosyne), Holly Blue (Celastrina argiolus), Common Marbled White (Melanargia galathea) and Lesser Butterfly Orchid (Platanthera bifolia).
Wild Strawberry (Fragaria vesca).

At high spot in the road near a refugio we parked up and wandered seeing Roe Deer (Corzo / Capreolus capreolus), Spanish Chalk-hill Blue (Polyommatus albicans), Large Wall Brown, Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and little further on we saw a few road side Lizard Orchids (Himantoglosum hircinum).
Lizard Species.

On the way up to the mountain summits we picked up Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and just after we parked at Astún and started the walk we saw Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Citril Finch (Verderón Serrano / Serinus citrinella), Black Kite (Milano Negro / Milvus migrans), a singing Water Pipit (Bisbita Alpino / Anthus spinoletta), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia), a Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo) which came up over the ridge with a Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos) in tow.
Purple-edged Copper (Lycaena hippothoe).

We continued on along the track finding more butterflies as it warmed up including Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), Grizzled Skipper (Pyrgus malvae), Little Blue (Cupido minimus), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Purple-edged Copper (Lycaena hippothoe), Small Tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae), Swallowtail (Papilio machaon), Large (Pieris brassicae) and Wood Whites (Leptidea sinapis), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera) and Adonis Blue (Lysandra bellargus) as well as Hummingbird Hawkmoth (Macroglossum stellatarum) and a Forester Moth Species.
Purple-edged Copper (Lycaena hippothoe).

More species were seen including Dunnock (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis), Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), another Golden Eagle, Northern Wheatear (Collalba Gris / Oenanthe oenanthe), 2 Tree Pipits (Bisbita Arbóreo / Anthus trivialis) one of which was singing whilst the other was carrying food, Citril Finch, Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula) as well as Wild Strawberry (Fragaria vesca), Common Spotted (Dactylorhiza fuchsii), Broad-leaved Marsh (Dactylorhiza majalis), a single spike of Early Purple Orchid (Orchis mascula) and a couple of yelling Marmot (Marmota / Marmota marmota).
Heath Spotted (Dactylorhiza maculata).
We had some lunch in Candanchu and then went above the town seeing a good number of Alpine Choughs (Chova Piquigualda / Pyrrhocorax graculus) along with a few Red-billed (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax). 
Wood White (Leptidea sinapis).
Later we had a walk along a track along a small stream where we had good views of a stunning male Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush (Roquero Roja / Monticola saxatilis), Red Kite (Milano Real / Milvus milvus) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
Forester Moth Species.
In the grassy areas around the stream we found Broad-bodied Chaser (Libellula depressa), Mountain Ringlet (Erebia epiphron), Large-flowered Butterwort (Pinguicula grandiflora), Alpine Bartsia (Bartsia alpina), Alpine Asphodel (Tofieldia calyculata), Heath Spotted (Dactylorhiza maculata), Broad-leaved Marsh Orchids (Dactylorhiza majalis) and what were possibly a few Alpine Marsh Orchids (Dactylorhiza alpestris) but this is a difficult group to sort.
Working them too hard??????

Once we returned to the van we headed back to the hotel on the quick roads but finished off with Yellow-legged Gull (Gaviota Patiamarilla / Larus Michahellis) and Grey Heron (Garza Real / Ardea cinerea) on the Rio Aragon.
Mountain Ringlet (Erebia epiphron).
Alpine Marsh Orchids (Dactylorhiza alpestris).
Alpine Asphodel (Tofieldia calyculata).
Alpine Asphodel (Tofieldia calyculata).
Alpine Bartsia (Bartsia alpina).
Large-flowered Butterwort (Pinguicula grandiflora).

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