Tuesday, 5 February 2019

La Lancha, Sierra Morena, Jaen Province.

Raptors but no Lynx on the first day.

European Black Vulture (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus).
David Hird arrived at our house at 04:15 and once Steve Jones and I were sorted we all headed off to Sierra Morena near to Andujar where we were spending three days looking for the Iberian Lynx (lince iberico/ Lynx pardina) and lots of other wildlife.
Griffon Vulture (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus).
We drove up in the dark and arrived on site just as the sun was coming up and soon started to see Red Deer (Ciervo común / Cervus elaphus) off to both sides of the road and as we set up at our first watching location we had several Rabbits (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus) and a covey of Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa) which are both Lynx snacks.
European Black Vulture (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus).
As the light came up the list grew with Stock Dove (Paloma Zurita / Columba oenas), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), the first of several Griffon Vultures (Bultre Leonado / Gyps fulvus) and the first European Black (Buitre Negro / Aegypius monachus).
Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua).
During the morning we could hear Little Owls (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua) and eventually we found one sat out on a large boulder and all around us we could hear yaffling Green Woodpeckers (Pito Real / Picus viridis). 
Angel's tears Narcissus (Narcissus triandus).
In the air above us we could hear and then had views of an immature Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aguila Imperial Ibérica / Aguila adalberti) which passed along the ridge behind us with several more Vultures. 
On the bank behind us I found several flowering Angel's tears Narcissus (Narcissus triandus) as well as Nacissus fernandesi, Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Andalusian Storksbill (Erodium recorderi), French Lavender (Lavandula stoechas) and lots of Iberian Milk-vetch (Astragalus lusitanicus).
We sat watching the bueatiful valley infront of us, scanning continuosly for the Lynx but managed to find Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Iberian / Southern Grey Shrike (Alcaudón Real Meridional / Lanius meridionalis), Iberian  (Rabilargo / Cyanopica cooki) and Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Woodlark (Totovia / Lullula arborea), Thekla Lark (Cogujada Montesina / Galerida theklae) and Sardinian Warbler (Curruca Cabecinegra / Sylvia melanocephala).
Nacissus fernandesi,
As things warmed up several butterfly species started to fly including lots of Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), Cleopatra (Cleopatra / Gonepteryx cleopatra), Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera), Small (Pieris rapae), Large (Pieris brassicae) and Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice).
Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aguila Imperial Ibérica / Aguila adalberti).
We moved slightly further up the track to scan a different area seeing Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Blue Tit (Herrerillo Común / Parus caeruleus), Common Chaffinch (Pinzón Vulgar / Fringilla coelebs), Common Chiffchaff (Mosquitero Común / Phylloscopus collybita) and Hawfinch (Picogordo / Coccotraustes coccotrauetes).
Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus).
David and I dropped down to the Embalse at the far end of the track seeing Nuthatch (Trepador Azul / Sitta europaea) on the way, at the dam we had a walk along the cliff top track before crossing the dam where we had good views of at least 3 Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Cabra pyreaica), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Great Tit (Carbonera Común / Parus major), Robin (Petirrojo Europeo / Erithacus rubecula), Crag (Avión Roquero / Ptyonoprogne rupestris) and House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica) which were visiting last years nests already.
Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Cabra pyreaica).
Other species included a very smart male Blue-rock Thrush (Roquero Solitario / Monticola solitarius), Grey (Lavandera Cascadena / Motacilla cinerea) and White Wagtail (Lavandera Blanca / Montacilla alba), Mallard (Anade Azulón / Anas platyrhynchos), Wren (Chochin / Troglodytes troglodytes), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros), Blackcap (Curruca Capirotada / Sylvia atricailla), Rock Bunting (Escribano Montesino / Emberiza cia) and Great Cormorant (Cormorán Grande / Phalacrocroax carbo).
Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Cabra pyreaica).
We returned to where Steve was still scanning for the Lynx and had views of Dartford Warbler (Curruca Rabilarga / Sylvia undata), Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus) and Crested Lark (Cogujada / Galerida cristata).
Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Cabra pyreaica).
The sun was going down when we left the site and drove back to our accommodation adding Fallow Deer (Dama dama) on the way and a calling Tawny Owl (Cárabo Común / Strix aluco) at the guest house.

Spanish Ibex (Cabra montés / Cabra pyreaica).
House Martin (Avión Común / Delichon urbica).
Red Deer (Ciervo común / Cervus elaphus).

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