Friday 19 April 2019

Zafaraya area and Sierra de Loja's Western slopes, Granada Province.

Butterflies, Orchids and Birds.

Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli).
I made my down to Common Magpie (Urraca / Pica pica), Red-legged Partridge (Perdiz Roja / Alectoris rufa), Little Owl (Mochuelo Europeo / Athene noctua), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus), Goldfinch (Jilguero / Carduelis carduelis), Blackbird (Mirlo Común / Turdus merula), Mistle Thrush (Zorzal Charlo / Turdus viscivorus), Crested (Cogujada / Galerida cristata) and Calandra Lark (Calandria / Melanocorypha calandra), Corn Bunting (Triguero / Emberiza calandra), Woodpigeon (Paloma Torcaz / Columba palumbus), Collared Dove (Tórtola Turca / Streptopelia decaocto) and at the cliffs near Zafaraya where I stopped briefly a dozen or so Red-billed Chough (Chova Piquirroja / Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax), Black Redstart (Colirrojo Tizón / Phoenicurus ochruros) and in the town House Martins (Avión Común / Delichon urbica).
Bonelli's Warbler (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli).
I sorted the box and then drove back up the hill to Zafaraya and took the Loja road and stopped in an area of abandoned Almond Groves where as soon as I got out of the car I could hear several singing
Bonelli's Warblers (Mosquitero Papialbo / Phylloscopus bonelli) in the Oaks at the to of the field so I went and had a look and got some good views as two males chased each other around me.
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta).
As I walked around there were thousands of Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea) spikes as well as a few Mirror ( Ophrys speculum) and Conical (Neotinea conica).
Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus).
I walked further along the terraces and found good numbers of Giant (Himantoglossum robertiana), Pink Butterfly (Orchis Papillionacea) but most pleasing were two spikes of Man Orchid (Orchis anthropophora) which is a species I had not seen on this site for 10 years since a single spike stopped flowering.
Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlano / Sylvia hortensis).
There was also a singing male Orphean Warbler (Curruca Mirlano / Sylvia hortensis), Willow Warbler (Mosquitero Musical / Phylloscopus trochillus), Turtle Dove (Tórtola Europea / Streptopelia turtur), Hoopoe (Abubilla / Upupa epops), Long-tailed Tit (Mito / Aegithalos caudatus), Short-toed Treecreeper (Agateador Común / Certhia brachydactyla), Serin (Verdecillo / Serinus serinus) and Greenfinch (Verderón Común / Carduelis chloris).
Pink Butterfly Orchid (Orchis Papillionacea).
Butterflies started to fly in the warmth and I soon found several species including Bath White (Blanqiverdosa / Pontia daplidice), Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus), Clouded Yellow (Colias Común / Colias corcea), Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina), Large White (Pieris brassicae), Moroccan Orange-tip (Anthocharis belia), Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui), Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta), Spanish Brown Argus (Aricia cramera) and Spanish Festoon (Zerynthia rumina).
Mirror Orchid ( Ophrys speculum).
I walked back to the car and then drove north to some fields where I sat in the car and watched 12+ Montagu's Harriers (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus), some of which came in quite close giving me the chance of some shots. 
Common / Southern Blue (Polyommatus icarus / celina).
In the same area I had Corn Buntings, Zitting Cisticola (Buitrón / Cisticola juncidis), Small White (Pieris rapae) and Rabbit (Conejo / Oryctolagus cuniculus).
Yellow Bee Orchid (Ophrys lutea).
My last stop was in the Almond Groves near to Moraleda where I checked a spot for some more Orchid species and found Bumblebee (Ophrys bombyliflora), Dark Spider (Ophrys incubacea), Somber Bee (Ophrys fusca / foresteri) and Sawfly Orchids (Ophrys tenthredinifera subsp tenthredinifera) as well as a couple of Common Kestrels (Cernicalo Vulgar / Falco tinnunculus), European Bee-eaters and a noisy Great Spotted Cuckoo (Crialo Europeo / Clamator gladarius).
Giant Orchid (Himantoglossum robertiana).
Man Orchid (Orchis anthropophora).
Giant Orchid (Himantoglossum robertiana).
Conical Orchid (Neotinea conica).
Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus).
Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus).
Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus).
Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus).
Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus).
Montagu's Harrier (Aguilucho Cenizo / Circus pygargus).
Bumblebee Orchid (Ophrys bombyliflora).
Dark Spider Orchid (Ophrys incubacea).
Sawfly Orchid (Ophrys tenthredinifera subsp tenthredinifera).

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