Saturday 2 September 2017

Silos, Castillo Solarana and Burgos city, Burgos Province.

A morning walk followed by a wine tasting and a night on the town in Burgos.

Santi on the roof.
We started the day with a walk down to the river near the camping ground and then on down through the allotments and then back up through the town, along the streams in the allotment areas I was surprised to find a Dipper (Mirlo Acuático / Cinclus cinclus) in the same area we saw House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), White (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba) and Grey Wagtail (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Cetti's Warbler (Ruisenor Bastardo / Cettia cetti), Song Thrush (Zorzal Común / Turdus philomelos), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula) and Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla).
and Howard assisting.
After we got back to Santi's he did a repair on the Ariel up on the roof before heading to a Winery in the town of Castillo Solarana where we had a tour and tasting which went down very nicely, we returned to Santi's before heading North for the night in Burgos.
Some of the stock, too big for Jayne and Barb to smuggle out.
Once we were settled in at Santi's appartment we hit the town and had a great night in several different bars including one where we had some very nice Chocolate and Churros. 
Some of the smaller stock.
We finished off in Café Espana and then made our way back to Santi's for the night.
and the very big stores.

At the tasting.

At the tasting, wine and tapas.

Friday 1 September 2017

Sad Hill, Hacians, Silos and La Yecla gorge, Burgos Province.

More of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly as well as a couple of other places.

Entrance to Sad Hill.
Today we were going to visit the Sad Hill cemetery again to show Barb the place and because it it rather a nice spot as well, before we set off I started my list off with Iberian Green Woodpecker (Pito Real / Picus sharpei), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), House Sparrow (Gorrión Común / Passer domesticus), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Linnet (Pardillo Común / Carduelis cannabina), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus) and Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) around Santi's house.
Over looking Sad Hill.
We drove up to the ridge above Sad Hill and spent some time taking photographs, I also picked up a Golden Eagle (Águila Real / Aquila chrysaetos) drift past with the Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) and the ground was covered in the pink flowers of the Merendera pyrenaica.
The Centre of Sad Hill.
We continued on down the far side of the ridge to the cemetery and had a good walk around and Santi repainted his grave post. whilst there and around the ancient Juniper trees I picked up several Whinchats (Tarabilla Nortena / Saxicola rubetra), Common Stonechat (Tarabilla Común / Saxicola torquata), Black Redstart, a male Common Redstart (Colirroja Real / Phoenicurus phoenicurus) which was a year tick, Blue (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Crested (Herrerillo Capuchino / Parus cristatus) and Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax) as well as Silver-spotted Skipper (Hesperia comma), Spanish Chalk-hill Blue (Polyommatus albicans / arragonensis), Long-tailed Blue (Lampides baeticus) and Gatekeeper (Pyronia tithonus).
Sad Hill.
From Sad Hill we went to a very nice village called Hacians to see the fossilised tree truncks and the castle, both of which were very interesting. Around the village I saw Small (Pieris rapae) and Bath Whites (Pontia daplidice), Pied Flycatcher (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis) and Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus).
Clint at the entrance.
After having a coffee in one of the bars we visited a pool nearby where saw Southern / Blue Hawker (Aeshna cyanea) and Perez's Frog (Rana Común / Pelophylax perezi) before heading back to Santi's for some Lunch. 
Barb at Sad Hill.
During the afternoon we spent sometime in the garden and I spent a while scanning the hillsides for raptors and picked up a second year tick when an adult Hobby (Alcotán Europeo / Falco subbuteo) flew along the valley over the village, 2x Egyptian Vulture (Alimoche Común / Neophron percnopterus) soaring up with the masses of Griffon Vultures, Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus), Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli) and on the plants I found several Cardinal Fritillaries (Argynnis pandora), Comma (Polygomum c-album) and a Geranium Bronze (Cacyreus marshalli).
Merendera pyrenaica.
Later in the afternoon we went just up to La Yecla Gorge to walk the river path, during the walk I took some shots of the Griffon Vultures and saw another Booted Eagle and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba).
Santi painting his grave post.
We returned to Silos and had a walk around to the Monastery to listen to the gregorian chants before going for a couple or three beers in the village.
 Hacians church.
Hacians church.
Fancy Chimney in Hacians.
Standing next to an old fossel.
Comma ("C" blanca / Polygomum c-album).
Cardinal Fritillaries (Pandora / Argynnis pandora).

La Yecla.
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
Shadows at La Yecla.

La Yecla.

Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).

Thursday 31 August 2017

Covarrubias, Monasterio de San Pedro de Arlanza and around Santi's, Burgos Province.

A day out and about with Santi, Howard, Jayne and Barb.

Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris).
Our first visit of the day was to the River side town of Covarrubias which lies on the banks of the Rio Arlanza. 
Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris).
We strolled around the town, having a coffee break as we went and as we were walking past a house which in the past had been the villages pharmacy a guy asked us if we would like to have a look around his families house. 
Pharmacy in Covarrubias.
He had restored it to the way it had been for several generations whilst it was being run by his family and we were very lucky to get to see it as it is not generally open to the public.
Pharmacy in Covarrubias.
After the walk around the town I had a walk along a short stretch of the river and saw Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita), Grey (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and White Wagtails (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Dunnock (Acentor Común / Prunella modularis), a single Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Red Kite (Milano Real / Milvus milvus), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus) and several Crag Martins (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris), some with young still in the nest.
We moved on along the river to the Monasterio de San Pedro de Arlanza where we were given a tour by one of the guides, this was the Monasterio that was in the movie the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, great place.
In the surrounding scrub and Elder-flower trees I saw Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Garden (Curruca Mosquitera / Sylvia borin), Subalpine (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans), Western Orphean (Curruca Mirlano / Sylvia hortensis) and Sardinian Warblers (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Nightingale (Ruisenor Común / Luscinia megarhynchos), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla) and in the sky Barn Swallow (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and lots more Griffon Vultures
Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans).
During the tour we found a single Brown Long-eared Bat (Murciélago orejudo dorado / Plecotus auritus) roosting in the roof space but there were signs of some quite large colonies in the building.
There were also a few butterflies on the wing including Iberian Scarce Swallowtail (Iphiclides feisthameli), Cardinal Fritillary (Argynnis pandora), Bath  (Pontia daplidice) and Small White (Pieris rapae) and Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas).
Subalpine Warbler (Curruca Carrasquena / Sylvia cantillans).
We then went back to Santi's and had lunch and then later I went for a walk up the track behind the house and found Tree Pipit (Bisbita Arbóreo / Anthus trivialis), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli), Cirl Bunting (Escribano Soteno / Emberiza cirlus), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax), Short-toed Eagle (Culebrera Europeo / Circaetus gallicus) and Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor).
Inside the Monasterio de San Pedro de Arlanza.
I also had several more butterfly species including False Mallow / Mallow Skipper (Carcharodus tripolinus / alceae), Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina), Queen of Spain Fritillary (Issoria lathonia), Striped Grayling (Pseudotergumia fidia), Spanish Chalk-hill Blue (Polyommatus albicans/arragonensis), Lang's Short-tailed Blue (Leptotes pirithous), Long-tailed Blue (Lampides baeticus) and Clouded Yellow (Colias corcea). 
The entrance to the Monasterio de San Pedro de Arlanza.
In the evening we went for a walk down town to the bar and had a couple of beers before having a very nice evening meal at Santi's.
Brown Long-eared Bat (Murciélago orejudo dorado / Plecotus auritus).
Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros).
Long-tailed Blue (Lampides baeticus).

Wednesday 30 August 2017

Travelling North to Santo Domingo de Silos, Burgos Province.

Off for a few days in the Northen half of Spain with Jayne and Barb her sister.

We set off and headed for Granada and for the windmills near the town of Consuegra in Castilla la Mancha, we timed it well as the two coach loads that were there when we arrived had gone by the time we reached the furthest Mills and we had the place pretty much to ourselves.
We continued on around Madrid and up to our see our friends Santi and Howard in Silos where we had a very nice evening meal and a glass of wine or two before an earlish night.
During the drive north I saw quite a few species including Jackdaw (Grajilla / Corvus monedula), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Western Cattle Egret (Garcilla Bueyera / Bubulcus ibis), Common Buzzard (Busardo Ratonero / Buteo buteo), Spotless Starling (Estornino Negro / Sturnus unicolor), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Barn (Golondrina Común / Hirundo rustica) and Red-rumped Swallows (Golondrina Dáurica / Hirudo daurica), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae), Booted Eagle (Aguililla Calzada / Hieraaetus pennatus), Lesser Kestrel (Cernicola Primilla / Falco naumanni), Marsh Harrier (Aguilucho Lagunero Occidental / Circus aeruginosus), House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica), Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus), Iberian  Magpie (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Red Kite (Milano Real / Milvus milvus), Iberian Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Carrion Crow (Corneja Negra / Corvus corone), Raven (Cuervo / Corvus corax) and Common Kestrel (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus).
At Santi's I also found Pied (Papamoscas Cerrojillo / Ficedula hypoleuca) and Spotted Flycatcher (Papamoscas Gris / Muscicapa striata), Rock Sparrow (Gorrión Chillón / Petronia petronia), Great (Carbonera Común / Parus major) and Blue Tits (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Melodious Warbler (Zarcero Común / Hippolais polyglotta) and Common Swift (Vencejo Común / Apus apus).